My name is Nqobile Angel Memela. I am a bursary candidate of Afrika Tikkun Services since 2021. Here is my story on my journey with the ATS alumni.
I am currently a pending graduate and was studying towards my Bachelor of Health Sciences in clinical technologies as a Critical care technologist. A financial advisor from DUT introduced me to ATS bursary when I came back in 2021 after failing tremendously ill in 2020 and being hospitalized for several months. I had to deregister from the DUT and lost my NSFAS Funding. I was just the right candidate for them I guess because I got accepted for funding even though my previous year’s academic transcript was not good.
In 2022 I was then introduced to the ATS Alumni Network, where I can say I got to find myself as a young individual. After paying the membership fee, I was invited to the Alumni Leadership camp. It was a very inspiring and educational camp. I discovered a lot about ATS and the alumni network and that drove the adrenaline drive for me to continue being in this exceptional organization. I was then honoured to be one of the Durban constituency leaders with Mncedisi Khuzwayo. I was also voted to be part of the junior board member as vice chief operations officer. This was truly an upgrade and I knew we had a lot to do going back home because unlike in JHB and CPT the ATS and ALUMNI NETWORK are not populated and known. Most of the candidates in DBN were in academics, so bringing opportunities from the other categories and getting people to know more about ATS and the Alumni Network was what we had to do.
The next camp I attended was the young urban men and young urban women camp, just after the Alumni youth conventional day. As an individual, I have learned a lot from the events, round table meetings, camps, and junior board discussions making me a better and more focused leader. To be a leader is all about action, not just a position given to you. You are constantly on the move, communicating and recruiting candidates to expose them to better opportunities around them and South Africa as a whole.
I got to meet and work closely with the ATS KZN project lead Saira Khan and the HR manager Kumeshen Moodley. On the 8th of October, we launched the Durban Alumni Constituency. This was our first event this side and I was glad we were the host. I had to ensure candidates from Durban attend so that they can know more about ATS and the Alumni. The leaders from other constituencies and the project coordinators and the project leads did an exceptional job assisting us in making the day a success.
In conclusion, I would like to say being funded by ATS was just not about paying my fees and getting me to graduate but they introduced me to a platform (Alumni Network) where I found family, mentors, and friends. I got to work with people, and improve my communication skills, time management skills, and leadership skills. I was and am still part of a team that is dedicated to reducing youth unemployment in SA by tackling the socio-economic factors that make it difficult for us as the youth to access the economy and realize our potential and I AM PROUD.