The 30th of November 2013 was yet another spectacular event day for Ikageng branch. Excitement and anxiety had the best of most grade 11learners at Ikageng as the first mentorship programme waited launching on this particular day. Hosted by IkamvaYouth and ABI, the event opened up a wider range of opportunities for these young township learners as they got paired with a mentor to take them with advice and support throughout their high school career till at tertiary level. Clemence Msindo(IkamvaYouth) and Georgette Naidoo (ABI) coordinated the day’s activities energetically.
Excitement started building up after a motivational speech by Roston from ABI that followed talent revealing acts and presentations from learners and tutors. Patrick delivered a speech explaining the significance of learners having mentors and guidelines on how the programme would be run. 18 grade 11 learners were later paired with mentors using a random selection method whereby mentors were addressed separately and picked up learners of the same sex with them from a list provided to avoid other learners feeling inferior when they couldn’t get mentors that day. The idea was also to surprise learners as the names were called and each two strangers officially met to start a long professional relationship that will see the learners being guided with suggestions, ideas, advice and networks useful as they follow their career path.
It was indeed an exciting event seeing smiling faces taking each other through the first meeting that marked a record in the history of the Ikageng branch being the first mentoring programme in the first IkamvaYouth branch in the North West Province and the first mentoring programme involving our main sponsors ABI’ staff as mentors. The day was a successful learning platform for all parties. The mentors and learners were given one hour introducing and getting to know each other, exchanging contacts and signing commitment contracts to assure each other and seal the deal entered between the two. There is much hope that the 17 learners who could not get mentors on this day would be paired with their mentors by end of February 2014. A total number of 35 grade 11 learners are expected to complete grade 12 with required attendance and commitment.
Meanwhile the learners who were not receiving mentors were engaging into different traditional plays and activities waiting for the main Sports Day events after the mentorship programme launching. The sporting activities started with four houses being selected from which teams were chosen to compete against each other in various gaming activities, each team having 17 members.
The sack race officially opened up the games for the day. The rules were simple; “hop your way in a sack to the finishing point without tearing your sack”. Spectators from either side were shouting and chanting songs supporting their teams. The event was getting heated with every activity carried out.
The egg race spiced up the games adding excitement to the event. The idea was to cross the finishing line on the first position with an egg safely settled in a spoon. Every team bravely fought to out-compete another so they could collect the highest number of points.
The wheelbarrow race concluded the competitions taking all participants to the prize giving ceremony for the day. Surfaced under the sun on good weather, the day ended sooner than expected as the fun kept calling for more games. Prizes were of backpacks, and were presented by ABI to team members from each side, who had collected highest marks than others. Special thanks to our sponsors ABI for gladly hosting the event as well as providing lunch and drinks that quenched everyone’s thirst. The day marked an official and successful year-end for the Ikageng Branch, leaving great expectations of embracing the year 2014 with much hope of taking on other IkamvaYouth programmes soon, with renewed strength and pride as Ikamvanites.