In 2015 she was named one of South Africa’s 21 Icons for a campaign highlighting remarkable young South Africans who will move the country forward. In 2016 the South African Government and Department of International Relations (DIRCO) honoured her with an UBUNTU Award, celebrating South Africans who play a part in portraying a positive image of South Africa,
internationally and who are committed to building the continent through diplomacy. She has been celebrated for excellence in the fields of entrepreneurship and business, and in 2018 was ranked as one of the top 100 Most Influential Young Africans, and placed Top 10 in her category of Social Entrepreneur and Philanthropy. In 2018 as the world celebrated the iconic former Statesman, Nelson Mandela, Catherine was dubbed as one of the 100 Young Mandela’s of the Future. Along with making the Avance Media list of 100 Most Influential South Africans and Most Influential Africans in that same year. In 2020 she has been named as one of the 80 Most Influential South African’s by Generational Wealth Education (GWE) and one of the 100 Most Influential African Leaders by the Pan African Youth Leadership Foundation.
Amid all of her commitments, Catherine remains active in Generation Earth, a UN Environment endorsed platform that she co-founded at the beginning of her career. Generation Earth targets the youth of Southern Africa and uses issues of environmental impact, climate change, water and waste as key focus areas to drive sustainable change and impact. Under her leadership this initiative has thrived and evolved into a multifaceted development network that empowers the youth to become drivers for change in their own lives and spheres of influence. She remains a dynamic environmental
warrior and the theme of sustainable development and her commitment to the SDG’s comes through in her advocacy work around the world. Over the past two years Catherine has played a leading role in driving community engagement on the ground around the water crises and extensive waste challenge in South Africa, extending this work across the continent.
Focusing on addressing behavioural change, education, awareness and inspiring water and waste heroes.
A 2013 Archbishop Tutu African Oxford Fellow and 2016
Mandela Washington Fellow, Catherine’s commitment and passion for social change takes her from the smallest of communities in South Africa to global platforms including the United Nations, Global Forums and platforms the world over. She currently works as a human rights defender actively engaging in Geneva at
the UN Human Rights Council for the world’s most
marginalised and vulnerable. Catherine’s recent work on the issue of the self-determination for the people of Western Sahara has seen her engaged on the ground in the Saharawi refugee camps in North Africa as well as with political leadership across the continent and around the world to highlight the conflict and lack of political will to address, one of the longest outstanding issues on the UN Security Council agenda. She travels extensively across the continent, and to all corners of the world to speak about citizenship, social justice, active citizens, people & planet and the role of leadership, with a special focus on the empowerment of women and children. In November 2017 she was an invited panellist at the inaugural Obama Summit hosted by former President Barack Obama, in Chicago. Just a few months ago she was the guest of the President of Egypt, Abdel Fattah El-Sisi; where she was invited to give the closing key note address to the World Youth Forum
to a convention centre of more than 5 000 young people and a nationwide broadcast to more than 100Million
people across Egypt. While she is relentless in pursuing justice for forgotten and downtrodden people, Catherine has always used inspiration and positive motivation as a means to create change. Her own social media platforms as well as her speaking appointments and media work always reflect a proactive approach and a desire to spark others to change or to become drivers of change by embedding ‘hope’ as a golden thread of action. She understands the power of media – both traditional and new platforms to spread important messages, and is regularly featured on TV, radio and in print, in South Africa and across the continent.
She has been the resident judge and mentor on the highly acclaimed reality TV series for five-seasons; ‘One Day Leader’, a show aimed at empowering South African youth, challenging their critical thinking skills and harnessing their ability as leaders in their communities.
She has been featured in numerous publications and on TV and radio shows as a thought leader, and also contributes to Huffington Post, Daily Maverick and other platforms.
Her focus on waste management has also seen her actively engage municipalities, local government and national government both in South Africa and other parts of the SADC region. Thus profiling her as a formidable force for change when it comes to all these climate, green, sustainable and visionary. This South African was also the Executive Director behind the Lead SA platform. Lead SA was a personal call to every person to make a difference ensuring that the value of even the smallest good deed was important. LSA collected stories of people who are making our country a better place and amplified their journey’s across media platforms. Additionally, this platform became the backbone of driving patriotism around major sporting events across the country, driving a passion for the Constitution and understanding the ‘Bill of Rights and Responsibilities’ as citizens, visiting communities across all corners of the nation.
This trailblazer continues to be invited to all parts of the world to share her advocacy, passion and her outlook on the world we live in. In the last few months she has visited Colombia, Kashmir, Egypt, Northern Republic of Macedonia, Peru, Mozambique, Alaska, Washington DC, Germany, Rwanda and Geneva to name but a few.
Catherine’s passion and drive has touched hundreds of thousands of individuals, whether through inspiration, practical interventions, workshops, advice or through the impact of her advocacy work on the ground at a grass roots level.