Bachelor of the Year strives to end bullying Bachelor of the Year’s anti-bullying campaign under way

2017-01-17 06:01

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UPPER Highway resident Emanuel Pietersen knows first-hand what it is like to be bullied at school.
He was always picked on for being poor, which drove him to depression and have major anger issues in his young adult years. However, the go-getter worked hard to overcome his problems and is now a singer, songwriter, theatre performer and motivational speaker.
Pietersen now uses his experience to try and eradicate bullying at school through his 2017 Anti-Bullying Campaign.

Speaking about his life Pietersen said: “I grew up in Pietermaritzburg as the youngest and only boy in a family of three older sisters. My parents got divorced when I was very young, but I am blessed with the most amazing step-parents a child could ask for.
“At school I was an introvert and was severely bullied for being poor. I couldn’t take part in sport at school because there simply wasn’t money for the kit. At the end of Grade 10, I begged my parents to take me out of school and finished matric at Natal Technikon and moved to Gauteng shortly after finishing my studies in mechanical and electrical engineering.

“In Gauteng I started reaching for my dream of being a performer. Even though I starred in loads of national and international adverts, my big break into the industry did not happen until 2008, when I got a role in the then famous, Egoli.
“Sadly it didn’t last long as production ended shortly afterwards. That was when I decided to start my own business and try my hand at singing and songwriting.
“In 2013 my first studio album was released, and it did really well. All three of my original songs on that album made it onto the top 20 charts, not only in South Africa, but also in the Netherlands.”

With a passion for charity work Pietersen started volunteering for CANSA in 2013 and also started an anti-bullying campaign named Resolve-Stop Bullying.

“All this led me to my latest challenge in 2016 of competing to become South Africa’s most eligible bachelor. The year was long and grueling, but I got to change so many lives. In November 2016 I was announced SA Bachelor of the Year.”

He said that as soon as he started making a name for himself he realised it was the right time to start his fight against bullying.

“Most children don’t even realise what they are doing, and I refuse to sit and allow another child to be bullied. So I started the Resolve-Stop Bullying campaign. Luckily this fits in nicely with the SA Bachelor initiative, which is a Talk initiative that stands for tolerance, appreciation, literacy and kindness.

Pietersen said one of the major causes of bullying is the lack of exposure about the problem.
“As our economy gets worse, and parents start to stress more, I have seen an increase in bullying. The common answer whenever I contact a school is that teachers aren’t allowed to do anything [about it]. I find this sickening because I feel that although teachers are there to teach, they are also there to play an active part in children’s lives.

“You don’t have to hit a child to get your point across. In the same breath I think parents have become lazy. They don’t give children the attention they need. Or even worse they take out their frustration on their children. In return the child goes to school and looks for attention by bullying other children.

“I have had many schools turn a blind eye until they realise I am willing to make it public. It is quite funny­ to see how quickly people change their minds.”

He will be holding campaigns throughout March to highlight the problem and schools can contact him via email at info@emanuel
pietersen.co.za
if they want him to host a campaign at their school.

For more information regarding­ the KZN tour, contact sonel.steyn1979@gmail.com

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