Name: Erick I. Matsanza
Website: http://www.spicetalks.com, http://www.facebook.com/ematsanza, http://www.twitter.com/ematsanza
Education: Kanthari Leadership Fellow
Occupation: Founder/ Social Change Catalyst at Spice Without Borders
Please describe your vision of a world that works for everyone.
I envision an open-minded society transformed by the creative and critical voice of the women.
What do you see as the most pressing problems facing the world today?
Despite the numerous calls for an all inclusive society we still have packets of human discrimination that need to be challenged, women and girls suffer most in patriarchal societies.
How do you feel these problems could best be solved?
Creating a hub that empowers women with necessary skills to rise up and challenge the status quo and building a movement of women social change catalysts that will make a difference in their backyards.
The world today needs social change farmers and the world needs cultivators of spice but above all, the world needs those who will plant the spice in their backyards. For one to make a difference you have to hook up with like-minded individuals who will push your dreams to the stretched limits. You need a springboard that spices up an idea and propel it to actualization. A journey in the right network can be an eye opener to things that you never imagined. The mere thought of inspiring the backyard of your own community ignites countless thoughts and with the online platforms that we have today you stumble on so much information. With a focus on what you yearn for so much can lead you to an organization like IIGL which just reminds you that not all of us can do great things but we can do small things with great love. Those small things could be disrupting the traditional and cultural norms that have for a long time caused discrimination is society especially in the margins of society where they go unpronounced.
“It angers me to see a society that keeps depriving women of having the same opportunities as men. This needs to be challenged and I want to be on the forefront. When I was about to miss my secondary education, it was my mother and my sister who despite their meager resources, stepped in when no man in the family was willing to take up the responsibility. This has inspired me to see the woman empowered with the necessary skills that will foster creative and critical thinking so that they are able to transform society.”
I, Erick Inghatt Matsanza was involved into activism playing a crucial role in shaping the perception on leadership in Kenya at a national level. I was part of the Kenya Ni Kwetu movement, one that brought into the limelight leadership issues. As a social change catalyst, Matsanza was awarded a Leadership scholarship by Kanthari International based in Kerala State, South India in the year 2014.
This is where I discovered that apart from going on the streets for self expression, there are much better ways that are more subtle in effecting change in society and this is by catalyzing change through empowering individuals with the necessary skills to be able to identify problems in the community and in their own backyard, come up with solutions to the identified problems and build strong communities free from discrimination through creativism, a term I coined while at Kanthari to refer to activism at the intersection of creative arts and social justice.
I am considered an expert in project management, conceptualizing issue based awareness campaigns, branding, event planning and management, social media advocacy and has skills in fundraising. I have volunteered in a number of organizations across the world at Video Volunteers at their head office in Goa – India, Pawa 254 in Kenya.
I founded Life Bridge an organization that bridges the technological divide and is a director at Intelsoft Limited an ICT firm.