Embracing the potential of tomorrow’s leaders

Posted on June 14, 2024

Miya Thula, a 38-year-old father from Pietermaritzburg, has dedicated his career to fostering growth and excellence in young people. Thula, who holds a bachelor’s degree in Management Leadership from the University of the Free State, serves as an administrative officer in Student Administration at the University of Pretoria’s (UP) Faculty of Health Sciences, where he’s been working for seven years.

Thula believes that today’s youth are exceptionally sharp, wise and prepared to face life’s challenges. In his view, while they encounter different challenges and opportunities than previous generations, they have the best strategies to navigate these complexities.

“What sets this generation apart is their ability to mature in a rapidly changing technological landscape and adapt swiftly to new advancements,” he says. “All they need are the right opportunities.”

For Thula, Youth Month is a time to celebrate young leaders who play crucial roles in society and who make a positive impact.

“It’s a moment to honour the sacrifices of past generations while acknowledging youth who are currently shaping our nation’s future,” he says. “Youth Month educates young people about diversity; different cultures, backgrounds and ethnicities; and it fosters unity and inclusivity.”

Unity, he adds, is essential for young people to embrace inclusivity and have respect for one another.

“If Youth Month can bring together young people, such unity will promote a vision of a prosperous South Africa,” Thula says. “This sense of community and shared purpose is vital for a harmonious and progressive society.”

He points out that technical skills are crucial for young people to succeed in today’s job market. Continuous learning and updating these skills are essential due to the constant evolution of technology. Creativity and problem-solving skills are equally important, Thula says, as they enable young people to tackle challenges effectively and come up with innovative solutions. Communication skills are also vital for collaborating with diverse personalities and building strong professional relationships.

Thula emphasises the importance of attending seminars, workshops and professional development courses.

“These opportunities allow young people to improve their skills and stay current with industry trends,” he explains. “The internet is a valuable resource for continuous learning, providing access to a wealth of knowledge.”

Attending relevant events and engaging in discussions about socio-economic issues, unity, human rights, democracy and national identity are crucial for personal and professional growth, he adds.

“The only way to change your tomorrow is to change what you’re doing today,” Thula says. “There is no need to wait until tomorrow to act; every moment counts in shaping a better future. Youth Month is a celebration of the potential, creativity and resilience of young people. By providing opportunities, fostering unity and encouraging continuous learning, we can ensure that today’s youth are well equipped to lead us into a brighter, more inclusive future.”

- Author Jimmy Masombuka

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