My name is Hlulani, I grew up in a dysfunctional environment where life was shaped by the behaviour of the community, and some may call it peer-pressure. I was born in 1994/11/06 in a family whereby my father was the only bread winner, this had an impact on my growth. As I grew up I had to go to school with people who had enough at their homes. I watched them tease me because I never even had pocket money. I went to school not enjoying because I was forced. When I reached grade 5 I went to initiation school and this was a turning point for me. My life became a mess, I became something I don’t even believe I was now. When I went to grade 6, both my parent had to go and work at Johannesburg to supplement the needs of the family. They left me at home with my neighbour to look after me, I then dropped out of school.
I unleashed my so called “pseudo manhood”, I thought I had it all under control and knew what I was doing. Pity I had no idea I was only fantasising which fantasies would never have had flourished, I became naughty. I did not listen to people who tried advising or putting some sense into me because I thought I was a man. I repeated grade 6 where I was always fighting and when interrogated about the fights I had no sugar-way of talking to adults I was always rude.
When I went to grade 7 I met people who were almost thinking the same way I did, we influenced each other, wherein a class a teacher could only reach the two-front row. We enjoyed that because that’s what we wanted, we did not want to be in the spotlight with teachers. By this time I was also involved with an organisation called Sizanani which worked together with Keep the Dream 196. Keep the Dream196 focused on changing the lives of teenager to the right path using the scout laws, motto, and promise which also enshrine in them words from the bible. They enforced behaviour change but a lot of us did not take them serious because we thought we were man’s enough to be playing games.
June 2009, Sizanani selected a few learners to attend a scout camp at westfalia, I was one of them with my other two friends. When we arrived at the camp we continually thought it was just for fun and did not take it serious. We continued to play at the camp and they noticed us, they separated us and created competitions. Those competitions ensured that we brought our A-game, we all wanted to win and it came to my attention that it was not about competitions but to ensure that we conform to the group, we respect other members, learn to share and to work with others.
My eyes opened, I saw a future in the scouts, I learnt to live by the laws, motto and scout promise. It impacted my life in a positive way, because they enforced that scouts are not failures, instead they smile and whistle under all difficulties and persist to achieve. I took advantage of Keep the Dream196’s vision and mission and it worked for me, I started advancing on my English, communication, writing and academics. From that point I never failed a grade with guidance provided to me by Keep the dream 196.
Keep the Dream196 monitored my progress, they realised that education provided at schools was never enough for one’s life, it needs supplements from other skills thus, they offered me some skills like teaching or training. Keep the Dream196 restored my life, they continually empowered me in a way that I said to myself that failure will never be an option. Through the leadership position I occupied my focus shifted from fake ideologies I had, to school and scouts only. It shaped what I wanted to be, I decided I wanted to be a teacher or a social worker which had to do with changing teenagers minds. 2016 January after receiving my matric results I attempted to enrol at Univen, Turf and TUT but I could not, Keep the Dream196 again came to my rescue offering me a job which was not necessary a job but skills and experience that enable me to mobilise resources to use when I do enrol at varsity. Currently I have enrolled at Wits University as a second-year social work student because of Keep the Dream196. I am well motivated and I still live by the scout laws, promise and motto, distance may take away my duties as a scout but I will always be part of Keep the Dream196’s program.