Investing in Greatness: Saadiq Brey, Allan Gray Scholar

Investing in Greatness: Saadiq Brey, Allan Gray Scholar

Saadiq BreyMy early years

I was born in Cape Town in 1997 and grew up in Rylands Estate in Athlone. Things between my mom and dad started to change when I was in Grade 5 and shortly afterwards they divorced. Although this was a tough period in my life, there are some good memories: eating out with my family on Sundays, praying together, visiting family and going away on holiday.

Tough times

I attended Turfhall Primary, a small government school. In Grade 6 I was not very clear on what I wanted to do or what high school I wanted to attend. We were struggling financially and things were very tense at home, with a lot of arguing and fighting. I was very aggressive and angry and I fought with my friends and my mom. I tried to stay out of the house as much as possible and eventually I was sent to live with my uncle.

Although it was tough I do not regret the hard times because it moulded me into the boy that I am today. I learned to be independent, I learned to appreciate things more, I learned the true meaning of ‘if you want something done, do it yourself’, and I learned the value of the Rand. Although my mom and I fought, we eventually grew closer.

The Allan Gray Orbis Foundation

I first applied for the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation Scholarship out of necessity, as we were in arrears with school fees. It was a long shot but I went for it. I was not convinced I would be successful as there were thousands of students who were also applying. When I heard that my application was accepted, I was overjoyed! The next step was the interview followed by the camp. I really enjoyed making new friends, working with new people and hearing different stories. After the camp I learned that I was selected and I cannot even describe how I felt. I had accomplished something and my parents were so proud of me – and I was proud of myself.

I am currently at Bishops Diocesan College.  I enjoy Economics as I find it really fascinating. Economics is a way of thinking; quite a bit of the content is general knowledge, but it is structured general knowledge. I would like to study Business Management after school and branch off into Project Management.

Learning to change

There was a time where my dad and I fought a lot and I was constantly angry. I was also tired of the same old routine so eventually I decided to do something about it and I went out there to experience those opportunities everyone kept talking about. For two weeks I went to every society that sounded interesting – as well as those that did not. After that I signed up for the societies that I enjoyed the most. I started doing things that I was passionate about and I saw that people started to respect me. I was not just the angry weirdo any more.

My proudest achievement

I am most proud of my rape awareness campaign via Blackberry covers initiative. I sold ordinary Blackberry covers and attached four studs to each. The black studs symbolised death and negativity and the white represented hope. Every four minutes a person is raped in the world – hence the four studs. I sold 80 covers which I am happy with. But overcoming my insecurities and chasing my dreams have been my biggest achievements to date.

My passion

I am a Superman fanatic and there is a reason for that: Superman sees the good in people no matter how many times they might betray him. I know that I am not always the most pleasant person at times but I am who I am because of what I have been through. The same logic applies to every human being on earth.My other passion is the arts! I love music and play the guitar – I love doodling off a tune, or watching other musicians playing a different style and then trying it. I could jam with my guitar all day.

The future

In five years time I will be 21 years old and by that age I would like to have graduated with a degree in Business Management and start branching off into Project Management. By age 30 I would like to be a social entrepreneur and start my own company. South Africa needs entrepreneurs. The Allan Gray Orbis Foundation invests in an individual’s education – I would be investing in the development of an individual’s entrepreneurial skills by exposing him to the real world at a young age. If I could form this company I could employ people – and at the same time I would be harvesting entrepreneurs.

Apply for the Allan Gray Scholarship Opportunity HERE

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