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Q&A with JumpStart alumnus, Siduduzile Mthembu

Early Childhood Development (ECD), entrepreneurship, and dreams of becoming a speech therapist motivate JumpStart success story, Siduduzile Mthembu. There’s nothing small about her educational ambitions, which took some time to get going. There’s everything big about her determination to come back from hard times. Her life’s focus now is her work as an educator, entrepreneurship, and the dream of becoming a speech therapist. These things keep her in the books – literally and metaphorically. She wants to make a real difference to Katlehong, the community she cares about most. Sometimes you take a detour to get to where you’re supposed to be… How did it all start? After matriculating at Alafang High School I started an accounting diploma at Mangosuthu University of Technology in 2009. Plans didn’t go well. The stress of my studies and the pressure of changing my family’s future led to depression. Although it felt like failure, the skills I learned informed […]

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Giving on Mandela Day

Share the love on Mandela Day

Every year the world celebrates Mandela Day on the 18th July. In previous years social media timelines buzzed with companies donating and doing good … How do we respond now? How do we remain open-hearted with the threat of Covid stretching us all? Under these circumstances, gratitude and giving take on a new significance. Maybe living and giving is beneficial for your health!? Ubuntu and empathy lead the way The spirit of ubuntu is an essentially African value that explores how we become more authentically ourselves by virtue of our connection with others. In a simpler way, our compassion for neighbours is what humanises us. By recognising another’s need and responding to it, we in turn feel more connected and less alone. “I am because of who we all are” is the direct translation of the Zulu idiom: “Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu.” It becomes us all to think about how we can pass along the good […]

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Mosa Letsie

Life under lockdown #4: Mosa Letsie survives by studying – UPDATED!

Mosa Letsie, a Sasolburger born and bred, found that lockdown can be survived by sticking to the books. This mathematics tutor at Malakabeng Primary School in Zamdela loves the school wholeheartedly. “I’m part of the family, as Principal Kganakga says!” says Mosa. Four months of lockdown without teaching has been painfully frustrating. Continuing her honours degree in education research through UNISA with a StudyAssist bursary is saving her sanity.  Goodbye graduation and good times Life during lockdown hit us hard. The first thing to go was my graduation ceremony! Oh my word…  Covid-19 robbed me of the chance to get up on the podium. We are still waiting for virtual graduation, and no certificate has come yet. I was so prepared for the occasion with my brand new dress and heels… The second thing to go was our social life. Looking around Zamdela, everyone locked themselves in their houses. No children were seen playing on […]

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Youth careers: dreaming for real

Youth careers are a fluid thing. Times are changing. New careers exist that our parents have never even heard of. Doors close and window open. What do you want to be when you grow up? Be careful what you wish for, lest it come true! Because we’re human, we’re born with the capacity to imagine our lives. While some children drive fire trucks or police cars; others bandage their brothers or doctor their dolls; and future choir conductors teach the neighbourhood kids to sing… What makes you lean in to life? The lucky ones amongst us knew early and exactly what they wanted to do. They seemed to dance onto the stage of their adult lives, knowing the moves before anyone else had even learnt the rhythm. Many people – arguably most people – don’t get the chance to follow their dreams. They have to try out a number of steps, wander down various paths, […]

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Given Msibi

Life under lockdown #3: Given Msibi in his own words

Given Msibi is a tutor with a fire for words. He observed and articulated the struggles of his colleagues and the learners in his care during lockdown. A drummer in his church band, Given takes every opportunity to stand up as a motivational speaker. Or did… until everything turned upside down this March. However, this aspiring data analyst and software engineer still has big plans. He wants to trouble the world, while yet spreading The Word to those in need. He shares his experience during Youth Month… A little backstory His mother never had the opportunity to get educated but her strength and resilience laid great foundations. She was a domestic worker who single-handedly raised her six children. It’s Given’s plan to make his mother proud. He matriculated in 2010 and then started a BSc at UJ. Without adequate finance, he couldn’t complete his degree. After working in the retail industry, he tried again to […]

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