Throughout my career, I have been impelled by the words of Thomas Sankara “Our revolution is not a public-speaking tournament. Our revolution is not a battle of fine phrases. Our revolution is not simply for spouting slogans that are no more than signals used by manipulators trying to use them as catchwords, as codewords, as a foil for their own display. Our revolution is, and should continue to be, the collective effort of revolutionaries to transform reality, to improve the concrete situation of the masses of our country.”


Civil Society


Gauteng Provincial Legislature

Musa Mack, 29, is a petitions analyst and policy committee member at the Gauteng Provincial Legislature and a masters candidate in public policy at Wits University. Mack believes democracy and good governance is important to reshape the lived experiences of marginalised people. She is part of a cohort that developed the Legislature E-petitions portal that enables the public to submit their service delivery requests on the portal for intervention and resolution by the Gauteng Provincial Legislature. She supports MPLs in the petitions standing committee in resolving petitions. Making an impression on the global stage, Mack was a judge for the Queens Commonwealth Essay Competition in 2021. She encourages young people to be involved in model legislature to learn about parliamentary processes and set them up as leaders of the future. She assists young people in writing speeches for model legislature parliamentary debates. Through the citizen responsibility campaign, she reached out to more than 5,000 first-time voters in Gauteng to encourage them to exercise their constitutional right. She is passionate about education and developed a campaign, #IncreaseUniversitySpace, that has already collected more than 4,700 signatures. Mack is working to develop an AI application that simplifies legislation to make it more accessible for all South Africans.

  • Masters in Public Policy scholar at the University of the Witwatersrand 
  • BA Honours in Development Studies obtained from the University of Witwatersrand 
  • BA in Public Management and Governance obtained from the University of Johannesburg

I am committed to advancing South Africa’s nascent democracy project. I was a subject expert that reviewed the Gauteng Petitions Act 05 of 2002 for the legislation to give effect to the separation of powers and subpoena and evoke punitive measures for members of the executive authority that fail to account to the Petitions Standing Committee. In addition, I developed the concept document for the e-Petition system. In collaboration with the Department of E-gov in Gauteng and the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and petitions team, I developed the e-petitions portal to broaden Gauteng residents’ access to the petitions system of the legislature. In addition, I managed the Standardisation of Oversight and Accountability Project to standardize the Executive authority’s reporting to Chapter 9 institutions and developed templates which enable the institutions to obtain holistic information on the executive authority’s performance for in-depth scrutiny monitoring. This has enabled Portfolio Committees to strengthen oversight. The institution’s endeavours fuelled my commitment to be part of a cohort to strengthen governance measures in South Africa and extend my work to the African continent to contribute to the realization of Africa’s key aspiration of good governance. I was involved in the Civic Responsibility Campaign (CRC) and took activist roles in the #FeesMustFall and #IncreaseUniversitySpace. I am also a Teaching Human Rights Fellow at the Human Project and a Young African Leadership Institute (YALI) Mentor for the Judiciary, Law, and Policy sectors. In 2021 I was Judge for the Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition (QCEC) and was appointed Policy Committee Member at the Gauteng Provincial Legislature in 2022. Due to assiduousness in my academics, I received a number of academic accolades, notably the Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence during my undergraduate study in 2012; I was awarded the WITS Postgraduate Honours Merit Scholarship, and I was selected to be a Member of Golden Key Society in 2020 in recognition of my outstanding academic performance.

I remember watching a particular Oprah Winfrey show with Mom in 2005 where Oprah shared her childhood trauma; some of her childhood experiences resonated with mine – having been physically abused and later abandoned by my dad, and destitute, my expression became somber. Gracefully my mom affirmed to me, “Your experiences do not define you,” and encouraged me to draw inspiration from Oprah.

One piece of advice I would give to my younger self is to be patient. There were times I felt discouraged by the protracted time governance processes to take. Over the years, I have experienced that the wheels of change take time to turn, and I have thus surrounded myself with mentors to guide me along my career path, who have assisted me in building resilience.

In the midst of economic tumult and political instability, I would like to see more young people in governance processes and being at the forefront of decision-making in legislatures. To see more people empowered to contribute actively to policy-making. Also, to see legislation having been simplified for the layman. I am currently working to develop an AI application that simplifies legislation. Also, to see South Africans’ hope in government being restored. Having adopted legislation that imposes stringent punitive measures for the misappropriation.  I also envisage the country leveraging technologies to improve service delivery. Consequentially, the country has increased business activity and has realized a better economic state.

View previous winners from 2018 to 2022

Subcribe to the newsletter