28 Jun Curious To Empower
Seeing as this is the last blog post during Youth Month, I’d like to speak a bit about why I am passionate about curiosity in a South African sense. I was often the first person in my family to do things and I believe that my curiosity pushed me to navigate uncharted grounds. Growing up during Apartheid, I had limited access to the information and spaces that empowered people like me. And although my parents had their own limitations, they always pushed us to work hard. This work ethic and my curiosity enabled me to create encouraging and empowering spaces for myself that helped to fill the gap.
I completely relate and understand that our situations may cause us to feel like we are not good enough or make us feel like we can’t show up with our best thinking. Perhaps we feel like we aren’t ‘clever’ enough or that we don’t deserve a seat at the table but we are and we do. We need to start by acknowledging how negative narratives impact us and then find ways to connect to our magic and overcome the negative narrative. We need to step into our power and embrace our curiosity. For example, if you’re a young person who currently resides in Mitchells Plain like I did, when you look outside at the spaces you move in, there is a negative yet powerful narrative that still says, “You’re not good enough, you don’t matter as much as someone who resides in Constantia”, start there. Identify that this powerful undercurrent is there. But DON’T give in to it. Find the stories of the people who have triumphed and let those stories inspire you. And hopefully one day we don’t need to make it our goal to move out of certain areas because every space will be world-class.
We live in a country where some leaders have lost the plot or forgotten about the communities they are meant to serve, so where do you as a young (or any age really) person start? Well, we can start with ourselves.
- Start with your curiosity, ask questions and explore all that you can.
- Continue to push yourself and challenge the views and systems and become more flexible with your paradigms.
- Find role models who have empowered themselves, and draw inspiration from them. Use social media to connect with people who energise you.
- Form your own community if you don’t currently have one you can join.
These are the things you can do immediately, especially when you are in a space where you aren’t seen as a worthy human being. Because you can switch so many things when you connect to your innate curiosity. You can, through this exploratory mindset and behaviour, start to see beyond the horizon and write a different story for yourself. Your curiosity is a light that can ignite so many things. You are the one who decides to either ignite your light or to put out the flame. I hope you choose to ignite your flame and go for what you want.