Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans – 2018 Edition
Civil Society

Farhana Parker (30)

Social Entrepreneur: The Social Makeover

Farhana Parker’s qualifications paint a picture of her passion and commitment towards the development of her fellow citizens. Parker is a master’s candidate in Inclusive Innovation at the UCT Graduate School of Business, and holds a social work degree and three postgraduate qualifications in psychology, social policy and management and social innovation management.

These qualifications have been pivotal in laying the foundation for her to actively tackle issues of inequality and social injustice. “Our world is extremely unequal and unfair, and we see it every day in different situations. The gap between the rich and the poor, and the poor services and treatment based on one’s status, are disheartening realities that keep me up at night,” she says.

“This has encouraged me to pursue my master’s in Inclusive Innovation to enable me to do more in-depth research and make a contribution to addressing this complex challenge both on a local and global scale.”

Parker founded The Social Makeover, an enterprise with a special focus on the rights, development and advancement of women. Her passion for women’s issues and their empowerment has compelled her to make a difference, as she strongly believes in the important role women play in empowering communities. The Social Makeover enterprise has been instrumental in fostering an environment wherein Parker can effectively pursue and commit to a career of meaning and valuable social impact, serving and affirming the humanity of as many people as she can.

Parker’s work within South Africa’s civil society has seen her serving the most vulnerable communities as a social worker, and working as an executive support officer and special projects manager to the minister for social development, leading key projects (such as Youth Cafés) in the Western Cape. These valuable contributions to civil society are what drive her to continue her efforts towards the betterment of the communities she serves.

If anyone who has crossed paths with her forgets her name, she hopes they will remember her as a woman who actively and selflessly serves humanity with great passion, authenticity and humility. A woman who possesses the ability to positively influence and inspire others to live to their potential. Above all else, Parker strives to ensure that her knowledge and expertise are used to positively and progressively impact social and transformational processes in the world. — Simphiwe Rens

Twitter: @FarhanaParker