Not a single seat was left unused as we had our Open Day at the Chesterville branch of Ikamva Youth. In our midst were parents, former, current and aspiring Ikamvanites, librarians, our amazing tutors, staff and a representative from ABI. There were more than 130 people in the Vuyani Nkosi Memorial Youth Centre wanting to find out more about IkamvaYouth and the programmes offered and what the requirements were.
The singing of our National Anthem marked the beginning of the event. That was followed by the welcoming of guests by the new branch coordinator, Nelisa Luhabe. Cheryl Nzama, branch assistant, then went ahead to explain the IY model and what is required to become an Ikamvanite. She outlined the attendance requirements as well as explained reasons for possible dismissals/ kickouts. The plan was to have the Funeka’s story video projected but the Chesterville electricity had gone out just moments before the event began. It was exciting to see how even in the heat of a fully packed room with no air-conditioning serious learners and parents stayed to the end.
A Q&A session was opened by our ever so enthusiastic MC, Sbonelo “Blstk” Cele. Parents and learners asked very relevant questions to which Cheryl gave clarity.
We had a guest speaker, Ntokozo Hlongwane who is CEO of Ikusas’elihle Youth Coaching and Leadership Development (Pty) Ltd (IYCLD), motivational speaker and author of “How to finish grade 12 with maximum distinctions” who spoke extensively about having the right attitude towards school work and how one’s attitude will determine their altitude.
A past and present learner spoke about their experiences at IkamvaYouth and how their marks improved as well as how much fun they had while at it. A tutor encouraged learners and also spoke about the investment they as tutors are making. Mr. Mzwandile Majola of the Chesterville library also spoke on behalf of libraries, encouraging the culture of reading and familiarizing oneself with information centres.
There is also a lot of talent at IY-Chesterville. Almost all the entertainment was done by our very own Ikamvanites from our singing sensations Nomkhosi and Leeh, to our poets Phelele and Thobani and the guys from IY-Umlazi who have composed a rap song for IkamvaYouth about IkamvaYouth just put the ‘cherry on top’. The Open Day session ended with application forms being given to about 50 interested applicants who will be randomly chosen into the program.
After drinks, sponsored by ABI and a comfort break, we proceeded to the second part of the day- The Prize Giving. Leaners who have achieved an attendance of 75% and above were awarded certificates and others received prizes according to categories that had been voted for by the learners. ABI played a very important part in making sure each and every learner and tutor who has committed themselves to this programme received a gift that they would be happy about. Other gifts were sponsored by UKZN (pens) and MIET Africa (lanyards).