Voice – In the youth month, we’re giving a voice to young people especially women. Today we speak to a young lady from Tembisa, Dineo Kgang.

Written by Dumi Mbona

My name is Dineo Kgang, born on the 13th of October 2000 in Klerksdorp. Currently living with my parents in Johannnesburg.

I spent most of my childhood in Alexandra Township aka ‘Gomora’. Alex is an important place to me because it shaped my aspirations.

In my mid-teen we moved to Ebony Park, a suburb in Tembisa, which is where I currently stay. 

People that know me will agree that I am known for having a bubbly personality, very welcoming and friendly.

In school I was a top achiever, I still try to keep that up at university level which has led me to bag the Golden Key and UJenius memberships.

Speaking of school, I was a student at UCT in 2018 studying LLB but that was not my cup of tea so I moved to UJ to study Accounting from 2019. Why I changed course is a story for another day, but that on its own embodies bravery which is another quality I possess.

Apart from academics, I love music and believe in my voice and I might be the next big thing in South Africa (more on that later).

My family is extremely important to me; in everything I do I want to put the Kgang surname on the map. 

KEY:-Golden Key International Honour Society: an international society that honours the top 15% (of every faculty) academic achievers in universities.-UJenius club: honours students at the University of Johannesburg that are top achievers.

Stuck at Res, during the Lockdown.

During this lockdown I have been at res.

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The first few weeks were horrible for me, my friends had all gone back home and I was left alone in Johannesburg.

My siblings were also taken to North West as schools had closed. It felt so lonely, I could not eat or sleep and if I slept I had nightmares.

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It’s safe to say that I was losing my mind for about 2 weeks.

Oh, I didn’t go home because online learning was about to start soon and home was not a conducive environment for me to study. Eventually I recovered from the loneliness and found some interests during this lockdown.

I started following some cooks’ instagram pages and tried out new recipes. I watched Money Heist, Blood and Water and a few other interesting Netflix series; studied, wrote tests and wrote exams.

I also started speaking to my family more often than the pre-COVID19 life (via phone calls); really grew much more closer to my family during this time.

Physical vs digital lectures

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If I had a choice I would choose physical exams, coupled with online lectures.

I am definitely enjoying online lectures because under normal circumstances I am just not a fan of attending classes.

I prefer self-study, imagine waking up at 6am to prepare for attending an 8am lecture in such cold? Could never be me.

On the greener side, online lectures are much better. You get to pause the video when you’re taking notes or playback the video if you need the concepts to be repeated, whereas via physical lectures you can miss some important things the lecturer says and you definitely cannot pause the lecturer so you can finish taking down your notes.

It’s a different experience with online exams.

Lecturers are very aware that we have our notes with us so they just make the exams a level or 2 more difficult.

Besides that, sometimes the computer marks our answers and there are many rules around how you should write the answer, it’s much better with sit-down exams as the lecturer will most probably understand what you were trying to say but the computer will not.

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Business aspirations

In the introduction I mentioned how Gomora shaped my aspirations. Growing up in that township pushed me to constantly remind myself to work very hard to get myself and my family out of those living conditions.

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I was not comfortable with the living conditions especially since I went to a primary school that was in the suburbs; I saw that other children had a better life and that is exactly how I wanted my siblings to also experience their childhood.

Some of my business aspirations include giving back. 

In my matric year a good samaritan paid for my matric uniform; a teacher that wasn’t even teaching my grade reached out and helped me with university applications; a lady I did not know who met my mother at a pharmacy sponsored my matric dance dress.

Those are the kinds of experiences that remind me how I need to pay it forward. 

I want to start an NGO that will dedicate itself to collecting matric dance outfits and sponsoring people that cannot afford to buy them.

The NGO will have different divisions, another division will be a team dedicating itself to helping grade 11 and 12 students with university applications, and mentoring them on how to choose a course they may possibly enjoy. 

The last division will be a food pack drive as hunger is one of the most horrible things anyone can experience.

I am very interested in the logistics and property industry and those are the sectors I will definitely venture in.

I love food so much, some day I will have a catering company; my plan is to go to culinary school as soon as my Bcom degree is completed. I just have a lot in mind that I want and will pursue.

The soothing voice

I also mentioned my love for music earlier.

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I realized my talented voice when I was in grade 1 or two after joining the school choir. The choir master would make me start some songs, so I realised, hmmh, I might just have a music voice.

Throughout my teenage years I would be selected to lead songs at church and in high school.

A highlight was when I sang during my peer’s funeral; and when it was time to go get food the women that were dishing out food said “this is the girl that sang with a beautiful voice during the service so she should get more food”; I did mention that I love food so that was just momentous for me.

I also recently started posting some videos of myself singing on Whatsapp and would get a positive response. On Instagram and Twitter and the response was also positive.

People advise that I should go to Idols and it is something I am considering but a bit scared. I do know, however, that something must be done about my music.

I can play a few keys on the keyboard/piano, and so I am saving to buy one and a certain mic so I can post quality videos to establish myself first on the socials. 

Your inspiration

Well, different people inspire me for different reasons or aspects of my life. However, Oprah Winfrey inspires me because she is intelligent, a go-getter, wealthy and also gives back; (she didn’t forget where she came from once she became rich). A black girl who grew up in Mississipi, is now known world wide. That is how I want to be. 

Message to fellow peers

Let’s secure the bag, continue inspiring and motivating one another. Let’s create generational wealth and go for absolutely every big dream that scares us. Lastly, let’s stop this circle of GBV, our children should know it as “a thing of the past”.

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