Elzaan Le-Anne de Wee, 24, is one of the youngest leaders who chose her path as a civic leader, to uplift young people when it come to social issues that affect them.
De Wee worked as a part-time arts educator at the ChiNamibia Arts Organisation for Development. She is a freelance actress, dramatist and activist and facilitates various workshops in community-based theatre.
She is also a founding member of the Theatre Nights Initiative (TNI), a youth organisation raising awareness about social issues, such as alcohol and drug abuse, unemployment and poverty.
Her passion for fellow youth came into the limelight when she was selected as one of the nine Namibians to participate in a six-week programme of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, also known as Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) in the United of States (US).
The programme empowers young leaders through academic coursework, leadership training, and networking. “During the entire programme I have learned what it means to be a true leader. It’s not about having power or status, but listening to people and identifying their needs and just wanting to help them,” says de Wee, adding that one can be an ordinary person that sees a need in his/her community and just wants to take a stand when no one is standing up, and make a difference wherever they are.
De Wee graduated from the College of the Arts (Cota) in 2014, where she majored in drama. She attended high school at the Dawid Bezuidenhout High School. Although she cannot recall all the obstacles and difficulties she went through since she was young, she says it was not easy to be where she is today.
“I can only recall a normal upbringing and a normal school and college career, but nothing was easy,” she says.
Her future plans are to explore many new avenues to help the youth. “I’m passionate about children and want to continue my work with ChiNamibia and to continue to empower the youth of Namibia through the arts,” she says.