Local leaders dissect black excellence concept

The ANCYL initiated a conversation about black excellence and what it meant for young professionals living in the Chris Hani region to develop the areas from which they come.

Leaders of youth formations and ordinary young people recently gathered to discuss the youth’s contributions to the areas to ensure sustainable development.

The South African Youth Council (SAYC) regional chairman, Ngobe Lali, said black excellence meant the total emancipation of black communities.

SAYC is not of the view that when one has self-actualised they must leave the area they come from. The most important thing for young people who have ‘made it’ is to ensure their places of birth are transformed. It is important for black professionals to plough back to the communities they come from and create jobs, develop the community and for them to contribute to the mainstream economy of that particular area so it can grow. Black excellence is not only limited to an academic qualification if it does not contribute anything to society.”

Owner of Doves Funerals and Insurance franchise, Noxolo Soqaka from Tentergate, said as a young entrepreneur, black excellence to her meant empowering other people to grow in the Eastern Cape.

Soqaka said due to some of the greatest liberation stalwarts coming from the province, it was important for all young people to take the baton and do something meaningful which would be beneficial to its growth.

Black excellence also means ensuring young women are empowered for generations to come so that they grow and uplift our province. There are legends who played a huge role in the liberation of the country who came from here, yet we are the poorest province in the country. Young people must take the baton from those who came before them and run with it to ensure we fly our flag high by doing positive things in the areas where we live. Our voices as women need to be heard, we need to stop taking the back seat and be in the forefront of matters that concern us. We need to strive for each home to have at least one working person so they can support their relatives to be better individuals who can sustain themselves.”

The audience interacted with each other and the panelists who made some presentations about achieving one’s goals, developing their communities, self actualization and entrepreneurship, among others.

Chris Hani portfolio head for integrated planning and economic development, Sibongile Mbotshane, advised young professionals hoping to be employed in local government to steer away from politics as that often destroyed their careers.

We have had CFOs and municipal mangers fired for this very issue. Government destroys black people’s careers because people tend to meddle in matters that do not concern them. The issue is that people need to understand that local government is a sphere of the state, is of a political nature and is highly legislated. We need people there who will be able to draw the line between the administrative aspect of things and the politics. If you are employed, focus on what you are paid to do and do not get involved in political squabbles. People tend to think that once you have relations with politicians you are protecting your career and that is very misleading. Professionals destroy their own careers by involving themselves in things that have nothing to do with them. Excellence, whether you are black or white, comes with knowing what is expected of you and how hard you are willing to push yourself to achieve a certain goal.”

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