Pearl Pillay

Pearl Pillay

Pearl has been an activist and practitioner in the youth development space in Johannesburg, South Africa for almost 10 years. She has served organisations like Amnesty International, where she was President of the branch and was then elected to the Wits Student Representative Council in 2013.

Over the years, she worked in different countries around Africa, training public officials on how to make their policies more beneficial for young people. In 2015, she became the recipient of the Mandela Washington Fellowship. In the same year, she featured in the Mail and Guardian’s list of Top 200 young South Africans, as well as Fast Company SA’s Top 20 Under 25 List for her work in youth engagement. Most recently, I was elected as an executive board member of the African Movement for Democracy.

She was also part of Back Chat, a youth advisory group, selected by the then Deputy Minister in the Presidency responsible for Youth, Buti Manamela. This group regularly met with the Deputy Minister to advise him on how to maximise his youth development interventions.

Among other special projects she pursued over the years includes Election Observation in Liberia and Tunisia; Curriculum Development and Facilitation: Political Party Strengthening Institute by the National Democratic Institute (NDI) based in Washington DC.

She has knowledge and skills in Research, Writing, Public Speaking, Facilitation, Methodology Development and Programme Development and Implementation.

Pearl occasionally writes for Careers Magazine, Tagged Online, The Daily Maverick and The Mail and Guardian with special focus on politics, race, social movements and Feminism.

She has published a joint chapter with Tessa Dooms titled: Black Entrepreneurship Journeys. In (Eds) Cawe, S & Mabasa K. (2020). Beyond Tenderpreneurship: Rethinking Black Business and Economic Empowerment. A MISTRA Publication.

She is currently the Managing Director of Youth Lab, a national youth think-tank that aims to mainstream youth participation in community development and policy-making.