Inspiring leadership & real change

By Dylan Cloete, Western Cape Influencer

Nimmy Abrahams was recently appointed as the Western Cape Regional Commissioner. He is a stalwart in Western Cape Scouting and has been influential in empowering both adults and youth alike to be the best versions of themselves. I chatted with Nimmy about his Scouting journey, his beautiful family and his take on life.

“I live in Cape Town with my loving and supportive wife, Wedaad Dewajee Abrahams. She is my number one cheerleader and often contributes her catering skills to Scout courses I’m involved in”, he laughs. ” Together, we have a blended family of seven children, most of which have been involved in Scouting. Currently, I work as the head of the Academy for a Business Process Outsourcing company.

My Scouting journey began in 1980 at 1st Wynberg when I joined as a 12-year-old Scout. Although I missed the Cub phase, Scouting quickly became an integral part of my life. I achieved my Springbok, and then went on to attain the prestigious Chief Scouts Award. After turning 18, I started assisting in the Pack and obtained my Pack Warrant. I briefly left 1st Wynberg but soon joined 1st Wetton as an Assistant Troop Scouter (ATS), eventually taking over as Troop Scouter (TS) until 1999. I was also an active member of the Constantiaberg Rover Crew during that time. I also joined the Regional Team as Deputy Assistant Provincial Commissioner in the Scout Programme Department and in 2004 assumed the role of Assistant Provincial Commissioner for a decade before leading the Adult Training Team. I also served briefly as the National Chair Scout Programme. Subsequently, I served as Troop Scouter of 2nd Plumstead and co-founded the Scouting in Schools project in 2016/2017 with Ahmad Solomon and Paddy Milner. In 2023, I took on the role of Regional Commissioner. Throughout my journey, I’ve been fortunate to have had influential mentors, such as Phillip Mauritz, Ron Abrahams, Brian February, Brian Figaji, Andre Bredenkamp, Paddy Milner, and Buzz Macey, who have guided and inspired me along the way.”, he reminisces.

21st World Scout Jamboree, UK Source: Wiki Commons

“One of my Scouting highlights was attending the Centenary World Scout Jamboree in the UK in 2007” continues Nimmy with a smile. “Standing among 40,000 Scouts, we listened to the message delivered by the grandson of BP. The sight of yellow scarves raised high above us left me with a sense of pride and honour to be part of such an extraordinary Movement.

I have had the privilege of embarking on an incredible journey within Scouting, and now, as Regional Commissioner for the Western Cape Region of SCOUTS South, I am excited to share my vision for the Region with all of you.

As the Regional Commissioner my mission is to ensure that Scouting remains accessible to all. We must remember Baden-Powell’s vision of leveling the playing field and bringing the Promise and Law into the lives of young people from all backgrounds. While costs may pose challenges, our primary aim is to shape the youth of tomorrow through Scouting’s values-based principles. The Scout Programme is fantastic, but what truly distinguishes us is the Promise we make and the principles we embrace. My vision for the Western Cape is to spread this message far and wide, reaching every corner of the Region and exponentially growing our Scouting community.

Scouting-in-Schools team 2023

I aspire to level the playing field by ensuring we have passionate, well-trained adult leaders who can deliver a quality programme that attracts young people to Scouting. We have witnessed the transformative impact of the Scouting in Schools programme, which has given children from impoverished backgrounds exposure and opportunities they otherwise wouldn’t have had. By instilling positive values and altering their outlook on life, we bring about meaningful change. The Western Cape Government, Education Department, and Department of Culture and Sport have recognized the value of our programme and appreciate the partnership we have established. They have seen the benefits and are keen to extend it to other provinces. This Movement is more significant than mere camping and badge chasing; it represents real change at the grassroots level.

As I approach my 100th day in office, I am committed to fostering growth, spreading Scouting’s impact, and leaving a lasting legacy. Together, let’s strive for excellence, embrace change, and empower young people to become responsible citizens and leaders of tomorrow.

I want to emphasize the importance of good governance and safeguarding our youth. To grow as a Movement and maintain our position as the leading youth organization in the world, we must ensure we have the right people on board. Adhering to policies and procedures is crucial, as it protects our integrity and ensures our positive impact on society. Every adult member plays a vital role in this endeavor. Clarity and passionate engagement are essential to deliver the best Scouting experience we can offer”,  concludes Nimmy.

In closing, I asked Nimmy what keeps him going. His response: ” When I look at a golf course, I don’t see bunkers, waterholes, roughs, or trees. All I see are 18 holes. Don’t allow the negativity of life to get in your way. Keep focused. This motto inspires me to maintain a positive outlook.”