Stories Competition finalist: Marcia Mangena

(The Story About Shibu Matladi)

Do you ever wonder what it might have been like to live during some great turning point a decade ago in a place called Tzaneen? Many do. But consider: If you had lived in such a momentous time, would you have personally witnessed the key people that brought about change? Perhaps not. Events that spells hopelessness for young people and fill the hearts of parents with sorrow and despair often takes place out of the public eye. In a sense, much of these sad stories unfold behind closed doors-in throne rooms, in streets, in homes, in schools, or in the homes of the poor children. Nonetheless, such challenges affect millions of lives.

What about the greatest person ever to exist in this time and place. A young woman has touched and changed millions of lives. Yet, it took place out of the community view. We refer, of course, to the birth of this woman, the long awaited leadership that will soon drive this whole community to change. Since the community was not aware, should we conclude that other leaders hid their good work from their communities? Or, rather, did the community choose their loyal people for this beforehand. Let us see.

 “True leadership…clears up the way before me”

 From years before, the community purposed to prepare its people to deal with challenges with the aid provided by government institution. For instance, consider the aid provided by government institution: “dealing with crime, peer pressure for young people, rape, deaths, children not going to school/school drop outs, to list only a few. And suddenly the young women like Sister Shibu Matladi, whom everyone is seeking, will come to various homes and schools, with some of her sisters, as messengers of good news, they would deliver the career advises, and free bible teachings/ studies to young people and every community person in need.”

 In the modern-day fulfilment, when did, the true hero, Shibu Matladi, come to inspect those who were doing well in their studies and spiritually: “The teachings she provided had shown that success for a young person goes hand in hand with finding good knowledge and wisdom from God, through bible teachings and studying regularly, as well as being disciplined. She also gave the application forms for learners in institutions as well as bursaries and scholarships forms, also using herself as a testimony. What was that? None other than those who were disciplined enough to know where they come from, use the opportunities as poor children but most of all, acknowledging God and looking up to him for guidance and direction. As the newly graduate for Law Degree from the University, she inspires others to know and believe that with God, Anything is Possible.” 

Who, though, was eligible for having her guidance and friendship, and also for receiving the bursaries or scholarships, the first one as having passed matric? These would include firstly those who love God, those who are serious about school and had the vision of changing the lives of others in return. In years before, did anyone’s life change after Shibu Matladi’s intervention at this place? 

Throughout this story, as we learn more about this extra-ordinary young woman, we will find answers to such questions in the trilling history of all the people she has helped. This history shows that the latter part of the last decade, one huge group of God fearing, disciplined, hardworking, poor and dedicated young leaders were emerging as the only successful adults as a vast field of achieving bigger dreams and goals in life, despite their challenges and limitation.

That group came to be known as the university, college and technikon students. Those who became part of this woman’s life among them-Marcia Mangena and her close associates, family and friends-did, indeed, act as the foretold God fearing, dedicated, talented, active leaders, continuously giving advises on God’s Kingdom, career exhibitions, motivational speeches in schools and at home, giving direction to young people and preparing them for life challenges ahead. 

For ways in which Shibu Matladi changed those young people’s lives were as follows:

Those young leaders studied very hard, they agreed on, had hope, Knew and Loved God, worked tirelessly, and passed with high marks and went to higher institution and (i.e. universities). The young people were taught well that it was necessary to break away from friends that did bad things and did not care about the lives, or their future, nor fearing and respecting God. 

The young people were taught that people with same visions and goals for the future should gather together for book studies, bible studies, where there was possible. The young people were taught that the education is the key to opening all doors, but before all, God comes first. Therefore, I urge you to read the entire story about this woman with deep concentration. Keep asking yourself, is it possible for me to become like this young woman? The more real it is to you now, the more likely it is that you will imitate her, wholeheartedly and actively supporting others through God and driving change, on the day that every young person alive in this generation will have opportunities for having better tomorrows.

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