​Dare To Lead announces Ambassadors to join Clipper Round the World Yacht Race

15 November 2023

At a launch event hosted during the Clipper Race stopover in Cape Town, four young Africans were announced as the latest Ambassadors to take part in Dare To Lead’s social responsibility initiative - credited with ‘changing lives’ through participation in a tough global challenge.

Image: Dare To Lead Ambassadors (L-R) Adams, Luci, Ntokozo, Olwami

‘Dare To Lead – Liyaba’ takes young people from challenging backgrounds and develops their confidence, resilience, and leadership skills through participating in the gruelling Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.

Earlier this year, a team from the Clipper Race flew out to Durban to meet with the 30 candidates who had been shortlisted to attend a three-day selection. The team – which included former Clipper Race First Mate and Training Skipper, Mary Vaughan-Jones, Race Crew Coordinator Lucy Fisher and Head of Communications, Karla Graves –the applicants took part in a tough multi-day selection process, from which successful Ambassadors were selected.

Now four of the successful candidates from South Africa and Mozambique will take on some of the toughest ocean crossings on the planet as they step on board Dare To Lead over the next four consecutive legs. Last week, Dare To Lead was crowned champion of Race 3 after the team, skippered by South African Ryan Gibson, arrived in Cape Town in the top spot.

Joining the team in South Africa is Luci Mensah,19, from Maputo, Mozambique. She joins Dare To Lead for Leg 3 where the team will take on the notorious Roaring Forties as it races towards Fremantle in Western Australia.

Image: Luci in Cape Town this week

Luci says she applied for the Dare To Lead – Liyaba initiative to test herself: “I felt that I would be putting myself out there in terms of challenging myself, testing my limits.

“As a young black female, there are already so many stereotypes placed upon us, I Intend to use this opportunity to break out of those stereotypes.”

Luci who arrived in Cape Town to join the Dare To Lead team for its prep day on Monday (13 November), added: “I’m unemployed and strive to become a civil engineer beginning my studies next year. It would mean so much to see other young strong black females being encouraged to do the same (break stereotypes) to follow their dreams and become someone in the future.”

Image: The Dare To Lead Ambassadors meet the Dare To Lead team

Three Ambassadors will then join Dare To Lead on subsequent legs:

Olwami Zungu (19), Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, Leg 4: Australian Coast-to-Coast Leg. Olwami describes himself as not only a student but also an entrepreneur. He says the project will give him the opportunity to do something different and get to grow his network with people from around the world.

He said: “It means a lot to me as it gives me an opportunity to break barriers installed in my community, giving the new generation a broader mindset about things they can do and achieve, also giving them the confidence and courage to do things out of the norm, hopefully making a long lasting impact on my country for the better.”

Ntokozo Msiya (20),Durban, Leg 5–starting in Airlie Beach, Australia and visiting Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam before Zhuhai, China. She is currently a volunteer at Sail Africa Youth Development. She said: “One day I see myself as a professional ocean race skipper.

“I applied for this because I wanted to challenge myself and also lead by example, that regardless of your background or gender you have the ability to change your life, just put your mind to it and, as much as you dream about it, work towards it.”

Adams Desmond (22), Durban, Leg 6 from Zhuhai, China to Seattle, USA on the US West Coast – crossing the mighty North Pacific Ocean. Adams is an intern at LIV Durban/LIV Invest. He says he applied for this project because the Clipper Race represents the ultimate test of sailing skills, determination, and spirit of adventure.

Adams said: “To me, it’s not just a race, but a transformative journey that pushes the boundaries of what I thought possible. The race means a chance to explore the world’s oceans, learn from the unpredictable nature of the sea, and form lasting connections with fellow sailors who share the same passion. It’s an opportunity to embrace challenges and achieve personal growth while experiencing the profound beauty of our planet from a unique perspective.”

The project was renamed with the inclusion of ‘Liyaba’ during the last edition to visit Cape Town in 2019 to commemorate one of the first participants - Sbu Liyaba - who, despite forging a new life for himself, was tragically murdered in the township where he grew up while visiting his grandmother.

The Dare To Lead initiative was created by Dirk van Daele, a financier involved in green technology and fintech, after he participated in the Clipper Race back in 2009-10 and saw its powerful effect on inner-city youth from the UK.

Image: Dare To Lead founder Dirk Van Daele with Ambassadors new and old

He says: “Young people in this programme return with a new self-belief and determination to succeed personally and for their communities. Many have become positive role-models for their peers.

“We will mentor them through their continued development after their participation in the Clipper Race, as we have previous candidates.”

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