Against the odds
28-year-old Amanda “Mandy” Sokanyile is the founder and executive director of Oyisa, a non-profit organization dedicated to Empowering young women from disadvantaged backgrounds. Mandy is from Kempton Park, went to school in the area, and participated in numerous community projects in and around her Community.
After her mother passed away at the age of 12, she and her two siblings were placed in a home where she was raised until the age of 18 and understands first-hand the needs and challenges of the young women she has committed to assist. After graduating from high school, she was fortunate enough to work at the Department of Human settlements as a PLO. In the 5 years that she was employed at the department, she accessed invaluable experience and knowledge where she learned a lot about serving the public and their needs in a dignified and sustainable way. She was confident enough to open a shop with a foundation that is close to her heart and wants to see more youth with similar backgrounds exposed to the same opportunities.
With her own personal encounter with life’s unfortunate circumstances and understanding the importance of small non-profit organizations, it is her desire to take part and strive for change. After years of contemplation and having the goal of launching a non-profit organization that will benefit the youth from disadvantaged backgrounds and her community, Oyisa was founded in 2019 and has been fully formed and operational with great support from her family, friends, and community.
She will continue to work towards a generation of empowered women and encourages individuals, business, organizations to do them same as she believes in a combined effort.