The Mentorship that Scholars Need to Cast the Vote to Life

07 April 2014

It seems a lot easier when we are younger. I remember vividly when the tall man dressed in a black suit knocked on our back door, I walked him to the living room were my mother sat, they had an appointment that day, of which I sat in. They exchanged documents and spoke big words, which left me fascinated. Me, being the curious child that I was, went on to ask the gentleman "sir, what is it that you do" and he said to me he was a broker. And I thought to myself, I just scored myself a subject matter for my grade 9 assignment of which we were required to write an essay of that which we aspire to be once we've graduated.

For the next couple of days I spent a great deal of my time browsing through encyclopaedias reading up what it is that brokers do. That is the furthest I ever went in researching for my career choice. By the way, I got a bad mark for that assignment, and I am no broker either

The following year I was presented with a piece of paper, I think they called it the "subject grouping schedule" which contained a group of subjects from which we had to select by a tick. They told us those were the subjects we would pursue for the rest of our high school duration.

At a tender age, how could I have known that a few ticks would lay the foundation for my future and career and pretty much determine my being as a whole?

What drove me to making those ticks?

Was it my knowledge of what I aspired to be? " well , just a year ago I thought I wanted to be a broker, but my assignment failed my dream , so I doubt my selection was based on knowledge, let alone awareness

Could it have been the influence of my peers? " I was never one to follow the crowd, chances are my selection was based on my desire to be different, just because I can be different, but what are the odds?

Could it have been based on what society at that time dictated as the "recommended subjects guaranteeing entry into the work place" " what did I know about society's recommendations? How could I have known, nobody told me, at that point the newspaper was used to clean daddy's car windows, and how could I miss my favourite drama to watch news, are you kidding me that would have been taboo"!

So there I was, at age 15 faced with a ballot paper (the subject grouping schedule), and you think voting is only permitted once you are 18, what did I know about casting votes?

Even those that go through the process of voting for their ruling party don't just wake up uninformed to go cast a vote those parties to be elected undergo months and months of creating and amending policies, coming up with strategies that would lure the voters.

Why isn't the same amount of attention given to the 15 year old grade ten "voter", who is faced with a life decision, casting a vote that could very well be the difference between building an empire of success and digging a ditch of failure and bitterness?

Who is looking after this scholars, who has their best interest at heart, ensuring that this kids are making informed decisions when it comes to their career choices

Is it only the politicians that are entitled to canvass and gather a flock of their own, when are you doctors, lawyers, accountants, actuaries, engineers, geologists, IT specialists, etc. going start engaging in the process of seeking and attracting more of your calibre, why aren't we canvassing to gather more professionals?

Why are we only seeing red hats, where are the barristers white wigs? Is it only the yellow and red shirts that ought to be worn? Who shall wear the white coat and carry the stethoscope listening to our heartbeats, striving to save the dying as opposed to carrying a microphone yelling fight, kill, and die?

Is it the "every man for himself" notion that is denying that young child the privileged of being well informed?

A friend of mine Marvin approached me not so long ago with a brilliant idea, that entails going back to the rural areas and providing mentorship to those disadvantaged students, they have established a non-profit organisation aimed at grooming the young scholar, it is initiatives like this that a we as a nation ought to strive towards.

Imagine the level of success that could be achieved if mentoring is provided to the young scholars, if we could get more professionals on board willing to take a journey back to the classroom on an annual basis and picking at least one grade 9 scholar in their respective fields and adopting this child with the intent of providing mentoring to that scholar through their high school and tertiary life, with the right mentoring, this pupils would continue the legacy of adopting more kids under their wings.

If the spirit of hard work and ambition is instilled in the upcoming generation, we could have an era of successful professionals in the near future. But the question remains, who is to carry this burning torch that could bring about an enlightened, informed generation of young professionals?

Rinavhuawelo Nefefe

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