by Phindile Ndlovu
I was massaging my mother’s feet when I was about 9 years old when she asked me, “Phindile, what do you want to be when you grow up?” I answered so enthusiastically, “I want to be a social worker.” She then gave me this disapproving frown and repeated “A social worker?” in a tone to check if I was sure about my answer. I gave it a thought and quickly changed my mind and with the same enthusiasm I said, “Okay, a doctor!”
I was sure she would approve of my new response, but instead she laughed and asked, “Would you touch my feet if I had wounds?” Without thinking twice, I said no. she insisted that I would have gloves on, yet I still could not imagine myself touching wounds or seeing blood. Howling with laughter at my now traumatized face from the mental pictures I was having, she encouraged me to think of something else. I said with my hand mimicking to hold a microphone and singing to a large audience, “a singer!” She kept quiet for a few seconds and said, “Well, you sure will make a lovely singer - you sing like me…” I smiled, glad she finally approved and to be honest I liked the idea of being a famous singer too. She then asked me why I wanted to be a social worker or a doctor. Without a shadow of a doubt or overthinking I replied, “I want to help people” She smiled and offered me advice and in a matter-of-fact tone she advised, “Social workers do not earn much and I need you to build me a big house. Doctors are really nice but you hate blood or seeing me sick. Be famous, that way you can have a lot of money and use it to help people.” I loved that idea! From that day, I carried that truth so close to my heart. I was destined to be on a platform not for myself, but to help and heal people.
This story explains why I am so passionate about community service and youth empowerment. When I look at the leaders we are losing as a country, I fear I am struggling to recognize the legacy I will leave behind. Am I carrying the baton, am I advancing humanity, am I fighting for the needy and speaking for the voiceless?
Well, great news. I am not a singer, I lost my ability to sing long ago! You know what they say - when you do not use a gift it dies, but I am not too sad about that because I have found a renewed purpose, and that is to empower the youth from Diepsloot. I chose Diepsloot because it is close to my area and most workers I engage with at my complex are from Diepsloot. The security guards at my housing complex greet me so warmly and always available to assist even when we lock the house and forget the keys at work. On a more serious note, the plan is to empower the youth across the country, one community at a time.
Today, I am all grown and yet still becoming. I am exploring everyday how I can do more, to make this world a better place. I encourage you today to join me on the 13th of December 2018 at Morningside Country Club as I launch The Bhekizenzo Mentorship Program for 2019. With this program, we plan on practically empowering the youth of Diepsloot to be prepared for the world of work, entrepreneurship and ultimately be global leaders. 2019 will be a busy year, organizing career day expos, writing workshops, financial literacy workshops and networking skills workshops and so much more. I am not only inviting people to come to the launch, but I am inviting everyone to come and join our team and be part of this change and assist us to grow and build this foundation in order to change more lives!
Phindile Ndlovu is passionate about Community Development pertaining skills development and education for the youth. She is experienced in driving life changing community development campaigns. Passionate about self-development and leadership, she works and speaks with young people across the Gauteng Province in South Africa, motivating and coordinating her vision and goal setting workshops through her organization, Bhekizenzo Foundation. Her skillset is based on project design, brand awareness and organizational surveys, amongst many others. Phindile has strong, professional media and communications expertise, particularly with event coordination and campaign strategy planning. She has obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Political Studies and Sociology at the University of Witswatersand Johannesburg. Learn more.
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