Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A Journey of Self Discovery Abe Bailey 2010

The Abe Bailey tour has created in me a sense of great pride for myself and for my country.

2010signified an unforgettable year not only for me but for the entire nation, young,old,orthodox,exhibitionists,faithful and the faithless all came together united as one nation in successfully hosting the 2010 Soccer World Cup. What more could a South African ask for, little did I know that I would be blessed further. The 17th of November 2010 marked a dream come true for me, the beginning of a life changing experience. As I was met with 17 warm, compassionate, funny, open minded and kindhearted aspiring leaders. My journey of self discovery began.

While walking through the pathways of London and romantically punting down the beautiful Cambridge Rivers, I gained insight into their education system and my understanding of their way of life maximized. In the company of thorough professionals I received criticism, acknowledgement and gave acceptance and understanding to the opinions of others. Ambition, pride, thrust, zest and the desire to succeed was just some of the qualities my colleagues possessed. We lived, laughed and learned together creating memories which will live on forever.
I was so proud, humbled and impressed to see the kind of young people South Africa has and was even more inspired in my love for our country. I’ve gained the true definition of a leader and came back with a greater passion for our country and a burning desire to make a significant contribution.

From walking out of Robben Island in tears after standing in the cell of one of the world’s greatest men, to walking in the house of the Lords, sitting around the table with MPs, dinning with the principle of an Oxford College, Curling in Scotland with the local Rotary Club ,has all contributed to my experience which has changed my life in more ways than one and has opened my eyes to what is going on in the world around me.
One of my most admired quotes by William Shakespeare: “Some are born great , some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them” and I truly believe that this tour is by far the greatest gift afforded to young South Africans by the Abe Bailey Trust.

One of the highlights for me, which I believe was the most important aspect of the tour, was the individual presentation and subsequent discussions. With 18 strong minded individuals with strengths and talents in different areas of life these debates was a powerful platform to express your views and have some of South Africa’s problems addressed that could facilitate social change in cohesion.

My experience of the group: Keeve, Adriaan, David, Tshego, Abrie, Mario, Marius, Richard, Lindelani, Cherese, Toni, Marizelle, Caterina, Gerldine, Ayesha, Marna and Phiwe are some of the finest people you could possibly meet in this world!!! I felt I learnt a lot about everyone’s experiences of growing up in South Africa, as well as their individual institutions. The experience of each other’s disciplines and different upbringings allowed interesting conversations to take place throughout the tour. I am greatly encouraged by the people I met on this trip. There enthusiastic patriotism, intelligent discussions and warm friendship have re-affirmed my belief in the youth of the New South Africa. I’ve learnt that South Africa’s diverse culture has as much validity and relevance as England’s and that we owe it to ourselves and future generations to learn as much as we can about it.

South Africa has so much untouched potential and beauty and certainly is alive with possibilities for growth and social transformation. Between difficulties we can find opportunity where color creed or race holds no significance in the identification of the caliber of an individual. The day when South Africa will truly be a united nation and we all stand proudly together as one ‘Khomanani’
I would like to thank Sir Abe and the Abe Bailey foundation for entrusting me with this exhilarating tour and expanding my knowledge of a broader horizon outside of South Africa. Words cannot express my gratitude to Dr John Gibbon for his hard work during and in-between each tour, in meeting new Abes and keeping in touch with the old ones. You became the father to our 2010 tour family and without you none of this would have been possible. Again, Thank you Sir Abe Bailey for having the foresight to realize the value of a trip such as this.

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