Creative and ambitious, that’s Yolanda
February 2, 2022
Above: Yolanda (front row, centre) and her Lalela classmates celebrate their graduation from Silikamva High School and from our programme late 2021. On the left is their Lalela facilitator and mentor, Terri Dennis.
The Lalela team is so proud to welcome onboard our former student, Yolanda Mswaka, who has taken a gap year and will be gaining valuable work experience with us as an intern during this time. Yolanda successfully completed her grade 12 studies at Silikamva High School in Imizamo Yethu in Hout Bay, Cape Town. She also passed with flying colours, earning admission to Bachelor’s degree studies at university. Yolanda writes about the highlights of her time in the Lalela programme and as one of our Leadership students, as well as her future plans…
I would describe myself as energetic, hardworking and passionate, but mostly curious or adventurous. I’m creative-minded and ambitious.
I started Lalela in 2015 when I was doing grade 6 at school, so I’ve been with (the organisation) for seven full years. I have to say that Lalela’s values and lessons have built me to become the confident, adventurous and self-driven person I am today.
My best experience with Lalela was when we interacted with different schools. This helped build my self-esteem and I became more positive-minded .The Lalela leadership camps also helped in self-discovery and confidence building.
Above: Yolanda (right) with her friend and Lalela classmate Panashe presenting the special crowns they hand-made for each other as part of our ‘Give them a Crown’ project during the school holidays in May 2021
I applied for the Lalela internship because I saw it as an opportunity to learn and prepare for the big world out there and gain experience. I saw this as a great chance to do for others what has been done for me, which is to help a child like me out there and explain to them and help them see that anyone can change and be confident. I look forward to accumulating as much knowledge as possible to help me grow.
My plan for next year is to further my studies in the health or medicine sector. My dream now is to become a physiotherapist or a dentist, but my greatest desire is to become an author.
My advice to my peers is that, with hard work and determination, all dreams can come to life. Discard all the negatives of your background and soar towards your bright future.
WATCH: Click here to watch beautiful, powerful spoken-word performances by Yolanda and her sibling Gresham as presented during Lalela’s virtual fundraiser in 2021.
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