“Men and Women all over the world, right down the centuries, come and go. Some leave nothing behind, not even their names. It would seem that they never existed at all”…It was this quote, by the late Tata Madiba that drowned within the ocean of my soul that started it all, a voyage of discovering not only my vision but more deeply the purpose of my very existence.
I come from a little town called Ennerdale, situated South-West of Johannesburg. An underdeveloped community wherein youth are ravaged by substance abuse, gang violence, teenage pregnancy and youth unemployment. Often have I observed, many who fail to look any further beyond the town’s borders. Enslaved by the mentality of accepting their hope in change stolen by their circumstances. Born into a clergy family where both my parents are unemployed and disabled, I grew up facing numerous challenges, loss and at times very few opportunities. Despite these obstacles I found myself as the mythological phoenix, rising up from my ashes, going beyond the limitations of my community.
My passion for the field of Political Science, International Relations and Development Studies was birth when , interacting with leaders in government as well as being in the presence of fellow youth leaders from all over the world, each with their own unique struggle, I realised the potential I have as a young African in this time. Among all the pains in the world, one cannot be a spectator rather, should seek to be active Changemakers, challenging perspectives, breaking paradigms and building bridges of understanding in all of humanity, one person at a time. I wanted to do more then just exist, I wanted to leave a living legacy that sought to inspire change and impact the hopeless.
I believe that the smallest daily acts of good has ripple effects creating greater social change. From creating grassroots initiatives aimed at breaking the chains of youth in my hometown, to facilitating mentorship and social entrepreneurship workshops as a volunteer in several NGOs, I am always keen to share the skills I am fortunate to acquire across my experiences to empower the youth of the African continent. In retrospect, I find that being a leader is more than having the ability to drive a group to a destination of principle but ultimately true leadership lies in humility and selflessness with the ability to inspire others to see the potential within themselves, to have the confidence their own leadership blueprint.
I would be beyond grateful for the opportunity to stand on the shoulder of giants as I pursue my Honours Degree in Politics and International Relations, moulded to bring further change in my community as well as have support for my dream and purpose, to stand as a light to youth in my hometown and all of Africa, share the personal truth I came to discover, that circumstance shall not be the dictator of one's aspirations, but that potential shall be ignited and reign always where it is encouraged and given the light shine.