This past Friday finally saw months of preparation and planning for our annual Career Indaba come together in a hugely successful day. Over 1800 students, parents, and community members flooded the Zolani Centre hall in Nyanga to explore their post matric choices and job opportunities.

IkamvaYouth’s founding motto is one of future-oriented thinking and pro-activity. The Careers Indaba is a fundamental step in fostering this mind set in the youth of South Africa. It is challenging to dream of a better future and to aspire to goals without knowing the realities of these goals and the opportunities that are available.

The event was open to high school learners from around Khayelitsha, Nyanga, Masiphumelele and surrounds, who came together to think about their futures and really take their lives into their own hands. They were informed not only about their career options, but also attended workshops on financial literacy by Capitec, and CV writing, interview skills and online CV development through Career Planet.

Over 25 Universities, companies, professionals and NPOs from all over Cape Town attended the Indaba as exhibitors. They did not merely provide factual information about careers and studying opportunities, but they also conversed with these young people and delivered a message of hope and possibility. This message is crucial for youth who are the victims of poor education systems and who live in a community plagued by poverty and all its products: IkamvaYouth focuses on changing the mind-set of youth, to think beyond their immediate circumstances and to believe in themselves and the possibilities that their futures hold.

The day was an inspiring success, with many learners and exhibitors commented at how much they had gained from the experience. Axolile, grade 10 from Sizimisle Technical High School said the most important thing he learnt is, ‘to know what you want to be in life and be dedicated, this will for sure get you to be where you want to be. ‘ While Sizalobuhle from Sinako High School said that, ‘ the Career Indaba helped me learn more about my dream career of being a lawyer, where to study and how to get into the best courses and universities. I also found out about how to apply for bursaries, and how to manage my money through the workshops.’

To organize an event of this size we partnered with Equal Education in helping to organize exhibitors and set up the event, and SAEP and the Department of Social Development joined the crew. We are also hugely appreciative to Mxolisi and his team at the Zolani Centre for the use of the hall and surrounding spaces.