Phakama means rise in isiXhosa, a fitting name for a strong, resilient young Bantu Hiker. She is adamant about studying medicine and nothing else. It is evident in her excitement as she talks about being a surgeon. She shares that she is neither squeamish nor does she shudder at the sight of blood and her fellow colleagues attest to it. Her quiet demeanor gives little about her sharp mind but how she expresses herself is indicative of a rising queen. We celebrate her with her words:
“First of all I’d like to thank Bantu Hikers for giving me the opportunity to participate in the previous hike on Tokai. The hike was a great motivator for me. The hikers provided us with words of encouragement and motivation all through the long walk. I had tons of fun exploring the beautiful view of Cape Town from an altitude above the vineyards below the Elephants Eye.
During the whole climbing experience I had an objective to fulfil, which was to reach my destination, the Elephants Eye, and observe every interesting part of it. The exact same thought came to my mind that I have a purpose to fulfil in life of which the first step of it is to pass my matric so that I find a place in this complicated world we’re living in.
The hike gave me some questions to consider and those included; who am I? What do I want from life? How can I change my life now and who can I ask for help and guidance when I am at the crossroads? I got so much inspiration from the hikers and my questions somehow got answered.
What I gained most was that I should always keep myself convinced that irrespective of the situations and challenges I approach everyday of my life, I can achieve success, if only I work harder and smarter. The hike instilled to me that not having self-motivation would be the biggest challenge for me this year and throughout my whole life. I learnt that self-motivation always assists a person to be disciplined and helps one gain better attitude to persevere in all obstacles.
So, in all my self discovery adventure improved even more on that hike. I now have classified myself as a climber because I climb, rest for a while and then start climbing again. I’m not that person that climbs for a while, rests for a while, and rests forever. I put on a mindset shift that I won’t give up when life gets to tough because I’m not a quitter.
This year one of the things I can say is challenging for me is the financial difficulties I am facing. It’s hard to pay application fees when I am applying at certain universities. It’s also hard to keep up with the school work since I don’t have all the needed stationery. The other challenge I am facing is not having access to a computer so that I can apply for bursaries on time. It’s also hard for me to download past exam papers in order to prepare for the upcoming trials and final exams.
Having a mentor would be so great for me. I strongly believe that a mentor would help me take charge of my life and turn all my failures into a success. A mentor would motivate me to overcome my weaknesses and shape me so that I take control and seize every opportunity. A mentor would assist me to set priorities and help me look for solutions and not problems. But of course the power will still depend on the choices I make every day. I would really appreciate it if you could offer me a mentor.”
It starts with one step!