YouTuber Vee Kativhu’s mission is to help young people reach potential
Vee Kativhu is a 24-year-old YouTuber and Girls’ Education Activist who uses her online platforms to support over 300,000 underrepresented youth to reach their full academic potential.
She spoke to PodcastingToday to tell us about her work and her passion to help young people of today to have a better tomorrow.
Vee was born and raised in Zimbabwe before moving to the UK at the age of six. It was her upbringing and witnessing educational inequality around her that inspired her to help others.
“I wanted to see young people from underrepresented backgrounds get the support they needed to gain access to higher education,” she says.
It took a lot of work and determination, but it paid off as she gained two degrees, a bachelor’s degree from Oxford University and a masters’ degree from Harvard University in International Education Policy. She is a Young Leader for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), and recently published a self-help book called “EMPOWERED”.
She also helps students in workshops in schools and universities around the world through her non-profit organisation, Empowered By Vee.
Vee explains: “I set up ‘Empowered By Vee’ to provide life changing skills to students who feel unsupported and run renowned Empowerment Workshop for thousands of young people in schools and universities around the world.
“In addition to my work as an author, with the release of the practical self-help book EMPOWERED for young people, I am also a dedicated volunteer for female education focused charities and serve as a Global Education Ambassador for organisations such as United World Schools, CAMFED (Campaign for Female Education), and GirlUp Zimbabwe.”
The YouTube channel is a major part of what Vee does, she says: “It’s wonderful to see so many people gravitate towards the channel because it means we are building a safe, encouraging and meaningful space on the internet.
“I enjoy the community I have been able to gather and feel grateful for their support and for them allowing me to play a small role in their academic journeys.”
The channel was launched in 2017 after Vee started university and she says that it’s probably the best decision she’s ever made. She prefers speaking into a camera to visually express herself but has been considering launching a podcast because it’s her belief the two would work well together.
It’s probably something she’ll do in 2024 because she has a lot to share and thinks speaking so much would be better for a one-hour podcast than in a video format, which might not work as well.
Vee has found her voice through her YouTube channel and building its popularity, even though there’s a lot of other “self-help” out there, has come naturally to her.
“I believe that everyone is unique in their own right, and although my story was unique to me, there were many students who had experienced similar disadvantages,” she says. “In the advice I share, I like to be as transparent as possible since it’s an everyday struggle we have shared. When I share my advice and tips, I draw from life experience and thus the advice is extremely practical, accessible and relatable to most.”
Vee is also an ambassador for Samsung’s Solve for Tomorrow, a programme for 16-25-year-olds across the UK and Ireland. It runs a competition for them to submit ideas that address a problem within the area of Education, Sustainability, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion, and Health & Wellbeing.
Those chosen are invited to take part in a series of workshops, receive invaluable mentorship from Samsung employees and industry experts, and win a £10,000 top prize.
By working as an ambassador on the programme, Vee says: “I can really shine a light on the opportunities that are out there for young people, the advice and mentorship on hand to help them make their ideas become realities.”
It’s hard to see how there are enough hours in the day for Vee to do all she does, but it doesn’t stop there!
“My main plan is to continue my PhD studies in Education Leadership,” she says, “and to continue working alongside other change-makers to address the pressing issue of the 130 million girls who are denied access to education.
“I want to support more initiatives like Solve for Tomorrow that are helping young people find purpose and ultimately design a better future for themselves. Opportunities are out there,” she adds.
Find out more about Vee Kativhu and her work on her YouTube channel.