Meet Lalela alumnus and volunteer, Avuyile

April 5, 2022

Above: Avuyile with his grandmother, proudly showing off his Lalela award

Meet Avuyile Mgqibelo, a 19-year-old Lalela alumnus who graduated from our programme in Masiphumelele last year. Avuyile exemplifies Lalela’s core values: inspiring with creativity, reimagining challenges as opportunities, and being a trailblazer of change…

Avuyile has been part of the Lalela family since 2011, when he first signed up to our after-school programme as a young boy. Residing in Masiphumelele in Fishhoek, Cape Town, Avuyile has grown up to become a beloved role model and an active citizen in his community.

In 2021, Avuyile completed his Grade 12 studies, passing with four distinctions. A prefect in his final year, he also found the time to volunteer at his community library’s reading programme for young learners between ages of eight and 12.

He’s also a creative and gifted artist. As the eldest of his siblings, Avuyile helps his grandmother, the children’s caregiver, by selling some of his drawings to bring in much-needed income to sustain himself and the rest of the family.

His graduation from high school meant he also formally graduated from the Lalela programme, but yet his journey with us continues – and we couldn’t be more proud. This year Avuyile decided to work as a Lalela volunteer, helping out at our workshops at Ukhanyo Primary School as a form of giving back.

Above: Avuyile is a talented artist, among his many other positive traits!

We asked Avuyile…

What is your biggest personal achievement? It was getting the best of best award at Lalela’s 2021/2 Exhibition, as voted by my peers. Receiving that award 11 years later in the programme showed the importance of dedication and commitment.

What is your greatest challenge? The absence of my father. I strongly feel that every young man deserve a father’s love and good influence. Watching my mother and grandmother suffering and working extra hard for me and my siblings cuts deep.

What keeps you going? Currently, the Lalela AG 3 class, which has become my second home. With all the difficulties that I am facing this year not being able to go to college or university is hard but knowing that I still have a place to look forward to is a bliss and brings me so much hope.

What’s the best thing about being a Lalela volunteer? Working with the little ones. I will never trade that opportunity for anything. Working with the young artists in their groups and sharing my love for art with them is my favourite part and motivating them in their lowest and also seeing that they trust me means a lot for me.

How did Lalela help or guide you personally? With all these years Lalela kept me grounded, respectful and humble. Growing up in the dusty streets of Masiphumelele and being raised by a single old lady was not easy at all. Having to face challenges in all aspects of life, (my time at) Lalela came in handy; I had to make good informed decisions for myself. The programme instilled discipline, values and shaped me into one of the best young people in the community and for that I am grateful.

What are your hopes and dreams for your future? Next year I am definitely going to study mechanical engineering or interior design. I want to build a sustainable future for myself and my family. I want to leave a legacy in the Masiphumelele community and always give back to others.

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Your generosity makes it possible for Lalela’s educational arts programmes to create meaningful change that affects thousands of at-risk children in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Your generosity makes it possible for Lalela’s educational arts programmes to create meaningful change that affects thousands of at-risk children in Sub-Saharan Africa.




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