Natania Botha lived a very carefree life as a child. However, she then encountered great difficulties and was forced to leave high school, find a job and become the breadwinner for her family. Through hard work and determination, Botha returned to school and then graduated. “I am now in the process of completing my master’s in international business,” she says.
This year, Botha travelled extensively around South Africa to document the effects of climate change as part of her work as an environmental activist. Her goal is to build value-adding and sustainable relationships with social and political leaders to uplift communities and mobilise citizens to create green and inclusive spaces. “My determination and desire is to live a purpose-led life,” says Botha.
Her proudest moments include being part of Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans in 2021, featuring in the Top 12 Females in the Corporate Social Responsibility News South Africa awards (also in 2021) and being part of the Young African Leadership Initiative (Yali Alumnus).
She believes that we need to care for the natural environment because we are an extension of it. “Let’s see things as if you are half human and half plant, because without trees and plants, we will not be able to breathe and human inhabitancy on earth will not be possible,” she says. “We need to protect and nurture this connection with nature at all costs.”
Botha explains that the only way we can ensure permanent sustainability is to actively support and empower the youth to innovate. “We need to unlock our minds to think beyond the Paris Agreement and create the desired world we want to not only see for our children, but experience for ourselves in this lifetime.”
Let’s see things as if you are half human and half plant