YOLISWA NOMAMPONDOMISE YAKO (35)

Eco­nomic Free­dom Fight­ers (EFF) Coun­cil­lor, Mu­nic­i­pal Pub­lic Ac­counts Com­mit­tee Chair­per­son and MP: Municipality of Nel­son Man­dela Bay, Port El­iz­a­beth

Destiny - - Hair -

Yako says she didn’t con­sciously de­cide to en­ter pol­i­tics: in­stead, the vo­ca­tion found her four years ago, when the EFF came into ex­is­tence and she read its man­i­festo.

“It spoke to many of the con­cerns

I had re­gard­ing the di­rec­tion of this coun­try and the fu­ture of my chil­dren. I didn’t ex­pect to come this far sim­ply by sign­ing a mem­ber­ship form, but the EFF’s re­ally been a school at which I’ve learnt a great deal,” she says.

Since join­ing the party, she’s grown tremen­dously and says her great­est achieve­ment has been join­ing the Na­tional Assembly at the be­hest of EFF Deputy Pres­i­dent Floyd Shivambu.

“I be­lieve the rea­son we have so many protests in SA is that our pol­i­tics lack true em­pa­thy. They’re grounded in per­sonal greed, rather than a de­sire to im­prove the lives of our peo­ple. We seem to have for­got­ten that through ser­vice de­liv­ery and em­pow­er­ing our peo­ple, we can achieve hon­est gen­er­a­tional eco­nomic eman­ci­pa­tion,” she ex­plains.

Yako en­vis­ages a coun­try in which ba­sic hu­man rights like qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion and san­i­ta­tion, run­ning wa­ter and elec­tric­ity are avail­able to all, in which the ju­di­cial sys­tem isn’t in­flu­enced by wealth and in which women and chil­dren are safe.

She greatly ad­mires the women in SA’s gov­ern­ment, as well as her fe­male col­leagues in the EFF. “I be­lieve our pol­i­tics could change dras­ti­cally through greater fe­male rep­re­sen­ta­tion. The men in pol­i­tics gate­keep key po­si­tions of power.”

Her two sons, aged 11 and six, are her big­gest mo­ti­va­tors, as is the re­al­ity of poverty and lack of ed­u­ca­tion among so many South Africans. “I’m de­ter­mined to do more for them. Even if it’s just me in my lit­tle cor­ner, what­ever I con­trib­ute could go a long way,” she says.

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