By Letlotlo Morule
The day I decided that age should never limit me, is the day my life changed. One of my greatest lessons in life has been that success is received by those who work for it. Neither age, nor anything else, is of any consequence.
I first learnt this at a very young age. At the age of 10, I regularly found myself searching on Google, ‘How to be successful as a teenager’ or ‘Possible jobs for teenagers.’ I grew up obsessed with the idea of success and being happy in your success. Michelle Obama once said, “Success isn’t about how much money you make it’s about the difference you make in people’s lives.” Success is not about riches and fame, it is about fulfilling your purpose in life. Many of us wish to achieve our dreams and reach the epitome of success in our lives, yet many of us have told ourselves, that we are too young or limited in some other way, and that we therefore can’t chase our goals right now.
As cliched as this sounds, age is merely a number. Age is a social construct and its purpose is to box us into believing that it is either too early or too late to pursue your heart’s desires. Many young people feel demotivated and believe their dreams are too far-fetched. They believe they are not qualified, talented, rich or knowledgeable enough to achieve them. As the youth employment rate rises by the day and poverty constrains us as human-beings it becomes difficult to find motivation. We prefer to remain complacent and avoid the cycle of disappointment. As the youth, we tend to get used to our circumstances and choose not to rise above them. I hope this article helps you to rethink these attitudes.
The Soweto Uprising in 1976 should always be a reminder of the power we hold as the youth. The power to change, shape and to reform hearts and minds. Those students remind us daily, that one does not need to drown in their sorrows and instead should always choose to defy their circumstances and always think of ways to fulfil their heart’s purpose. You are never too young to be the change and make the change.
Young people today are still achieving great things. Below are a couple of young South African, successful entrepreneurs to show us that age is not a barrier:
- Ludwick Marishane – Time Magazine named him one of the “Top 30 under 30 people that are changing the world” in 2013. This young man invented a product called the “DryBath” at the age of 17. This product is set to improve the sanitation in impoverished areas. Google also named him one of the “12 brightest young minds in the world” in 2011.
- Basetsana Kumalo – This well-known Queen’s career began in 1990 when she was crowned Miss Soweto and Miss Black South Africa at the age of 16. At 20-years old, she was crowned Miss South Africa and in the same year became the first runner-up in Miss World.
I decided to use these two individuals as inspiration because they have such different achievements. They are reminders that our dreams are within reach. Right now.
This desire to shed the illusion of limitations led to the creation of my blog called Khulisa Mfazi. This directly translates to “Raise A Woman” in Isizulu. This is a social platform that I created to empower and create conversation on issues that women face on a daily basis. I have interviewed and featured women such as; Naledi Chirwa, Amonge Sinxoto and Botlhale Boikanyo. These are young women with phenomenal minds – women that strive to rise above their circumstances. This blog provides a space to learn, educate and encourage rising above all your circumstances. It celebrates our achievements as the youth. [TZ: Check it out]
Remember that we are capable of rising above our circumstances. We are capable of becoming successful, as ultimately the power is in the youth. A great individual once said, ‘because you are young, you are torn between a world of hate and a world of dreams. So much to lose, so much to gain, so much to fight for, so much to change. It is okay to fall, but once you get up, come back stronger, wiser and more determined.’