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Young, hopeful and grateful

In the next few years, I will no longer qualify as a ‘young person’.

But in my youth, I have learnt I have to be both hopeful and grateful.

Our daily experiences, especially those borne out of a lack of resources and support, disenfranchisement and pure injustice, tend to dim any ray of hope that should filter into our lives.

Many young people will tell you South Africa’s inadequate economic growth, the deterioration of resources that are key in their quest for success, and the unfortunate lack of support for their well-meant endeavours are hurting their every attempt at hope.

I remember vividly, almost a decade ago, how I struggled to get work-integrated learning (WIL) which threatened my prospects of graduating.

Great support from friends, family, classmates, lecturers and various acquaintances almost came to nought.

My hard work was almost thwarted.

There were days I sat down and almost accepted the fact that I would never hold a national diploma.
But I kept hoping.

And I submit here that my hope paved my way out of the misfortune of spending an inordinate amount of time at a tertiary institution, but still falling short of the graduation line.

I finally got an opportunity to do my WIL at a community development organisation based at my rural hometown of Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal.

This allowed me to graduate.

Because of the renewed hope, I was prompted to apply for an internship at Independent Media in 2016.
Fortunately, I got it.

A year later, the internship became a six-month traineeship. It was during that time that my mom, the only parent I had, succumbed to cancer.

While the only thing that made sense at the time was to give up, the support I received from fellow trainees, senior colleagues, managers and the company’s leadership rekindled hope in me.

Later in that sad year of my life, 2017, I became a permanent employee of Independent Media Solutions (Business).

I continued to enjoy the guidance of my now-late colleague, Sandile Mchunu, and tapped into the career-birthing wisdom of my also now-late assistant editor, Sechaba ka’Nkosi.

May their souls rest in peace.
My current managers and those from the group’s other departments continue to not only bring out what is best for me and the company, but also bring out the best in me and the company.

Their various roles are reflected in the Vodacom Journalist of the Year Award I won under the economics category in the KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga region in 2021.

Now that I am fully launched into gratitude, I find it proper to credit South African entrepreneur, medical doctor, and philanthropist Dr Iqbal Survé and the entire management of the group, who continue to steer the company in a time characterised by the high costs of living and doing business.

While it is time to commemorate 16 June, it is really fitting that we young people choose to be hopeful despite the storms we find ourselves in.

It is also more proper that we become grateful to those who ensure that our hope does not wither. – Business Report