Be the Mentor is an SAB initiative that encourages young adults to help teens make positive life choices, including staying away from alcohol and toxic situations. You can be a part of the change you envision for South Africa, by pledging to be a mentor today and helping the youth live a better tomorrow. It could be following in the footsteps of your mentor,or starting a new path and being the mentor you wish you had when you were growing up.
GETTING TO KNOW NTOKOZO
“Be the change you want to see in the world” best describes Ntokozo because she has always wanted to be a positive role model for the youth in her community.
Ntokozo says she had several positive role models in her life who were able to give her advice about life experiences and this inspired her to become a mentor. “My mom has been an amazing example of strength, perseverance, the importance of creating opportunities for yourself and believing in yourself. I did not have specific mentors but different people and organisations that played a role in who I have become.” While Ntokozo is new to mentoring, she sees it as a learning opportunity. “The journey of being a mentor is still very new. I have already learnt that it is not always easy to connect with a person and that things may not work out as I planned and that’s okay too.” “I was a teenage mother and would not want my mentee to be in that position, being a parent is a great responsibility and an honour, but one should wait until they are prepared and sure about it.” Most importantly, she wants her mentee to have a balanced lifestyle.
“There is a lot of pressure to do well at school, but we are only young once and we all need to have fun and enjoy the present - responsibly.” She also wants to show her mentee that there are alternative activities to illegal drinking and consuming drugs. They should rather be focused on bettering their futures through their studies and laying strong foundations for their futures.
LET’S MEET LUTHANDO
Luthando believes his circumstances as a child shaped him into becoming his own mentor and instilled in him a sense of ‘‘wanting to be better than my surroundings’’. By being a mentor, he has placed a sharp focus on improving himself daily – so that he is a better role model to his mentee. “Mentorship to me means to help, guide, assist and improve another person’s life in any positive way possible,” he said.
Living in a disadvantaged community, issues such as gangsterism and substance abuse often lead to abuse within households. “High school students are dealing with an escalating frequency of rape and gangsterism and this unfortunately increases the rate of school dropouts. This is why I grabbed the opportunity to be part of this campaign, as a mentor and guide to my fiancé’s younger sister.”
“By being able to help someone and being someone for her to look up to is something that is close to my heart,” says Luthando.
Luthando’s dream for his mentee is for her to achieve all her goals especially her passion for art, which they often enjoy together. “I use this time as a platform to address any struggles she may be having and give her advice on how to deal with things the correct way instead of falling into the trap of alcohol abuse, as I know from personal experience, this is often an easy way out for teenagers.”
YOU CAN MAKE A CHANGE TOO
SAB believes that everyone can be a part of the change. The 18+ Be the Mentor campaign is about starting a movement which calls on everyone over the age of 18 in South Africa to take that first step and become a mentor and – Be Part of the Change.
You can pledge to be an SAB 18+ Mentor today and help Ntokozo and Luthando inspire the youth to act better, live better and be better than their surroundings.
If you want to be a part of the change, then visit www.bethementor.sab.co.za and start making a difference for the safer, cleaner, healthier South Africa that we all aspire to have.