The Rising Star of Lamula Jubilee Secondary School : Boitumelo’s Story.
By: Virginia Mashiane
Boitumelo Rammego is passionate pioneer from Lamula Jubilee Secondary School in Meadowlands, Soweto . She joined the enke: Make Your Mark family in 2016, after her mentor had introduced her to the Trailblazer Program, and brought along with him application forms for Boitumelo and four other promising students within the JASA program.
In the build-up to her involvement with enke: Make Your Mark, Boitumelo saw the world as a flat, limiting and restricting place which had no room for the participation and contributions of young people in crafting and expanding the imaginative possibilities of their own future and that of the world. This was magnified in her immediate community, Meadowlands- a township that was created in the 1950s following the forced removals of black people from Sophiatown.
Located at what is arguably the heart of Soweto, Meadowlands, carries the hopes and dreams of many young people for whom unemployment, poverty and countless other manifestations of socio-economic disparities are perceived to be definitive norms. This as Boitumelo has since observed, often manifests in the form of drug and alcohol abuse, hopelessness and reluctance to seize personal and communal development opportunities, as these opportunities are perceived to be beyond reach and incapable of bringing any substantial change.
Citing enke’s youth-centered focus as one of the things that drew her to the program, Boitumelo set out to enke: Forum in 2016, in eager anticipation of connecting with like-minded youth from across the country, each looking to make a meaningful contribution in their respective communities. Among the things that stood out the most for Boitumelo during the 2016 Johannesburg enke: Forum, is the reflective tools that were drawn upon during the experiential learning activities.
These have aided her analysis of her community and stretched her understanding of herself and her immediate surroundings. She describes her experience at enke as one that opened her up to a sense of purpose and helped cultivate a strong belief in her own capacity to positively influence her community and impact her peers. Boitumelo regards this an important personal stride because South African youth are widely perceived to be directionless, complacent and apathetic. Something which was evidently not true and would propel Boitumelo and her peers; Ntwanano, Tendani, Princess and Lerato (also from Lamula Jubilee Secondary School) to work towards challenging through a collaborative Community Action Project termed Remarkable Future Leaders!
Remarkable Future Leaders combined the vision of these five individuals, saw them creatively design a platform for the pupils at their school to grow in the direction of their dreams. This community action project sought to enable students to develop their capacity and mould themselves, through a structured after-school program with a strong peer education focus, supplemented by various Arts and Sports initiatives which are supported by the school.
This Boitumelo believes, is one of the most effective ways of changing the trajectory and narrative of her community, because it encourages involved pupils to take ownership of their future and shape the community in ways that resemble their highest hopes and aspirations. Seeing a shift in perspective about what’s possible and within reach for participants of Remarkable Future Leaders is what makes this initiative worthwhile and fulfilling, for Boitumelo and her peers. But on a more personal level, her active involvement in Remarkable Future Leaders has helped Boitumelo cultivate patience and as a result forge better inter-personal relations with those around her.
This is something which she regards as a monumental change which helps her embody her mantra: “our lives are greater than where we come from!”
Find out how you can support Stories of #YouthLedChange at www.enke.co.za