Quick Bio – View my blog here
|Country representing||South Africa|
|University education||University of Witwatersrand|
|Areas of interest||Business
I am passionate about
Empowering the girl child, especially one from a disadvantaged background, with essential life skills needed to survive in adverse communities, develop dignity and self-esteem and hence impact her future. South Africa currently faces high rates of teenage pregnancy, which causes many girls to drop out of high school thereby creating a unemployment and dependency on the government. Teen pregnancy is caused by socio-economic issues such as poverty, peer pressure and poor education – most teenagers who get pregnant lack proper knowledge of contraception or are ignorant about the risks of unprotected sex. Lack of self-esteem and confidence is a prevalent trend amongst young girls which often leave them vulnerable. However a young girl is able to make better choices about her sex life when she is self confident and realizes her potentials. This self confidence helps to unleash her full potential and ability to create better future for herself and her community. Such a transformed girl is usually an inspiration not only to her family, but serves as an example to her friends. In addition to empowering the girl child, I am also passionate about the African woman. My dream is to use education as a tool to liberate and uplift the African woman to maximize her potentials. Most African customs are traditionally very chauvinistic. Thus African women must work a balance between their customs and empowerment. For instance, it is an acceptable African tradition to marry off a a very young girl, against her will, to a man maybe three or four times her age. Such practices undermine the struggle of the African woman and yet are still quite common in South Africa today. This kind of system strips a young female of her basic human rights. Usually there is no one to speak for her and she remains trapped in such a system throughout her adult life, if she can put up with it. Those who can handle it end up running away or even ending their lives. Victims of this system of tradition have very few opportunities and for them finishing high school becomes a dream. Lastly, I am concerned about the problem of unemployment in my country, South Africa. Besides lack of job opportunities, one other problem that faces youths is lack of qualification. Essential skills that employers seek in employees such as communication skills are lacking. The government has an obligation here: It must make it a top priority to train young people in acquiring new skills in order to me more competitive. Youths from underrepresented communities are usually most in need of such skills as resume cover letter writing, communication skills, how to search for jobs, etc. Setting up youth centres, equipped with internet connections, to provide for these services will go a long way in helping youths from disadvantaged communities find jobs. It’s not only a role for the government but the private sector too.
I have spearheaded a number of initiatives in the past years. The first of these is the Lady Frere Mentorship Programme for which I am the Founder and Chairperson. The programme helps disadvantaged rural schools and students from Lady Frere, rural Eastern Cape, South Africa (where I hail from) by running mentorship programs, career guidance and academic mentoring which the students are not afforded as they are so isolated from urban areas. I’m also the Chairperson of the Conference on Leadership in Africa which brings together established leaders in African leadership to dialogue with the young up-and-coming leaders and teach them to be more ethical and proactive leaders. I am also the Founder and current Project Manager of the Young African Leaders Series which profiles young up-and-coming leaders to inspire, motivate and defuse the myths of African youth being passive, shallow and inactive agents for change – by highlighting young active agents for change in Africa. I am currently completing a research internship with the Centre for AIDS Development Research and Evaluation (CADRE) at the Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER) and Masters in Anthropology (thesis only) at Rhodes University. There are more, CV available on request.