Rhodes University Community Engagement (RUCE) recently hosted participants in the Inkululeko programme at Eden Grove for a day of leadership and entrepreneurship training. The Inkululeko learners gathered at Eden Grove’s Seminar Room 1 to attend a series of lectures from various leaders in fields such as radio, sport, business and academia.
The aim of the day was to promote the idea of self-leadership and the sense that the learners are able to achieve whatever it is they put their minds to, said RUCE representative, Sanele Nguni.
“This is a continuation of our [Rhodes Community Engagement] theme for the year, which is leadership, and it runs from the previous events this year,” said Nguni. “Today was all about leadership in different spaces… we believe that maybe not everyone is academically ‘fit’, but they can be leaders in other areas and ways,” added Nguni.
The learners, who came from Mary Waters and Ntsika Secondary schools, experienced talks from the Rhodes Music Radio station manager, Raymond Mojapelo, as well as a local entrepreneur, Penang Shirindza, to name a few. Both Mojapelo and Shirindza stressed the importance of passion, and the belief that anyone can achieve their dreams through strong leadership skills and hard work.
This is the first event of its kind to be held between Inkululeko and Rhodes Community Engagement, however Nguni hopes that this continues into the future. “We hope that it is going to be a growing initiative. We have about 25 learners in hear today, so the purpose is that we start off in small scale, and as time goes on we can invite more schools and have it as a big event in Grahamstown,” said Nguni.
After the speakers had finished their lectures, the students took part in team-building exercises and an open discussion in which they discussed their believed potential and feelings towards leadership.
It was, overall, a successful event, and Nguni was pleased with the turnout and engagement the event received from the learners. “It is actually better than I expected it to be. It is a Saturday, and we are approaching exams, so people are busy, so I am happy that people were available to pitch up and share their experiences with us,” said Nguni.
“Inkululeko has been a driving force. When we approached them and laid the ideas with them, they were keen,” said Nguni, adding, “the Inkululeko leaders were the ones that organized for the learners to get here. Without them, we wouldn’t have had the successful event that we had today.”
Nguni ended in saying, “I believe that every child deserves an opportunity to have leadership unlocked in them.”