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Die Burger Youth Leadership Conference

BY Siviwe Tole

It has been an honour to represent Riebeek College at Die Burger Jeugleierskonferensie held in Cape Town from the 11th to 17th December 2015. The conference was attended by Head Girls and Boys from all over the Eastern Cape, Western Cape and Northern Cape.  

 The conference began with a warm welcome from Mrs Debbie Schafer and Mr Brian Schreuder, the ministers of education in the Western Cape. They said the best leader is one “that leads by integrity and stands up for what is right”, which is what I will try to do this year.

The role of the media in the development of the youth” was the theme for this year. We were all separated into groups in order to deliver individual speeches. Speaking in front of our guest speaker for that day, Dr Braam Hanekom, was a bit intimidating I must say, but I made Riebeek proud as he honoured me for being at the conference and often referred to my speech as he spoke.             

The conference was highlighted by our outings as we truly learnt a lot. Our trip to Robben Island was truly special as the tour was presented by a former political prisoner which created an authentic atmosphere as we relived the moments of the past. “We can’t change our past, but we can use it to better our future”, are some of the wise words he said.              

Other outings included the visit to The Heart museum, where the first successful heart transplant took place by Chris Barnard. The history of the museum was wonderful as it was very interesting to know what happened.

The visit to the University of Stellenbosch was an eye opener. We felt like university students as we had the opportunity to view their terrific campus. We were motivated to work hard and be determined to reach our goals.  

On Sunday we went to one of the largest churches in South Africa. It also has the largest working organ in the country and it was a privilege to see and hear it.

I’d like to thank Mrs Snyman for encouraging me to apply for this wonderful opportunity. I’d like to thank the ladies who made us food everyday as their hard work cannot be forgotten because the food was deliciously prepared. I’d also like to thank everyone who was involved in organising the conference as it was truly an experience that I’ll never forget. I’m grateful for the wonderful friendships that I’ve formed with 50 young, talented leaders of the future. I’ve learnt a lot and hope to portray everything through leadership this year.

Thank you. 

 January 24, 2016
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