By Lehlohonolo Ntaopane
Despondent, off-course and depressed – three words that best describe who I was before ACTIVATE! Change Drivers Programme.
Thirty-one, unemployed, and lacking a sense of direction is the worst place to begin a journey, but it’s a starting point nonetheless. Fresh out of employment, I was hungry to make something of myself. I hadn’t factored in the social and political challenges that would make it a mountaineous climb. I was introduced to ACTIVATE! Change Drivers because someone saw something in me that at that point I wasn’t seeing in myself.
See, I was trying to start a movement. I wanted to help school children to plan for their careers at a Grade 7 level. The plan was simple: to put together a proposal with my fellow peers to the Department of Education and they would approve, then we would have enough money to help all the Brown Children in the world. Alas! My efforts proved futile.
On the verge of giving up, I was told about an initiative that would empower me so that I would not fail again on any effort to make a difference in my community. I was skeptical, because every time I was ever introduced to any programme that is free and dominantly targeted at the brown ‘disadvantaged’ child, it was probably some politicians excuse of, “we did something for the children”. Little did I know that it would change my thinking, resonate with my beliefs, and shed light on a better approach to making a difference with less conflict.
ACTIVATE! Change Drivers is not only about empowering individuals to start a movement or create the best community initiative. I learnt that it is more important for an individual to know themselves before they embark on any journey. There are a lot of young people who need to be reminded that they matter and have the power to make a change within themselves and then the world.
Before ACTIVATE!, I was passionate about helping young individuals on making better career choices. Since then I have added motivating and reminding young individuals the power they have within to make a difference to themselves first.
My name is Lehlohonolo Ntaopane, I am a Brand Evangelist and currently working on the blueprints to a Career Exploration initiative – a proud 2019 Activator! I am a mentor and I use my branding skills to teach others the importance of how they perceive themselves and how they can influence their environment for positive outcomes. I’m an avid podcaster, songwriter and spiritual healer.
“The world does not buy what you do but rather WHY you do it” – Simon Senek