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YouthActionNet Blog

Dancing Across Borders: Mayibuye's Journey to Global Impact

Lisa Jones | March 13, 2014

2013 Laureate Global Fellow Kumari Middleton recently led a YouthActionNet webinar entitled "Dancing Across Borders: Mayibuye's Journey to Global Impact." Kumari's presentation focused on her personal experience scaling Mayibuye, the dance and life skills venture she founded, into five countries and counting. Mayibuye is a Zulu word meaning "taking back what was lost," and the organization has inspired at-risk youth in South Africa, Australia, Cambodia, Brazil, and India to become leaders through dance. In the webinar, Kumari shares advice for other young leaders who are looking to scale their impact.

Some key tips from Kumari include:
  1. Listen to the doubters and the questions they ask—they will tell you how to be successful. By addressing valid critiques of your methodology from the beginning, you are saving yourself the trouble of having to fix these issues later.
  2. Adopt a "can do" philosophy—Your enthusiasm will open new doors for your venture, and those who work with you will be inspired to scale the venture in ways they are passionate about. Kumari explains that most of Mayibuye's international programs began when a volunteer asked if he or she could start a program in a new country. Kumari tried, as much as possible, to say "yes, why not?"
  3. Remain connected to your passion points. Often leaders end up out of the field and in the office. For Kumari, continuing to teach dance is an important element of remaining committed to her work and its expansion.

To hear more about the Mayibuye story and Kumari's advice for social entrepreneurs interested in scaling their ventures, watch the webinar below.