TSiBA and the history of my life

2016-06-02 06:00
 Vuyokazi Mekane is a final year student at Tsiba.

Vuyokazi Mekane is a final year student at Tsiba.

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“My name is Vuyokazi Mekane.

I am 26 years old and grew up in Mfuleni.

My parents both passed away when I was little and my aunt has always been a parent to me and my five cousins.

I have always had big dreams for my future. This is why I struggle to understand why youth with talent, intellect and skills do not utilise their talents on a national scale? Why do they restrict themselves?

There is a world out there filled with so many possibilities! When I was younger, it was a huge challenge for me to accept the political, economic and social imbalances in my community.

However; these factors made me more curious and determined that I would change my circumstances- after all nothing is impossible.

My background and my family situation were some of the motivating factors for me to pursue my dreams. This year my dream will come true when I become the first in my family to graduate with a bachelor degree.

A year after matriculating I applied to TSIBA Education, a non-profit business school.

Founded in 2004, TSIBA offers a degree, with leadership and entrepreneurship as majors.

Doubt is a magnet that pulls us back from unleashing our true potential. My leadership qualities and entrepreneurial skills were recognised at TSIBA, where I was awarded a full-tuition scholarship.

I have used my time to assist community youth development groups and NGOs such as Youth Against Crime and MaAfrika Tikkun.

Being a member of these organisations taught me to be supportive and build one another by sharing information, to learn from each other’s knowledge.

I also learned values at TSiBA as part of our leadership development subjects and I now know that I have been part of their Paying It Forward initiative long before I even started at TSiBA!

As students we also practise TSiBA’s Profile of Graduateness which is a set of values we integrate in our lives.

We need to be able to provide evidence of how these values have played a role in our lives. This presentation is done in our final year to assess our personal growth, character and achievements before we graduate and enter the professional working world.

Throughout our studies, reflection and self-acknowledgment has been important for me, because most people don’t take the time to appreciate their hard work and success.

It is also within every leader to know their strengths and weaknesses before they can lead others.

I have nothing but gratitude for TSiBA as their unique academic programme has empowered me in my journey towards gaining my bachelor degree this year.

Currently I am completing my internship at BEG Commercial Consulting which is the final element in our degree programme.

This is where we internalise and transfer our knowledge into practical experience. I was grateful to find a company that shares the same values as TSIBA Education.

BEG Commercial Consulting is driven by the values of open communication, hard work, commitment and determination. So far my experience in the corporate world has been about learning and constantly networking.

To adapt into this environment, I have found that individuality and being humble are key attitudes to have as an intern.

Initially the idea of working for a legal company that does Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) consulting was not intriguing to me.

My perception was that they just help people and companies get tenders from the government. I was wrong.

My ideas and perceptions of B-BBEE were limited. Now I know this government initiative is for socio-economic transformation and is very exciting.

Companies work at becoming B-BBEE compliant to assist those who were historically economically disadvantaged.

This now forms part of all companies’ goals and aligns with their strategies that support B-BBEE initiatives and Corporate Social Investment (CSI).

I would like to encourage the youth in Mfuleni to never stop reaching for their goals.

Just because it’s taking longer to get to your dream does not mean you will not reach your goals.

They should also know that there is support and opportunities available in this world; you just have to be willing to try. What needs to be done for opportunities not to pass you by.

Your efforts, hard work, count in the final analysis, in making a better future for you, your family and community.

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