Simunye! Sisonke. Sisonke! Simunye. These were the familiar chants heard yesterday during the first 2021 Siyazenzela graduation ceremony under the Youth Development Programme of Wilderness Foundation Africa. Over twenty graduates were present and the ceremony was nothing short of emotional and amazing. Due to Covid 19 regulations, seating was limited to only the graduates however for the first time we streamed the graduation live on our Facebook page, with it reaching over two hundred viewers.
One of the beauties of the ceremony was how the main theme of personal development was continuously highlighted by the different speakers and how when you know yourself you are able to make a positive contribution to your community and conservation as a whole. It was incredible to hear how the graduates were talking about the life skills they have been equipped with from the programme and how they have experienced that Siyazenzela is about developing holistic skills development and educational interventions which harness the healing power of nature.
The two speakers representing the graduates were Sibongiseni Mdingi and Ayabulela Funani. These speakers highlighted the significant impact that the Siyazenzela programme had on their lives and how they have now grown to become a family. They also gave thanks to the Youth Development team for this amazing opportunity of being selected to take part in the programme and how they now feel more equipped to enter the workplace and become more employable. Another graduate, Chuma Cuba, delivered an astonishing poem reflecting his gratitude for the programme and his hopes for the future. Our guest speaker for the evening, Nobesuthu Ndlovu, an Umzi Wethu graduate who now works in marketing, commanded the attention of her audience by starting her speech with a song. She made the graduates ponder about what they will do with the skills they have learnt from the programme and dwelled on the topic of purpose.
We wish our April graduates every success for the future and cannot wait to see where their new skills will take them.