Tuesday, 23 July 2013

The words of Thabang Mahlangu (one of our mentors)

motivational talk delivered to Grade 10 and 11 learners from Alexandra township, attending Saturday classes at St Mary's in June 2013 :

"I am 25 years old and I grew up as an only child with a single parent mother, in Middelburg. I matriculated in 2005 and got a bursary to study accounting at the University of Pretoria. It was quite an achievement to get a degree in my community. After graduating, I started to work while doing my honours degree.

Education is your choice and is a true liberator. It gives you the freedom to choose where to work, where to live and what car you buy. You can decide which side of the M1 highway you want to stay: in Alex or Sandton !

When I was a boy, watching a television programme called Top Billing with my mother, I told her that one day, I will live in my dream suburb and drive my dream car. You must believe in yourself and not think that because you are from a township,  you can’t succeed. There is nothing sad about staying in a township, it can be a lovely place. You might face challenges in your family like abuse, alcoholism, but the world has less time to listen to victim stories than to success stories. And you can succeed.

At school, we often blame the teacher if we don’t understand. But did you ask him question after class? Or perhaps ask other resources that you have (St Mary’s Saturday school)? Did you go the extra mile to ensure that you understand ? Don’t be a passive learner, be active and diligent. Don’t just think about chatting with your friends and socialising...or you might just become a statistic, one of the 42 % of youth unemployed.

You can become anything, even a CEO or the President. You can decide how successful you will be in your life. But you must have a plan and visualise your dream... You still have a chance to change the direction that your future will take by focusing on your education. Even if you just do 30 minutes extra homework, you will be a step ahead of the rest".



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