When I was recruited into the Foundation I considered it an opportunity of a lifetime. I still do. That call from management with the offer to become an Academic and Personal Leadership Officer filled me with gratitude and excitement. I would be part of a vision that would in time leave a legacy in terms of our country and continent’s development.
The vision of the Foundation had always appealed because it aligned with my personal values. However, it was not until I started working with the Talent, Candidate Fellows and key stakeholders of the Foundation that I realised the depth of that vision. It felt like I was making a meaningful contribution in an organisation that is all about purpose and meaning.
Working with the Foundation’s Talent has also been a unique experience. Being part of a team that is energised, committed, dedicated and passionate about our cause is a gift. As an organisation, the Foundation is also quite dynamic and very supportive. It encourages the incorporation of new approaches at every level, and favours endeavours towards the personal development of their Talent. I was able to do my Industrial Psychology internship within the Foundation while working as a Programme Officer. For this I am ever grateful.
The most rewarding part of my job is undoubtedly the Candidate Fellows. I still remember doing my first consultation sessions with them. Our slogan is ‘investing in greatness’ and this is what I saw during those first sessions – greatness. And to think I get to help them develop that further! It’s nothing short of an honour to help them explore their passions, introduce balance to their lives, create career-development opportunities and help them overcome adversity and challenges. Seeing an individual grow into their life purpose is simply spectacular.
The fulfilment I’ve been experiencing at the Foundation has run parallel with some equally fulfilling experiences in my personal life, and some of the best ones happened this year. I was lucky to get a “yes” from my girlfriend when I proposed! I was also able to buy my first property, finish my Master’s in Industrial Psychology, complete my fifth Argus Cycle Tour and plan to complete a second Double Century Road Race.
Working at the Foundation has opened my eyes to many disheartening facts about our country, but it has also given me many reasons to keep dreaming big dreams for South Africa. Poverty, unemployment, inequality and poor leadership are but a few of the issues we face and yet, when I look at the calibre of young people that move through the Foundation, I am confident that our country will be in safer hands down the line. We nonetheless have a responsibility to create a platform from which they can build. After all, as Mahatma Ghandi said, we need to “be the change we wish to see.”
My hope for South Africa is that one day everyone would have access to quality education, that our people’s wounds would heal and that we would live out Nelson Mandela’s vision of being a rainbow nation. More than that I wish that the youth we invest in will live out the Foundation’s vision of becoming high-impact entrepreneurs with the power to change communities and even countries for the better.