As the great Malcolm X once said “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today”. Ikamvanites from greater Midrand region, Ebony and Ivory Park, took a golden step in ensuring that the eventuality will inevitably become reality. IkamvaYouth Midrand branches graced the shores of The University of Johannesburg, Soweto Campus for an informative career guidance expo which was aimed at exposing learners to different courses and career fields to follow.
Ikamvanites in grade 11 and 12 wanted to know and understand what their journey still entails and how to go about reaching their ultimate goals and it was also an opportunity for them to recharge their batteries. What better way to start the proceedings than with an introductory presentation about the culture of the university and challenges that are associated with being a student in the University! One of the main challenges the youth of South Africa are facing is lack of funding. The presentation accentuated on the fact that funding may not be a barrier for high school students if they have good marks. The University advises learners to study hard and follow their passion and they will prevail. Ikamvanites and other peers from different schools and regions had the opportunity to get more information on merit bursaries and sources of funding available to them.
A number of departments exhibited on the day including the Faculty of Humanities, Law, Management, Engineering and Economic and Financial Sciences which gave Ikamvanites a whole lot of information for their benefit. Personal breakthrough observations were made, with a majority of the Ikamvanites becoming certain of their career paths. Tsakani Sambo one of the Ikamvanites said “ The career expo was exactly what I needed, It exposed me to a whole new world and careers I never thought existed, IT business management is what hit deep in my heart”. Experience is the best teacher, consequently in our efforts to continue changing the lives of Ikamvanites it is essential that we expose them to the jungle so as when they go to hunt, it is not a foreign land to them. Aluta continua victoria acerta.
Four Grade 12 learners from Ocean View High School used the opportunity presented to them by a life orientation assignment to share with the Masinites their research on what is known as the silent emotional killer: RAPE.
They were tasked by their school to compile and share the topic with 50 people, and also give them questionnaires to answer based on the information shared with them. They felt compelled to share the information they had with the Masinites in all grades, so they could learn about rape and know that SILENCE DOES NOT MEAN CONSENT!
Nothing was as inspiring as watching them confidently delivering their presentation; Janice (the Masiphumelele English FUNdamentals Tutor) was also thrilled to witness the quality of their delivery. The learners sat quietly, digesting the information passed on to them, listening to their fellow school-mates and when the time came, asking questions; I believe that was the best part, we knew that they were engaging with the information. I can safely say that the learners left there with so much information on rape, thanks to the friendly presenters.
BIG UP MASINITES!!! With that confidence, you will go places!
A career expo was held on the 30th of April at the IkamvaYouth Mamelodi branch and we had different exhibitors, some guest speakers and an inspirational MC, Thulani Mphahlele, who delivered a speech which was in the form of an affirmation. He emphasized that “we are created to create, designed to deliver” and we opened our hands in acknowledgment that indeed the future is in our hands.
Guest speaker and senior lecturer at the University of Pretoria, Dr. Craig Grobbler gave a talk about his life, he told us what led him to be where he is now, “If you are born poor it is not your fault, but if you die poor it is your fault.” Challenges will always be there to test how far we are willing to go with perseverance and hard work . What I learned was to never give up on my dreams, don’t prove those who doubt you wrong but prove to yourself that you are right
Some of the exhibitors on the day were ABI, YCAP, Richfield, Boston, and Nedbank. Nedbank taught us that we can actually open bank accounts at the age of 16, these are student accounts and they gave us the opportunity to complete application forms. Boston is college and they offer bursaries to students pursuing commercial subjects. YCAP is a program that offers young people a platform to do projects that they believe can change their communities and help them to live with purpose.
I learned a lot and now I am much wiser about the career I want to follow. Thank you IkamvaYouth for the opportunity and l am looking forward to next career expo.
On a sunny Saturday morning on 30th April, Makhaza gr. 11 Ikamvanites travelled to the leafy UCT campus to attend a University preparation workshop organized specifically for them, by UCT Golden Key Society. Golden Key is an internationally recognized, non-profit organization and the world’s largest honour society, whose membership is limited to the top 15% of degree students at selected universities.
IkamvaYouth learners were welcomed by UCT GK Service Director Katherine Tredinnick, Committee Member Kossivi Fangbemi and Service Sub Com Members Tinashe Choga and Lindsay Cook, who gave short presentations on a variety of study-related subjects. The importance of a healthy diet, exercise and sleep were highlighted as effective ways to reduce stress. Fun videos and slide shows advised Ikamvanites on the benefits of avoiding a big study sessions right before exams and improving time management by organizing a timetable with shorter studying sessions. The 9 best scientific study tips were shared in detail with the enthusiastic audience.
During the question and answer session, Ikamvanites engaged GK members with a number of questions on university student life and on their personal studying techniques. Their answers highlighted the importance of making notes in one’s own words, asking teacher or tutors for clarification if needed and organizing small study groups with close and motivate and always studying to understand so that you may confidently pass on the information to the next person, “If you can’t explain it to someone else then you don’t know it.”
Keynote speaker for the day was the formidable and passionate Ms. Nambita Ntshongwana, Student Recruitment Officer at UCT Admissions Office. Ms. Ntshongwana reiterated how high school students residing in Cape Town metro should feel a sense of ownership towards UCT and strive to ensure their rightful place there, by keeping up their grades to allow for admission. She urged learners to be responsible in their choices and to be wise with time allocation, “If we know which PSL teams are playing, we should also know in just as much detail, university admission requirements and other information key to our future.” We need to invest today in the vision that we have for our tomorrow, we must have not only dreams but solid plans. Ms. Ntshongwana mentioned the existence of a strong partnership to allow students to reach a bright future through tertiary education: the government, NSFAS (National Student Financial Aid Scheme) and their parents are ready to support their vision, but they need to actively participate and ensure good grades in school to qualify for that support. By focusing on and prioritizing their studies, with great and constant motivation, they can turn their heir dreams into reality.
The workshop has been a great opportunity for Ikamvanites to get exposure to UCT campus, to receive guidance and practical tips from university students and to get inspired about the possibilities that their future might bring.The day was memorable and highly motivational, as shown by the posters and presentations learners prepared on the focal points of the experience.
We thank UCT Golden Key members for coordinating the day, for their time, passion and support. We look forward to organising similar events in partnership with tertiary education institutions and a number of students associations, to ensure Ikamvanites will have useful tools to succeed in the future, since we always say ikamva lisezandleni zethu, the future *is* in our hands!
It’s official! IkamvaYouth will be opening its doors in Atlantis in June 2016, thanks to the support of GreenCape. The branch will be located at Proteus Secondary School, which lies in the centre of the small Western Cape town. GreenCape ‘s involvement in Atlantis is part of the Atlantis Greentech special economic zone which is an initiative by the Western Cape government to drive industrial and economic development in the area.
Preparation has begun for the new Atlantis branch, which has included the recruitment of the Atlantis Branch Coordinator, Yanga Toyti. Yanga has been part of IY since 2014, working in Makhaza at IY’s largest branch and is currently completing a BSc in Mathematics and Statistics through UNISA.
Yanga is looking forward to interacting with the youth in Atlantis to see how much impact can be made together. According to Yanga, “It will be an interesting time and I can’t wait! IkamvaYouth is all about overcoming the odds. There is no such thing as a hopeless situation, there is always a way. We believe in the power of education to change a person, a community and the entire nation!”
IY at Atlantis Career Expo:
On Saturday 23 April, Yanga and Simone (our Western Cape District Manager) attended a Career Expo at the Atlantis Public Library organized by Educo Africa. IY had the opportunity to announce the launch of our new branch, and engage with learners and other members of the local community. The event was facilitated by Marilee van der Merwe, a student from Atlantis currently completing a degree in Financial Accounting from UWC. Her passion for youth development and empowerment was palpable, and inspired all in attendance. It is greatly encouraging to engage with members of the community who are so motivated to inspire change.
Thanks to Educo Africa for organizing the event, and to Marilee for her energy and enthusiasm. We look forward to joining the Atlantis community soon.