Why I Joined ACTIVATE!

By Esihle Lerato Dayimani

During the early years of my life, I always wanted to be a doctor but in Grade 9 when we were introduced to careers, my mindset shifted a little when I was introduced to Psychology. I wanted to understand the human mind better especially ‘Why the World was so cruel.’ I wanted to understand why anyone would just pass a person by who is crying for help.

As I grew up and had a better experience of “LIFE”, I gained a special human power which is known as “Effective Listening.” I was listening to people’s stories and the challenges they were facing, mostly those affected by the stigmas which are killing our communities. Life has also left me homeless for a while – on some days I didn’t know where the next meal would come from. I had friends whom didn’t understand that you cannot afford outings or trips.

Daley Ward also played a role, his words sums up perfectly why I joined ACTIVATE! I quote “There is a reason why those who seem to have endured the most can be the kindest, why those who have lost so many things often find more and more of themselves. When you have suffered the absence of something you hold dear enough times, it deepens you. You learn the art of breathing through impermanent pain and you begin to understand others who are feeling the same. Thick skin is not always hard mostly, it is made up of a layer upon intricate layer of beauty, softness, and space.”

ACTIVATE! Leadership Programme was the perfect space where I can fit in my desire to educate those around me about how much love, kindness, warmth, and a smile can lift up a person’s day. It can change their whole perspective of life as the warmth you have shown is a sign that there is hope. My favourite section was Emotional Intelligence as I have researched on it before, but it was not clear to me how I could use the tool to empower others.

Through the programme I managed to create an initiative Young Minds Academy which focuses on drop-outs completing their educational journey and at the same time providing them with personal development tools. Emotional Intelligence workshop is our fundamental focus as the young adults get the opportunity to get to know themselves better through having the ability to control one’s emotions, being able to shift your focus from what you don’t have, and actively taking charge of your life. The journey is not easy but one that leads to self-empowerment.

ACD came at the right time when I needed assistance on how I could uplift myself and the community. I am forever grateful. You will never regret joining Activators in this great journey of leadership as there is continuous support and a network of activists who are working together to change the world one day at a time.

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