GEORGE NEWS - The George Municipality Youth Office in collaboration with the George Museum, the Department of Education, Nelson Mandela University (NMU) and George schools held a Young Leaders seminar in June to give youngsters the opportunity to exchange ideas about what their generation can do to stimulate progress in South Africa.
The guest speaker, Sonwabo Stuurman, a former senior manager of Advocacy, Education and Training at Canrad, holds degrees in Law and Political Science from Rhodes University. He is currently doing his Doctorate at NMU.
He is passionate about human rights and delivered a short, gripping message on "Leadership is influence".
The word "influence" formed the core of his message where I stands for integrity, N for nurture, F for faith, L for listen, U for understanding, E for emotional intelligence, N for navigate, C for communication and E for exemplary. "I have a problem with the saying 'You are the leaders of tomorrow'. Be a leader now," Stuurman said. "Use your gifts, identify gaps and challenges at your school. Do something about bullying, teenage pregnancies, drugs, absenteeism etc. Be an agent of change!"
Roger Jacobs, head of specialised learner and educator support at the Department of Education, encouraged the learners to use their own special gifts.
George Mayor Melvin Naik said the four things that guide him are relationships, equipping oneself for success, making decisions that develop the team, and attitude. "Remain positive and let your faith be stronger than your fear," he said.
Unathi Sandi (14), a Grade 9 learner at Jonga High School in Thembalethu, was one of the most inspiring speakers at the event. He is firstly a believer in Christ, he said, and he would like to become an actor to portray different characters to help people in their daily lives. "I take inspiration from Madiba. He didn't take oppression from black or white. I would like the youth to learn to know themselves, be aware of their rights and actively use their rights that our heroes had died for," Sandi said.
David Willemse and Jacqulique von Brandis, portfolio councillors in the George Council, also shared their life lessons with the learners.
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