Tebogo Nkabinde’s inspiring story shows South African youth determination to overcome the odds
With the saturated job market and shortage of skills as challenges faced by the youth; sticking with your initial dream may pose a challenge since everything hangs in a balance. Growing up we have aspirations of being doctors, nurses, pilots and actors but sometimes end up in a job rather than a career hoped for. It’s a reality faced by the current youth!
There is a difference between a job and a career.
- Something you do to simply earn money
- You do minimum to avoid annoying the boss
- Often tiring and irritating feels like life is squeezed out of you
- A series of connected opportunities
- Provides experience and learning to fuel your future
- Doing tasks beyond your minimum requirements
Most youth end up in dead-end jobs such as retail, call centre or promoters of which there is absolutely nothing wrong with those particular jobs; but we need to be focused on our initial goals and minimise the chances of straying away and derailing our plans.
When life happens beyond our control, there’s very little options available. South African Youth are faced with either to find a job in order to have a stomach full or chase your dreams on empty stomach. Be a go getter, struggle, endure and be true to you it will pay dividends in the end.
Tebogo Nkabinde’s journey will inspire lots of youth in Townships
We had a chat with a go getter and hope his journey inspires to remain on track. Tebogo Nkabinde a driven person who seeks to bring hope and change among other young people through his work and involvement in organisations that do just that. He is a content editor on the popular celebrity news platform EntertainmentSA. Let us hear from him about his life, struggles, highs and lows but most importantly try to be motivated by his journey.
Who is Tebogo Nkabinde and what shaped him as child?
Tebogo Nkabinde is an author, poet, lyricist, scriptwriter and a researcher on latest trends and celebrities. I am originally from Soweto, but later moved to the township of Orange Farm and spent most of my childhood there. I didn’t specifically have any favourite childhood games because I was more interested in books and philosophy.
My struggles really played a huge role in shaping me as a child. Growing up under an abusive household taught me how to appreciate the little things in life.
How do you occupy your free time?
I have a collection of books at home that keep me occupied. If not, I listen to loud music to help me unwind and refresh my brain.
What motivates you and also who inspires you?
I am motivated by necessity, when you have bills that have to be paid and family members who are counting on you, waking up every day becomes a necessity. If those two things won’t keep you going, I don’t know what will.
I look up to Cassper Nyovest, the guy best known for filling up stadiums with entertainment. Just like Nyovest, Tebogo wants to fill the hearts of the hopeless youth with hope, using literature and poetry.
What are your achievements, if you do not mind sharing?
I think interviewing and profiling big music artists, fashion designers, TV/Radio personalities and other top of the charts celebrities. Some of these big shots include Fifi Cooper, Thando Thabethe, DJ Shimza, The GoodLuck band, JJ Schoeman, Scalo (Scalo designers), Martell’s SA brand ambassador to name a few.
Tell our readers something interesting about yourself and also your education journey
I recently found out that I have an aristocratic gene in me. According to my father, we are of royal blood and are supposed to go back home in Mocambique to claim our throne. If we succeed, I am supposed to take my rightful place as the prince of Mwamba village.
I completed my matric at M.H.Joosub Secondary School in Lenasia and after that; I took a year to do some voluntary work in my community. From there, I spent most of my academic years with several youth organizations, including South Africa’s leading youth empowerment initiative, The New loveLife Trust. During these years with the organization, I received accolades for one of the best Peer Mobilizers, Marketing Strategist, Team Coaching, Programme Implementation, Event and Project Management, Stake Holder Management, and Community Mobilization.
Your take on education in this youth month
The current state of education in South Africa is a worry to me. I was reading a recent Mail & Guardian article that states that 80% of schools could be ‘dysfunctional’. Newer statistics further suggest that South African pupils lack basic skills and knowledge compared to their peers around the world; and also the education standards are, in general, very poor.
However, there is a big divide in the school system. This makes me wonder if all the lost lives during the 1976 Soweto uprising riots were really worth it. Is this what fallen icons like Tsietsi Mashinini really fought for?
What do you make of the challenges youth face?
The struggle faced by youth in South Africa is being lost. A lot of young people don’t really know where to fit in; they don’t know who they are, what they want, and where to get it from. As if that’s not enough, they have to face the reality of being trapped in the matrix, being indoctrinated with the Western lifestyle by the media and made to believe that they are worthless without money. That is why today’s youth are suffering from depression, anxiety and low self-esteem.
How realistic are opportunities for young people?
Not really realistic. Due to the elusive statistical nightmare of corruption in our country, young people are snubbed from empowering programmes. Nepotism has taken over and a lot of young, talented people are being deprived of these opportunities because of that.
Now let us talk EntertainmentSA. The genesis, when and how did you get involved with them?
I joined EntertainmentSA back in 2015 when I was still under the loveLife youth programme/learnership. I was on the panel of organizers for a woman empowerment event and I was introduced to my boss, Tlangelani Manzini, whom I had an interesting conversation with and ended up telling her about my writing talent and experience. To my surprise, she told me she owns a media publication and is in need of a freelancer, I seized the opportunity!
I am the Content Editor responsible for editing articles, recipes, fact checking, and proofreading while ensuring company procedures are utilized.
What is a typical day in the office for you and what do enjoy the most?
Always hectic! With competition upping by any means possible, I have to always find creative ways to stay on top of the game.
Lol, free incentives and media passes from event organizers is what enjoy the most; but I also enjoy being able to share my views on a larger scale, the digital platform.
What have been your highlights or memorable moments and what has been your lows?
When Ciroc Vodka SA partnered with us on their #Arrival moments with Cassper Nyovest and Thando Thabethe. I would receive invites to prestigious Ciroc events with special seats reserved for me and my ‘’team’’.
My lows! well, working celebrities is not the easiest thing on earth. You will find divas and ruthless personalities that you have to worship just to secure an interview with them. Sometimes you get blocked on social media for articles that they feel are not good enough for them, it’s hectic.
What sets EntertainmentSA from other celeb news platforms?
Unlike other websites, EntertainmentSA tries by all means to provide positive content in order to build stronger relationships with celebrities and other advertising clients. After all, nobody wants to associate themselves with negativity. This kind of drive has landed us into the good books of Martell cognacs, Ciroc SA, KFC Taste Kitchen, Ambitiouz Entertainment and Ogilvy PR company to mention a few.
If people want authenticity, legitimate news and positive gossip that will help them change their lives for the better, they should follow EntertainmentSA. People are getting weary of being lied to, if it isn’t our politicians, it’s our religions. Someone needs to be honest for a change, and that’s what we aim to do at EntertainmentSA.
What kind of mark or legacy would you like to leave in the industry of news media?
I want aspiring journos to know that you do not have to lie to get a scoop. You do not have to make things up to drive traffic. There are a lot of honest angles one can tackle to drive engagement and generate leads for your publication.
Your thoughts on South African media?
I feel that there’s a lot of duplication over originality. People are fighting and tarnishing each other’s reputation to do the same thing. This might not be a popular opinion, but the media in SA is just a bunch of different logos and mottos doing the same thing and calling it ‘’competition.’’
In your line of work you get to interact with big names in the industry, how do you handle engagement with celebrities?
At first I used to fumble a lot in the presence of public figures. However, as time went by, I learnt to programme my mind into taking them as normal human beings. When I mastered that trick, I was able to be comfortable around these people. There’s one thing I’ve learnt about interacting with people; when you emit negative energy (fear included), you will receive nothing but negativity. Be positive, it will brighten up any conversation!
What message do you have for youth with ideas, but do not know how to implement them or where to turn to with their ideas?
The first step you should do when you have an idea is to copyright it. Even if its poor man’s copyright, secure your ideas before you can talk about it. You will come across people in life who will promise to help you build your dreams, but later on steal your idea and make it their own.
In three words, describe your whole experience with Entertainment
Fruitful Learning Curve
Article by Dumezweni Ndweni