Scouting inspired me to find my voice

Meet Sharmaine Zitha, our 23 year old SSA Youth Influencer and Young Leaders Representative from the Limpopo Region. Sharmaine joins a team of youth from around the county who will be promoting the work of our SA Scouting members in creating a better world.

Our influencers have been trained, and will continue to hone their content development skills whilst sharing your community service and Scouting stories. Email your story to and one of our influencers or Regional Marketing Reps will be in touch! #youth #womensmonth

Sharmaine joined Scouting through our longstanding partnership with local NGO Keep The Dream 196. Here is her Scouting story.
My name is Sharmaine Zitha and I’m a young, hard working and driven individual who isn’t afraid to face a challenge.  I am passionate about what I do, I know how to get the job done, and I try to be fair in everything I do.

I joined Scouting in 2013 with no idea what Scouts were doing. I was interested in finding a place where lots of children could play and that pushed me to join the team. After attending a camp I started to realise that it is not all about playing and having fun, but it’s about changing people and expanding our knowledge.

Before joining the Scout Movement I was unable to socialise with other people and was somehow shy to talk. I also couldn’t stand up for myself. I wasn’t really interested in education but I was forced to go to school. I didn’t have a dream about my future, in fact I had no light about my future at all. After joining the Scout Movement through Keep The Dream 196 my life changed. I am now able to stand on my own and speak out the wrongs and the rights that I see.

No words can really completely capture the joyous feelings in my heart when I think of how Keep The Dream 196 and Scouting has benefited my life. I have tried several times but each time I am so overwhelmed with the things I want to convey that I just get so choked up.

Scouting  is indescribable, so pure, so patient, so humble and so so so very wise and it is really incredible the way Louise Batty, Akela Zabe and Nkulu Majola are constantly supporting and helping children to be confident and to believe in ourselves. I am so humbled by their wisdom and patience and so inspired by so much effort being put in our lives. They are all working with the unwavering goal of planting seeds, making accessible: teaching, sharing, inspiring, reaching out, giving a shoulder, and showing the way to always benefit others. It is just so blissful knowing I am now furthering my studies through their help…

In this Movement I got to understand that Scouts is not only for boys or certain people, but for everyone. It feels like going to school, over the past few years I have learned a lot of skills with an intense focus on the outdoors. I have learned to be creative and how to develop my leadership skills. Scouting has taught me  how to overcome challenges and complete hard tasks even when under pressure. I learned how I can actually help other people without expecting anything in return. I have learned to plan ahead and over the years developed time management skills.

When I was still in high school, I had nothing with me. My family couldn’t afford to buy my school uniform and stationaries. I did not have the opportunity to get pocket money for school. But after meeting with DC and joining Scouting everything went well. They are playing a parenting role in my life. They taught me not to fear any confrontation or any kinds of problems I have with myself or others.

I’m now studying at the University of Limpopo doing a Bachelor’s degree in teaching. I know that I am not the only person who was assisted through this programme and I believe that the work will spread all over to change more lives. Currently I am the Regional Young Leaders Representative, Chairperson of the Rover Crew at the University of Limpopo and now also a SSA Youth Influencer. I’m striving towards obtaining a position or an opportunity to be up there in Scouting and to be a good leader for my nation. I would like to thank Scouting and Keep The Dream 196 for giving me a chance to step out of my comfort zone and actually get to have a voice. Thank you for opening my eyes and my mind to the true meaning and purpose of my life. Now I feel complete.