2019-01-17 06:00
Tumi Boikanyo an Account at a company in Tgervalley delivers a speech during the event. PHOTOS: UNATHI OBOSE

Tumi Boikanyo an Account at a company in Tgervalley delivers a speech during the event. PHOTOS: UNATHI OBOSE

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Belinda Marawu-Baleni from F Section in Khayelitsha celebrated her birthday in style last Saturday by inviting a group of young girls to empower and encourage them to focus on education.

Baleni, a financial consultant at a company in Tygervalley, is herself a graduate in internal auditing.

The event was held at Harare Community Park, in Harare.

On the day, she turned 33-years-old and had decided to invite her fellow graduates and friends with various professions, in order to motivate about 20 young girls, aged between 12 to 17-years-old from different areas of Khayelitsha.

“Instead of throwing a bash to celebrate my birthday, I decided to empower young girls in the community.”

Her objective, she said, was to show them the importance of education and to encourage them to stick to their dreams.

“I’m planting a seed that will nourish and make them to be better persons in future. I want them to focus on their studies so that they can be free and independent,” said Baleni, adding that with education, everything is possible.

City Vision asked her why she didn’t invite young boys, she said: “I can relate to the girls. I know what challenges they are currently facing. I was a teenager before and I have two daughters now, so my life is revolving around girls,” she said, adding that in future she is planning to invite boys.

She said the challenges faced by young children included peer pressure and lack of proper guidance from families.

“The problem in many families(is that) they don’t talk to their children about life in general.

And also because of the friends they meet in the streets, they ended up doing negative things,” said Baleni.

She intends to have a motivational talk with them once a month, she offered.

Tumi Boikanyo, an accountant friend, advised the girls to put God first in whatever they desired to accomplish.

“For you to progress in life, you need to be disciplined and focus on your lifetime goals.

Nosiphe Mafenuka (16) from Ilitha Park, described the event as educational.

“We were encouraged not to give up on our dreams no matter how difficult the road that lay ahead of us.

“And we were also told to make sure that we associate with like-minded people and good company if we ever wanted to add value to our community,” said Mafenuka.


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