Prince: The making of heroes

Names: Prince Shabangu
Year joined enke family: 2012
Hometown: Johannesburg, Gauteng

hero

At the age of 22, he is a 3rd year B.Com Accounting student at the University of the Witwatersrand. He is a Presenter at enke: Make Your Mark, has been shortlisted to be part of the One Day Leader T.V programme, and most recently the Youth Representative on the enke Board (with a 2 year tenure).

Without a doubt Prince Shabangu is making his mark.

Finding one’s true purpose in the world and working towards it is what we all seek. Most never get the chance to actually get there because along the way we give up and let life “take it’s true course”. Depending on our “unique” challenges we were never meant to be, so we tell our selves.

Born and raised in Johannesburg, to a car mechanic and part time domestic worker. An outcast amongst his peers for not being ‘black enough’, Prince had good reasons to give up on his dreams. The evolution of Prince dates back to 2012 when he joined enke as an enke: Igniter. He cites this period as one of the two turning points in his life.

The first of those was during his first enke: Forum in 2012. At the beginning the Trailblazers could not relate to him, nor he to them. It was not until he realized the Trailblazers were not looking to him for answers, instead they wanted a role model. “enke makes us heroes”, he says, “through how we conduct ourselves – each and everyday we have the opportunity to inspire those around us to be the best they can be”.

The latest turning point was during the 2014 Presenter Training Retreat (as part of the Ignition Program) with Pip Wheaton, enke: Make Your Mark CEO. “We were asked to give a two minute presentation, where we had to speak about something close to our hearts. I gave a speech about how I wanted to be a president…..…that was the least emotional thing I could speak about. After my speech Pip called me on the side and said I was avoiding the real issue and challenged me to do it again”.

On his second attempt Prince told the story of his father losing his job and their family home; having to walk to and from University without lunch every day; his poor academic performance and his bursary being frozen. About how he was faced with the responsibility of taking care of his family, which also meant dropping out of University. After the presentation, things were never the same. The ‘mask’ had been removed, emotions and feelings bare for all to see and judge. Judge they all did but he was finally free. Free to be himself and for the first time he was ok with it.

When asked about what advice he could give to other young leaders out there he believes that we are all passionate about something in life but that working alone will not get the youth very far. Young people cannot change the world without changing themselves first. “Do you first, then change the world”.

We want to reach 1000 more young people like Prince by the end of 2015.  You can help us support more projects like this by contributing to our crowdfunding campaign here: http://igg.me/at/enkeMYM/x/828715 

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