Meet our stars
Ikageng Board of Trustees features a host of high profile business people, academics and Social Entrepreneurs who have come together to help the organisation make a difference in the lives of orphaned and vulnerable children around the Soweto and assist Ikageng to reach its objectives.
Age: 21 Beneficiary since 2007 till 2011 How would you describe your home in Soweto? After my parent’s death I was left with my 2 brothers and my twin sister, none of us was employed as we were all scholars as a result it was very difficult to live each day hoping for a better tomorrow. An in the long run as youngsters in the house with child headed household, we would have a lot of differences. It was not easy at all. What has life taught you? I learnt a lot out of life, the need to be persistent, to be resilient and have faith. I learnt not to allow my current situation define my tomorrow. I learnt to embrace the spirit of optimism. I learnt that everything happens for a reason and that there is time for everything. What do you think makes you and your life special? What makes my life special is the story of my life, how I pulled through difficult times, how I kept going irrespective of the challenges that I faced in life. My positive attitude towards life and most importantly the amazing people God deposited in my life, who gave me hope for a better tomorrow. How Ikageng has helped you? OR Ikageng has helped you to change your life? Ikageng has played an important role in my foundation from Grade 9 to Grade 12, it was through them that my dreams are in-deed beginning to come to reality, it was through them that I saw light, they gave me hope that I can change my life only if I am determined. Through their programmes in place of paying my fees through out the levels of my schooling and life skills programmes. Particularly with the love that Mom Carol has for the children of Ikageng and the Organisation as a whole her passion for the organisation, has in-deed contributed in producing young upcoming leaders such as myself. Why are/were you a beneficiary of Ikageng? I lost both my parents. Is there something in particular you are afraid of? Lack of funding for Ikageng, which might contribute to it being dysfunctional, because it brings hope to many hopeless young people of Soweto who are in despair. What was your biggest challenge in your life? My biggest challenge was having the spirit to keep going, at most difficult moments of my life. Losing my Mother was as well a challenge on its own that tested my faith in God. What is your greatest wish for the future? OR Where do you see yourself in the future?,/br> I have bigger dreams which I belief that they shall come true one day. As I see myself leading South Africa one day, displaying leadership, giving hope to the young people who are in despair, impacting people’s lives, I see myself playing a big positive role in Public service, and playing a part in developing South Africa and its people. If you could be the president for one day, what would you do/what would you change? If I would be a President my 1st objective would be to find best mechanisms to fight socio-economic challenges facing SA, and also seek to eradicate the culture of entitlement which we have adopted as South Africans, n that could be done by challenging mindsets of young people in Particular. I would try and get rid of high level of dependency in Government by the people. I would encourage a better justice system, so that rapist, murders never walk free. Dealing with corrupt officials in the public service and private sectors lastly education on racism. What was the best thing that happened to you in the past? A breakthrough, which was an opportunity for me to work in the public service and also an opportunity to meet the President of South Africa Jacob Zuma. Also being accredited by the United Nations to be an observer at the United Nations Conference of Parties the 17th popular known as Cop17.
Age: 19 years old Beneficiary from 2005 till 2013 Hobby: Reading, debating social issues, cooking and writing poems or anything that inspires me. How would you describe your home in Soweto? I live with my grandmother and grandfather, aunt and three cousins. My grandfather is the only breadwinner and we survive by the piece jobs he manages to get. It is a four-roomed house. What has life taught you? Life has taught me that everyone goes through hardships and it is only when you manage to combat those hardships that you become a better person holistically. I have also learnt that good things come to those who wait and that I should always be goal driven in order for me to succeed in life. What do you think makes you and your life special? My life would not have been the same if I had not gone through what I went through. Losing my mom, my scholarship at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls and not having my biological father around has built my character because I now know that it is important to not take for granted the little things you have in life and the people that are your support structure. I have established a character that appreciates and values small things in life. How Ikageng has helped you? OR Ikageng has helped you to change your life? Ikageng has been my support structure for as long as I could remember. They have taken me to school for the rest of my high school life, they have supplied basic things that I need to survive like food, school uniform, transport fares and paying my school fees. They are still assisting with that even now. Why are/were you a beneficiary of Ikageng? I am an orphan and live with my grandmother and grandfather. They have always struggled to make ends meet. Ikageng took me in to help my family and to have a healthy and sustainable life. Is there something in particular you are afraid of? I have not explored what I fear just as yet. I have always thought that fear is a mental state and if I don’t entertain that thought then I will always take risks no matter how hard it gets. In essence, I am courageous. What was your biggest challenge in your life? Having to go through life without my mother. She was the best thing and I found it hard to live without her. I still am but with time, I have managed to channel that thought to positive affirmations What is your greatest wish for the future? OR Where do you see yourself in the future? I see myself living my own dream. I want to be the best in my profession (film directing) and I want to be able to empower those that come after me and in the same situation that I had been through. If you could be the president for one day, what would you do/what would you change? I would adjust the gap between the rich and the poor. I still believe that even after the Apartheid regime, we still face inequality, and yes, Black people are still living under harsh and poor conditions. I would set up structures that empower Black people such that White people don’t feel excluded. It is important for everyone to get a taste of what Democracy means. What was the best thing that happened to you in the past? Being at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls. I still believe that the school greatly influenced the character that I am today. I was able to realise my potential in that school and ever since, I have always known who I want to become in the future. The support structure that I have as well because they have walked with me throughout my journey and have always managed to bring out the best in me and remind me of my potential without giving up on me when I made mistakes.
How would you describe your home in Soweto? I am the seventh born of ten siblings who were forced into adulthood when both our parents passed away. One of my older sisters had to sacrifice her youth at age 27 in order to raise us. There is no material possession I could ever buy for her that could erase the pain this woman has lived through. IÂ believe that when God took away my biological mother, He places people like my sister Thoko, Mam Carol Dyantyi, Dr Cynthia Hodge, Leigh Blake and others to help me in my walk through life. What has life taught you? Que sera, sera: Whatever is meant to be, will be. Every time something horrible has happened in my life, it has been to make way for something 10 times better to come into my life. And very recently, I have learned that being yourself and loving everyone from the depths of being will attract the same love back to you. I always battled with confidence issues and self esteem, but recently I have learnt that if I am made in the image of God, the God Moses and Ibrahim, the God who saved me from the jaws of death when I was trapped under a taxi filled with people, then I am a the most beautiful, funniest, intelligent and irreplaceable person to Him. And that means more to me than I can explain. What do you think makes you and your life special? That God picked me out of all the people on the planet to learn all these wonderful and life changing lessons. That means that there is no one on this planet quiet like me. How Ikageng has helped you? OR Ikageng has helped you to change your life? Ikageng showed me that I could do anything I wanted with my life. That the circumstances of my birth did not have to dictate the life I live. By helping me through high school, Ikageng helped me get a step closer to my ultimate dream of being the first person to graduate with a tertiary qualification in the history of my family. Is there something in particular you are afraid of? Before my accident two months ago, I would always pray to God that should I ever die, may He make it so that the people I loved and those who loved me never forget me. I was so scared of leaving this earth without ever having made a real mark of my own. The past eight weeks have shown me that everytime I have shared a smile, or laugh or tear, or hug, or book or a word of encouragement, I was making that mark without even realising. The amount of support and love I have since received from colleagues, friends, family, acquaintances and shown me this. What was your biggest challenge in your life? Forgiving myself whenever I mess up and my desire to ensure that everything I do is perfect. What is your greatest wish for the future? OR Where do you see yourself in the future? To be happy and to continue making a difference in the lives of others. Life is really short and there is really no time like the present. If you could be the president for one day, what would you do/what would you change? I would lock away rapists for the rest of their natural miserable lives. I wish men who rape could understand how they destroy the soul of the victim for all eternity in that selfish act that lasts 5 minutes. What was the best thing that happened to you in the past? Knowing God. Because knowing Him has taught me that ALL the unbelievably wonderful things that have happened in my life are not because of my intelligence or zeal, but because of His mercy and unshakable love for me