A woman’s empowering journey in SCOUTS SA

Written by Dylan Cloete, SSA Youth Influencer

Roshaan Solomon-Jhilmeet is a woman who has worn many hats in her Scouting journey. From joining the Movement as a parent helper, she has since become an Assistant Troop Scouter and District Commissioner.  She is also a Western Cape Scouting-in-Schools mentor. I chatted with Roshaan about her Scouting journey and her life.

“I grew up as the second youngest among five siblings in the vibrant neighborhood of Rocklands, nestled in Mitchells Plain. While my childhood was filled with memories of the colorful streets and the warmth of family, I remained blissfully unaware of the world of Scouts that had touched my family before,” explains Roshaan.

“As life unfolded, I became a mother to two wonderful young men and settled in the tranquil town of Muizenberg. Little did I know that the world of Scouts, a world my mother, brother, and even my uncle were once part of, would soon become a part of my life too.”

Roshaan’s Scouting journey started with her youngest son. “He was full of curiosity and energy and became a chum in Cubs. His fascination with this new adventure kindled something within me, igniting a journey that I had never anticipated”, she continues. “I vividly remember those early days, when my role was that of an eager parent helper at the 1st Muizenberg Cubs. Guiding these young minds, watching over them as if they were my own, I fell in love with the Scout Movement and all it stood for. As time passed and my son progressed to Scouts, I chose to walk alongside him. I earned my Scout Warrant and took on the role of Assistant Troop Scouter (ATS). The transition from Cubs to Scouts was a transformative experience for me. Scouting unveiled countless adventures and memories, and I cherished each moment. Scouts was a world brimming with opportunities for growth and exploration. It was an honor to witness many of my Cubs evolve into Scouts and to stand by their side as they embarked on their own Scouting journey.

Yet, as the boys matured into young men, a feeling lingered within me—an unshakeable desire to contribute more, to give back to the community that had shaped me. When an advertisement for a Scouting-in-Schools (SIS) mentor position in Mitchell’s Plain caught my attention, I knew it was my chance. The opportunity to guide and mentor the youth of my own neighborhood resonated deeply with me. With a leap of faith, I embraced the SIS role, and the moment I received that offer was nothing short of exhilarating. The prospect of influencing the lives of young minds in Mitchell’s Plain filled me with a sense of privilege and honor. It was as if the universe was telling me that my journey was far from over!”

But the universe had another surprise in store for Roshaan—a proposition to be the District Commissioner for Mitchells Plain. Eager to take on this new challenge she leapt at the opportunity. “I knew that this was an opportunity to be a beacon of change within my community, to shape the future of Scouts in Mitchells Plain. One quote by Robert Baden-Powell always resonates with me: “The most worthwhile thing is to try and put happiness into the lives of others.” This quote has been a guiding light in my journey. It’s a belief that we should all carry within us—striving to spread joy, uplift others, and create positive change in any way we can.”

Today, as Women’s Month is coming to an end, Roshaan reflects on her path. “ I stand with a heart full of confidence, strength, resilience, and passion. These qualities are not exclusive; they are within reach for everyone, regardless of their background. I firmly believe that saying “yes” to opportunities and embracing the journey of learning is the key to growth. I am proud to say, “I am the change I want to see.” This mantra has fueled my journey, driving me to give back, to inspire, and to make a difference.