Seek and Save the Lost
I’m often asked to speak at schools to inject a unique style of inspiration into learners. From a student’s point of view, educators are often seen as, well ‘educators.’ Their main role is to lecture and discipline, and to give out dreaded homework. So, when I got the call to engage learners from Nigel Secondary School, I wanted to prepare an encouraging message that would resonate not only with the educators, but especially with the learners. Exams were coming up. Unfortunately, the number of students at Nigel Secondary School that were passing matric had dropped in 2020 and 2021. This was in large part due to lockdown measures meant to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, but that mainly spread anxiety because of a lack of human contact that promoted mental illness and bad habits.
Upon arrival to the school, Principal Deon Vengatsammy shared with me the daunting news that four of his students from Grades 10 and 11 had fallen pregnant this year. He asked that I speak on the matter. I was shocked for a moment, then remembered statistically that not only are our teenagers engaging in sexual intercourse more often, but from a younger age. I also recalled thinking to myself at that very moment that my vocation is to seek and save the lost. The tagline of my WarriorRic personal brand is a constant reminder: inspire (spirit of God, faith); motivate (to take action); and transform (save the lost).
I started my talk with: “Some of you made a mistake, but the future growing in your belly is not a mistake. No regrets, only lessons. But you’ll have to work harder now.” I had only the girls from Grades 10 and 11. We had so much fun and meaningful, but sometimes difficulty with learning about who we are, and who we are here. The highlight for me was taking questions from the girls, and feeling that my answers could prove pivotal to their ability to overcome major obstacles.
We left the room singing “Soldiers are you ready?! iThemba!”