Learn how Capitec is partnering with creatives who are using their skills for the greater good like the founder of a non-profit The South Africanist Movement , Jesse Yende, who campaigns for positive community impact.

Graphic designer, creative strategist and street artist, Jesse Yende, began his career as a boy from Soweto selling his art on the side of the road. Today, he is the Creative Director and Founder of his very own creative movement, The South Africanist – a campaign promoting active citizenship and encouraging a culture of being a fan of South Africa and its people.

Teamed up with his wife, Keletso Yende, their goal was to work towards the greater good using the skills and resources they had available to them. Together with a team of partners, they work to make a positive community impact using the principles of design thinking, behavioural science, and positive deviance.

Jesse explains, “A positive deviant is someone who is always looking for a silver lining – they’re very optimist about life, they’re very forward looking”. As a positive deviant himself, Jesse explains, “I’m not the artist that I want to be, but I’m an artist my country needs me to be”.

Jesse explains, “Different communities in different spaces have different challenges so the creative outputs are always going to be different. In this occasion, it’s showing how the South Africanist would go into a specific challenge or situation using the tools that we have”.

Jesse and Keletso Yende.

To tackle the prevailing issue of Gender Based Violence, The South Africanist partnered with female artists to create an elaborate, yet beautiful puzzle. These puzzles are available for purchase the homes of all South Africanists so that families could build it together and get the conversation started on this important issue in their homes.

Another project saw Jesse transforming and breathing life into Beth Uriel – a boy’s home in Salt River. To bring hope and light into the interior, Jesse got to work on the exterior. The boys loved Jesse’s ideas of bright colours and graphic art and decided to get in on the action, helping Jesse paint their new home. Jesse explains, “As a South Africanist, our success relies heavily on collaboration. This is another positive behavioural impact from the creative side playing it out”.

To share their revolutionary solutions using the using the principles of design thinking, behavioural science, and positive deviance, The South Africanist were asked to run a creative workshop in 2019. There, they met a Capitec team who listened in on their ideas. “From there, the relationship just started”, Jesse describes.

Since then, The South Africanist has been partnering with Capitec for their outreach initiatives.

For a local aftercare in Franschhoek, Capitec sponsored a new computer lab for the kids. The South Africanist came on board and helped “zhuzh up” the container to make learning fun and accessible for the kids.

During hard lockdown, Capitec partnered with a number of charities and initiatives like Gift of the Givers, Food Forward SA and the Solidarity Fund to ensure that South Africans were making it through their darkest, most desperate hours. To pay tribute to the communities Capitec has supported, Jesse created an artwork to be displayed within Capitec, reminding them of positive influence they’ve created in South Africa. Through Capitec Bank’s fundraising campaigns, Capitec was able to significantly support to these initiatives.

Managing Director of Food Forward SA, Andy du Plessis explains what they do, saying, “Our core business is in the recovery of edible surplus food from the supply chain. Many people don’t know this, but huge amounts of food that’s edible, that’s within date, that’s good for human consumption ends up as lost or wasted throughout the supply chain”.

Through working with farmers, wholesalers, retailers, and manufacturers, Food Forward SA intercepts the food at the right stage when it’s still usable and then redistributes it to over 1,000 non-profit organisations. Andy shares, “These organisations reach half a million people on a daily basis with either one meal a day or breakfast, lunch and dinner. In some cases, the facilities are open 7 days a week”.

Andy explains, “Capitec was quite concerned about the growing needs of people losing jobs. And with hard lockdown, food was scarce. So they worked with Food Forward SA to make sure they reached as many under-served populations as possible across the country”. Whatever their clients donated in their fundraising campaign, Capitec would match.

Jesse wants all South Africans to carry the same attitude banks like Capitec have. “The only time we start thinking about our country is when there’s a world cup or when there’s a national event. But as soon as it’s done, we pack our stuff away and we stop being South Africans. And it’s time to put that to an end. Let’s celebrate South Africa every day”.

“The South Africanist is all about positivity. And positivity is well received when you live it”, adds Jesse. Leaving us with this final call to action: “Be the South Africanist! Be what your country needs you to be. Do it for your dorpie, do it for your hood, do it for your kasi, do it for SA”.