15 July 2015 Volume :3 Issue :33

UKZN Hosts 14th Annual Masakhane Youth Leadership Course

UKZN Hosts 14th Annual Masakhane Youth Leadership Course
UKZN Academics with CDA Facilitators and high school learners at the Masakhane Youth Leadership Course welcome night.

UKZN’s School of Education in association with the Community Development Association – a student-run community outreach organisation - recently hosted the 14th annual Masakhane Youth Leadership Course (MYLC).

The course was attended by 200 Grade 11 learners from predominantly disadvantaged schools in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

The learners were exposed to teaching from some of the University’s best academics with topics covered during the seven-day course, including gender and leadership, violence in schools, managing and embracing diversity, transformative leadership and entrepreneurship. 

Senior Lecturer and Academic Leader for Education Studies at UKZN and MYLC founder, Dr Thabo Msibi, described the course as crucial. ‘It encourages young people to think critically and broadens the youth’s leadership skills as they are mentored to initiate community projects in their schools. It also broadens the horizon of young people by exposing them to a university setting and to a variety of professionals who have excelled in their particular professions.’

Professor Thabisile Buthelezi delivered the keynote address at the welcome ceremony speaking on Youth Leaders for a Good Cause, while also encouraging learners to become exceptional leaders of the future.

‘When leaders are occupying particular positions, their actions, practices and their leadership styles are determined, among other things, by their personal attributes, and their intentions and/or goals. Their intentions / goals give focus in what they do,’ she said.

Buthelezi described three kinds of leaders identified when ‘leaders’ intention’ is used as a variable.

‘The first kind is that of selfish leaders, whose focus is self gain. Such leaders focus on their personal/family gains - whether it is status, material or financial gains accumulated during their terms as leaders. The second kind of leader is constituency-focused with their aim being to please their constituency.

‘The third kind of leaders are Leaders for a Good Cause. Such leaders rise above ‘self’ and their ‘constituency’. They are capable of leading both ‘self’ and constituency’ for the general good; and their leadership, qualities and skills are interlinked to this intention,’ said Buthelezi.

She also commended the Community Development Association and the MYLC for changing the lives of young people, generating a support system and leading with integrity. She advised learners to emulate such leadership in the future.

CDA National Leader Ms Nomzamo Nxumalo also encouraged the youngsters to learn as much as possible from the course and to be better leaders in their schools and communities.

Margot Fonteyn Secondary School pupil Mr Lwazi Zondi believes ‘a leader is made and with this course and the support from everyone, we have a better chance of succeeding’.

Another pupil, Ms Andiswa Majola from Tholulwazi Secondary School, thoroughly enjoyed the course. ‘We’re definitely going to become better leaders through the course and I am excited to be a part of it.’

Melissa Mungroo

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