One of Botswana’s leading youth activists, Kisto Masi, has pout the country’s HIV-Aids situation in the global platform through his investigative documentaries, as the country was , through his efforts, chosen as one of the African countries to be used as a case study to seek solutions to promote an HIV free generation on a television series called Imagine Afrika.
Masi recently returned from a Junior Chambers International (JCI) trip in Hammamet, Tunisia, where he was given an award, after being named one of the top ten outstanding young persons in the world (TOYP) for his work on community related projects in Botswana.
The TOYP competition is part of JCI’s global program of JCI. The worldwide federation of young active citizens has over half a million members, JCI senators and senior members in more than 115 countries.
The 24-year-old Masi is currently a Director of the South East District Youth Empowerment League (SEDYEL), a youth-led sports and community development program that was initiated as a result of the ongoing partnership between The City of Toronto (Canada) and South East District Council (Botswana).
In Just last year, Masi was selected as Botswana’s first and only representative in the Imagine Afrika television series, an Africa based reality show which investigates youth issues and the challenges facing the continent’s young generation. The television series also promotes the vision of an HIV-free generation. A series of its adverts have graced a number of television stations within Africa, including Botswana Television.
An initiative of the African Broadcast Media Partnership (ABMP), Imagine Afrika is a social adventure reality show that challenges and encourages outstanding young African achievers to compete against one another in coming up with solutions to some of the continent’s most pressing problems. The participants are chosen through a continent-wide call for nominations, and Masi was nominated through JCI. The contestants are chosen to prove the diversity existing in Africa and also document African youths’ exceptional talents and personal achievements.
“My role as an investigative reporter in Imagine Afrika is to help some of the marginalized and vulnerable youths to make meaningful decisions and positively influence them by assisting them to confront and deal with socio-economic challenges that they encounter in their daily existence,” said Masi.
Masi revealed that had it not been for his headmaster in junior school introducing him to sports, he would have never learned responsibility. Masi, who claims to have been part of a gang, says he changed his life after joining a local football team called Black Army FC, where he was chosen to lead the team as captain.
“I was raised in a community where youth are always considered a nuisance and for sure that is what our communities built us to be as we believed and began to act like it. I joined a local notorious gang crew called “The Bad Boys” and did normal things kids did growing in the dusty streets of Ramotswa, sniffing glue, smoking dagga and staying as much as I could away from school,” said Masi.