Terrence Hlatywayo,Founder of the Lead Me As I Lead You Movement Launches a platform that helps black youth become future leaders.
By: Thobela Sibiya
Lead Me As I Lead You is a movement that focuses on promoting responsible behaviour in life, health and social services. The founder, Terrence Hlatywayo (30), was inspired to start the project in 2015 after his marriage collapsed, leaving him helpless and in seek of guidance.
“I was so broken, weak, vulnerable, lost and in pain. I felt to rise up, I needed to allow myself to open up and heal.
I then saw a need to have a platform for broken men to talk about, express, scream their pain out and that is how the programme was born,” he shares.
The organisation prides itself in providing a safe space for men to not only get emotional support but to also be part of interactive programmes that can build other aspects of their lives. They run poetry sessions, sports games, entrepreneurship programmes, after-care for men who were in jail – to help them adapt into today’s world- and a programme that donates tents for homeless men.
Lead Me As I Lead You has a strong backing from big brands, like NYDA (National Youth Development Agency), Kaya FM, Cliff Central, Re-Imagine SA. They also have partnerships with Constitution Hill, Vosloorus Family Mediators, DCS – Leeuwkop, Sun City and Kgoshi Mampuru.
Terrence says that they are mostly proud of their achievement in helping rehabilitate four prisons and two schools in Benoni. These are the Leewukop Juvenile and Maximum Correctional Centre, Johannesburg Female Correctional Centre, Kgoshi Mampuru Maximum Correctional Centre, Etwatwa Senior Secondary School and Ephes Mamkeli High School.
Lead Me As I lead You recently joined forces with the Unomkhubulwane (The Rain Queen) project which brings a more female aspect to the programme.
“I noticed that I had too much work to attend to and I needed help. But the best part of it was based on the view that we deal mostly with men and us men have issues expressing our emotions and feelings to other men and we thought it would help to bring in Women Leaders to talk to these men and get them to feel comfortable, and it’s working,” he explains.
According to the Director Nonhlahla Dlamini, the main aim of Unomkhubulwane is to focus on the girl child. Like the Lead Me As I Lead You, they also help women who were previously incarcerated as well as children born in jails. The movement has successfully solicited the backing of True Love Magazine and Destiny for Women to help them reach as many girls and women as possible.
Terrence shares that these movements are important because the youth are born into a world that is filled with confusion and due to lack of programmes that help lead them to the right path and fail to reach their full potential.
“We need to first recognise the fact that not everyone is a leader – some leaders are born, some are made,” he adds.
“We have also turned away from our own traditional African ways and become too Eurocentric. As a result we do not know who we are. We have forgotten where we come from. We have lost our identity. We are confused and this is why majority of us are not growing up to be great leaders.”
Individuals and organisations interested in joining the movements can contact Terrence
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