My name is Meli Ngalwa. I am 19 years old and I am a matriculant of Silikamva High School in Hout Bay. I joined iKasi Youth in 2011 after I heard about it through a friend. We had been attending another after school programme together in Hout Bay, at iKhaya le Themba, but my friend had left the programme a year before me. My friend asked me to come over to iKasi because a lot of our friends were also part of the programme, so that was another reason I decided to join them.
After joining iKasi I saw a change in myself after seeing the support we got from Nathan (the founder of iKasi Youth) in his attempts at doing his best to improve our situations and hopefully giving us a better future. He wanted us to do well in life. I remember there was a chart that he made that he showed us with the vision he had for us in life. That really inspired me to be committed to the programme. Nathan also showed me that he was very dedicated to what it was he was telling us and he wasn’t just saying it. He continues to do so even though he is not as visible to us in the day to day running of the programme as he used to be. That is why we are still part of the programme and haven’t left, because of the faith the team has put in us.
My plans for the next 5 years involve being finished with studying whatever it is that I will eventually choose to study. I don’t know at the moment what exactly I want to study, so I have given myself the next 3 months to figure out what it is I want to do with my life.
When I am finished studying I will definitely come back to Hout Bay. I have no other life outside of Hout Bay. When I have completed my studies I will try to bring whichever skills I have learned back to Hout Bay.