Change the world


“When life throws you lemons, what do you do? You make lemonade they say…” This was the ethos of the second annual leadership conference hosted by the George Campus Student and Life Development Department in collaboration with the George Municipality’s Social Development Department. 

The virtual conference aimed at empowering and equipping the young generation for what lies ahead and what tools they will need to be successful one day.

Under the topic “Transition in Life and at Work”, the programme facilitated by Jonathan Fortuin from the municipality and student Ongeziwe Gobodo, saw an experienced panel of speakers sharing their journey and lessons learnt. Seasoned lecturer and former George Campus staff member, Professor Takalani Ramukumba led the conversation by sharing his journey from a young boy growing up in Venda to being an associate professor at the very institution he was giving the motivational talk to.

“I don’t come from a privileged background, however I refused for my background to determine my future. I arrived as a young man at this university at its Port Elizabeth campuses, from rural Venda. I spent many years at this institution and moved on at the beginning of this year as an associate professor”, said Prof TK (as he is fondly known). He emphasised the importance of self-awareness and making informed and impactful decisions to favourably influence the future.

In navigating challenges and encounters embodied in transitioning differential environmental workplaces with the ability to share self-experiences and life lessons, the panellists reinforced the sense of allowing oneself to making mistakes and learning from such mistakes. This goes with allowing yourself to learn. Young and relatable Anathi Masabeni who, not so long ago was a student on the George Campus, shared the importance of making and learning from mistakes.

“Mistakes are part of who we are, make them but learn from them. Make sure that the mistakes you make now are lifelong lessons for you. Only you have the power of turning those mistakes into lessons”, shared Anathi.

In equipping future leaders, the panellists focused on the current journey and how that enables a successful future. The power and importance of networking, tapping into existing resources that further opportunities. Avoiding mediocrity, hard work, commitment and a sense of assuming responsibility by being a person of integrity, were some of the strong themes that anchored the conference.

“Upholding integrity is one integral quality that won’t compromise honesty and moral centricity”, said. Dr Muedanyi as he shared food for thought on the life lessons learnt in transitioning from difficulties.

Deputy Mayor of the George Municipality, Councillor Charlotte Meyer, was also part of the conversation and echoed fellow speakers quoting one of Nelson Mandela’s famous lines “A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination”.  The emphasise of her message focused on leadership keys which are enablers in achieving success; knowledge, determination and courage.

In concluding the session, LSRC Premier Nwabisa Thembani, not only applauded the speakers but concluded by quoting "A diamond is just a piece of charcoal that handles stress exceptionally well”. This way she encouraged all students and young people to preserve under pressure as sometimes greatness comes from leaving your comfort zone. 

“Seek to avail yourself and volunteer to be sent to make change and be the change you want to see around you”, said Nwabisa as she encouraged everyone to continue with the spirit of #Thuma Mina.

Watch the recorded webinar at:

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Monica Tshangana
Marketing & Communication Practitioner