Meet the AspireHigher winner: Jazzman Simelane

Meet the AspireHigher winner: Jazzman Simelane

Jazzman Simelane

Jazzman Simelane is one of the three Aspire Higher competition winners who developed innovative concepts that have the potential to give girls & young women in sub-Saharan Africa access to sexual health education by the year 2025.  His project named “Imbokodo LaunchPad” received a share of USD $ 145 000 in funding from RB and Gildead which has been granted towards its trial phase. The top-performimg trial will receive a further USD $ 145 000 grant from Gilead Sciences to scale up the project and implement its. Jazzman shares the following update on his project.


In response to a competition announced by CAPSI, RB & Gilead for postgraduate students to submit game-changing ideas to address sexual education and enhance female economic empowerment, I prepared a proposal for Imbokodo LaunchPad. Growing up in Tsakane township in Johannesburg South Africa,  I observed that a number of youth development programmes formulated to deal with HIV/AIDS, teenage pregnancy.  However, these programmes have proven to be ineffective as they employ techniques and quick fixes that address the acute problems but left the underlying chronic problems untouched to fester and resurface time and again. To provide additional context, Tsakane has a high prevalence of HIV/AIDS amongst adolescent girls and young women.  And while piloting in Tsakane, the project has the potential to scale to other townships across South Africa.   


Imbokodo LuanchPad is a community-centred, principle-centred and character-based approach following a four-pronged operating model. The crux of the LaunchPads is that they are embedded in the communities and the use of sport, especially soccer and netball are the crucial element of the proposal. On the proposal, I have indicated a couple of options, i.e. using underutilised land in township schools and underutilised township soccer stadiums that remain underused and have become white elephants. Tholulwazi Secondary School in Tsakane has agreed to give us their underutilized land to house the development hub. 


As part of the competition, RB has allocated a seed capital and there is a potential for further funding from Gilead Sciences to a project that is showing more results and impact. The pilot will run for 12 months – and it needs to be in Tskane township where there is the highest prevalence of HIV/AIDS among adolescent girls and young women.   Due to the limited seed capital, as part of my project I have proposed to use converted containers for the following: 

 Tutoring and homework centre 

  • Coffee shop set up as shared working space 
  • Change rooms and toilets  


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