To Thine Own Self Be True: An IAWA Ambassador's Story

By: IAWA Ambassador Milisi the Dreamer

I once heard someone tell me that you can never really predict what the future holds, but what you can do is always be prepared. By making sure that whatever opportunity comes in your life you grab it with both hands because an opportunity will never come and knock on your door or bring its self to you. You have to know and sense that this is an opportunity. The same story can be told about me and I AM, WE ARE (IAWA); because I have learnt a lot through this four year pilot program. I have always been a really bright student from primary but I didn't have confidence and believed in myself, I was surrounded by people who always brought my spirit down and made me sad. Through IAWA, I was introduced to something called "personal consciousness ", which is mainly about knowing who you are and embracing the kind of person you are and never try to be nothing else but being true to yourself and ever since I have kept this quote to my heart "To thine own self be true ".

Consequently, as I continued I started to care about my community and I really wanted to help. This was because of the other part of the curriculum we were taught at IAWA; environmental awareness which focuses more on community service and knowing that family exists beyond your own family and in that way I was able to have a family beyond IAWA also. Additionally, another part of our curriculum was Global Awareness; which focused on knowing about the world. I liked this specific part of the curriculum because it taught me to set and aim high in terms of goal setting. I started to see there was a world beyond Rustenburg, beyond North West, beyond South Africa and beyond Africa but a world filled with opportunities and possibilities. I met a lot of people from USA who had the same background as me who were able to succeed in life and who didn't allow their circumstances to determine where they wanted to be in life and that really inspired me so much and I set a goal for myself that I am going to MIT and I believe, from now on my new name is dreamer.

This whole experience changed how I thought and made me a more open minded person because I got to meet people from different parts of the world, who have different and same background as me and have different culture and beliefs from mine. Hence, when were taught about entrepreneurship I had to apply a new technique called habits of mind which was aimed in making my mind more powerful and positive because entrepreneurship is a really hard thing to do. We did practical entrepreneurship this year when were we raising funds to get ourselves to Cape Town as our closing camp for the year of 2018.

That journey was really difficult because we did car washes, asked for donations and organized a concert. This was not easy because we had to get ourselves out there and deal with rejection and sometimes you would be rejected in a really rude way, but you had to not give up. This taught me about the importance of team work and spirit and not giving up at what you want that is why the habits of mind were important for me. Additionally, I am proud of myself and other ambassadors for being able to organize, plan, conduct and delegate a concert, talent show and car wash because for me personally it taught me independence and taught me that if you put your mind in something you want and put in hard work it is possible nothing is impossible. I am also happy that we were able to go to Cape Town it was a really memorable and amazing experience for me and my fellow ambassadors especially because none of us had been in an airplane or to Cape Town. I really enjoyed my time there and I bet that in my entire life I will never forget that trip and I think I will remember it till my last moment on Earth and the last thing I would hold on to before my spirit leaves this Earth.

My journey with IAWA has been a really good, amazing, challenging, awesome and an inspirational journey. I have grown so much and traveled a lot through it and learnt about different leaders from SA and the world. It has indeed been a wonderful experience and I think if I don't stop writing now I would literally write, I don't know, until when possibly forever. Truly IAWA will forever be in my heart. It is my baby and I will continuously speak about it wherever my feet lands me.

With that being said. I will indeed miss IAWA and everyone but what I have learnt is that everything has its time and now IAWA's time is no more but is time for more and bigger opportunities far bigger and greater than what IAWA was.

With love Milisi 💜