Happy Khambule

Happy Khambule loves being part of a collective. It’s his “we” attitude that makes him a British Council Global Changemaker and International Climate Champion. Khambule, a climate-change activist with a law degree, dreamt in early childhood of being president. Now he not only aspires to shape South Africa’s environmental policies but also to effect real change within communities, working with schools and the youth to create awareness of climate change. Although he has big ambitions he doesn’t allow them to overshadow his passions. The work he does as Gauteng co-ordinator of Project 90 x 2030 allows him to strike the right balance between the two. The project challenges society to change the way it lives in order to preserve the environment. The aim is to reduce our carbon footprint by 90% by the year 2030. Khambule’s philosophy is that “every generation equips the next generation with knowledge”. It is his job to get schools in the province to change their attitude towards the environment by setting up green clubs and educating pupils about sustainable behaviours. In light of his involvement with Ashoka Youth Ventures, a global project that gets young people thinking about how to address social issues, it is only natural that the work he does focuses so strongly on change. But getting people to change has its own challenges. To keep the youth interested and involved in climate change Khambule and his team continually have to think of more innovative and exciting campaigns using social media and whatever other tools are available. His mom has always told him to enjoy whatever it is that he does. Khambule takes that advice further. He loves what he does — working with people and making change happen. “When you see change happen and it has come about from a collective effort that is perfect.” — Caroline Cowan