Should Your Birthplace Determine Your Future?
As a young boy from Port Elizabeth, South Africa, the odds were definitely against me. I probably should have ended up in a gang, selling drugs, or bound within the endless cycles of poverty that have enveloped the lives of so many in my community. Statistically, my birthplace was meant to determine my future. But it didn’t. And, I believe, it shouldn’t.
As a young boy, I remember sitting in my shack, confounded by the challenges of extreme poverty, yet hungry for knowledge and the promise of something more. But change seemed impossible to me and many around me. I believed that breaking free from the constraints of my birth place was a childish dream. That was until I met Jacob Lief, who believed in my potential and invested in my ability to make a difference for myself and for my community.
With Jake’s help, and through the support of the organization he founded, Ubuntu Education Fund, I beat the odds and proved that township children don’t have to be defined by the statistcs. Ubuntu Education Fund believed in me when others would not, and helped me gain the skills that I needed to succeed. Today, I am a graduate of The University of Cape Town. The opportunities ahead of me are endless and I am excited to dream big for the future.
I am proud of where I come from and I am proud to say that your birthplace should NOT determine your future. And it doesn’t have to. In a sea of “no”s, it took one “yes” and my entire life was changed.