The youth born after 1994 in South Africa are widely known as the “Born free” generation because they arrived after the end of the Apartheid era.  These youth theoretically have access to a wide range of opportunities that were not possible before 1994; therefore, career days at primary schools have become important tools to remind these youth that they are the future of a drastically different South Africa.  African Youth Development Fund was proud to be able to send a motivational speaker to Ithute primary schools first career day at the request of the Principal Maduzi Gwala, and the event coordinator Ms. Sindiswa Sifolo.

ABOVE: Cameron Schuster was honored to give a motivational talk to the standard seven and eight students at the close of the career day event.

AYDF project coordinator Cameron Schuster was honored to give a motivational talk to the standard seven and eight students at the close of the career day event.  The program opened with students singing several traditional songs about empowerment, pride, and faith.  At one point Ms. Sindiswa halted the singing because it was not spirited enough, thus minimizing the effect of the lyrics and meaning of the particular song.  The students responded to her request like a revival gospel choir and brought the roof down with their rendition of Ukhololwami (my faith).

Following the introductory singing were presentations by each grade on the different career options that had been previously researched.  Each group had an elected speaker who spoke on behalf of that career path addressing the room of around 160 people.  Some of the students had never given a public address, but were all brave and expressive in their own manner.  There were cheers, sometimes tears, laughter, and almost always resounding applause at the close of each speech filling the teachers on hand with pride and sense of accomplishment.

Mr. Schuster then addressed the students covering several topics, beginning with the importance of building an educational foundation that will last a lifetime.  He then stressed the mandatory attention that youth pay toward respecting their minds and their bodies by avoiding the pitfalls of drugs, alcohol, and negative external influences such as violent, sexually driven entertainment.  Mr. Schuster closed the speech stressing that each and every student set goals in education and athletics that will bring honor to themselves, their families, and their community.  He also reminded them that they were responsible for uplifting South African communities with such career choices as teaching, social work, nursing, and honesty in the public sector.  AYDF then rewarded each of the student speakers with mini basketball hoops that can be attached to the back of bedroom doors to be used as study break options during this exam season.

Ithute Primary school opens  career day with singing