“Scouting built my personality and inspired my profession”

For over a decade both girls and boys have been enjoying the thrills and life lessons experienced through the South African Scouting Movement. In light of Women’s Day SCOUTS South Africa wanted to shine the torch on some of the remarkable women that are active our country.

Nkululeko ‘Nkulu’ Nkulu Mabuza 1 photo by Andrew TannerMabuza is 22 years old and lives in Tzaneen in the Limpopo Province with her mom and younger sister. She is currently working as a social worker for ‘Keep The Dream’, a local NGO’s that strives to assist children to overcome difficult life circumstances by empowering them through the provision of skills and inner strength so they are able to realize their full potential and contribute to the growth of South Africa. ‘Keep The Dream’ has incorporated Scouting into its programming and uses the Scout Promise, Laws and programme to uplift and educate the children and youths in their care.

Nkulu was born in the Shiluvane village and joined Scouting at the age of 11 when her mom started the first Scout Troop in Tzaneen. “Initially I was hesitant and didn’t really see the point, but soon I realized how much fun Scouting is and how many new friends I was making. I remember the very first camp I went on I was terrified! I had never camped before, I didn’t know the girls I was sharing a tent with and the first night I was so scared. However, by the second night I didn’t want to go home. And that is what Scouting is about. It teaches you how to adapt to certain situations, how to make friends and above all how to cope and manage in any situation you find yourself in. You actually learn to be a chameleon”, she reminisces.

“I met Louise Batty the Director of ‘Keep The Dream’ in 2003. After I finished my studies at Varsity I knew I wanted to give back to children in my home town and invest in them like Louise and my mother did for me. They pushed me to be the best I can be and so I returned home and joined the KTD team. In Limpopo we see a lot of gender based violence and teen pregnancies. In my work I strive to empower and help both children and parents to overcome and see past their pain and to support each other in succeeding in life. I think this is something that I have always been passionate about and I do credit Scouting for inspiring me to be who I am today. You see as a Scout you get exposed to different people from various places, classes and walks of life. You go out into the wild and learn how to survive and respect the environment we have been given. Experiencing all of this at a young age establishes a solid foundation on which you can build as a young adult. You will have an in-depth understanding of the importance of values, they will come naturally to you. I can confidently say that I am who I am today because of Scouting, it built my personality and inspired my profession.”

When asked whether she thinks she is a positive role model to young girls in her home town she giggles and says “There were seven girls in my Scout Troop when we started. I think we are all trying to lead by example and not by words alone. I think all our personal stories are testimony to the power and influence Scouting has had on our lives. Two of us have graduated and are working and the other five are still studying and will be graduating soon. We have all worked hard and are achieving our dreams! It’s not because you start your life in a rural area that you need to think you cannot succeed. Not all children are equally strong at school. Some children have talents that lay elsewhere then academic achievements. Yes they need to work hard at school, but thanks to Scouting where you get exposed to a number of other skills, you can discover and nurture your talents like in building, singing or drawing for example. By helping children find out that they do have a talent that they can nurture, you build hope and create dreams for future success … that is the power of Scouting!”

For this inspiring young lady the journey does not end here “I dream of a ‘Keep The Dream’ franchise and a bigger Scouting Movement with more members from rural areas throughout South Africa. I hope to inspire a lot more children to see the bigger picture and to dream and achieve their goals in life.”

To join SCOUTS South Africa go to www.scouts.org.za -> ‘Scouts near you’ or in Limpopo contact ‘Keep The Dream’ on 0732742080.  

Email us if you know more remarkable women in our Scouting Movement! pr@scouting.org.za