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Youth discovering the world of opportunities at the Star For Life Business and Careers Expo

posted 7 Aug 2013, 01:57 by ntobeko dlamini

On the 2nd of August 2013, Star for Life hosted a Business and Careers Expo, at the Mganwini Hall in Hluluwe.  This is the first time Star for Life has ever hosted this type of event and it was attended by over four hundred guests, including learners from eight different schools, Government Agencies supporting Small Medium Micro Enterprise Development (SMME’s), Universities, further education and training institutions and both aspiring and successful entrepreneurs.

Star For Life  Theatre group kept the audience captivated at the event with 

their informative piece entitled 'Umkhanyakude'. From left: Mabaso Nokwanda, Dunge Xolani, 

Thabethe Philani, Mnguni Skhumbuzo, Shezi Anele and Lwazi Thwala.

The aim of the event was to provide youth with information on business and entrepreneurship; to stimulate interest in business and provide general career guidance. All of the learners who attended came from rural areas where they faced scarcity of resources and limited access to facilities such as internet café’s and libraries. This event provided a unique platform for these learners to be exposed and discuss different potential careers and business opportunities. Learners in attendance came from the following eight schools; Bonga, Cwakeme, Ekufezekile, Gilonki, Qakwini, Mduku, Makhasa and Siphosabdletshe.  All of these schools fall under the District Municipality of Umkhanyakude, which is said to be one of the municipalities most affected by poverty and youth unemployment in KwaZulu Natal.

Learners from Idlilanga High School at the Expo. From left; Msweli Bhekabasweli,

 Manyanga Thembelihle, Thango Ayanda, Dube Xolani and Mthethwa bhekizizwe.

The event was opened by the Star for Life Theatre group who perfomed a piece entitled “Umkhanyakude Proud Nation.” This performance encouraged young people to be proud of their background and heritage and to utilise their unique skills and capabilities to fight poverty and unemployment. The Director of the piece, Mr Dumisani Ngubane said; “There are many opportunities that the learners can explore in the arts industry, theatre being one of them”.

Entrepreneurs and experts from different sectors also offered their words of encouragement and advice to learners at the event. A notable example was the entrepreneur and self-taught publicist Themba Mthembu who shared his testimony of his success, despite his poor background. “When I was in High School, there were days where I was forced to skip classes and went streets to sell sugar cane so that my family and I will have something eat, but I didn't give up. Today I am the founder and the owner of two businesses” (Mthembu, 2013).

Lucy Mthimkhulu a grade 12 learner from Siphosabadletshe High School said she learnt a lot from the expo, and she would definitely pass on the information she gained to her peers at school. “I have learnt a lot from today’s event, organisations such as Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA) and National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) have taught us a lot on how we can make our dreams be a reality. I hope that one day all learners will get an opportunity to attend events like this.” A Star For Life board member, Mr Mdaka encouraged learners to focus on their studies and work hard on making Africa a better place, he also thanked all the Stakeholders, teachers, learners at the event.