During the month of July, (Men’s Month), a number of men from the Durban ICC showed their true colours by volunteering their time to invest in the lives of the next generation of male leaders.
The Durban ICC partnered with the Imbeleko Foundation to participate in the inaugural “Boys to Men Mentoring Walk” held on Saturday, 21 July in the Valley of Thousand Hills. The mentoring walk is designed to pair a mentee from the local KwaNyuswa Rural Community with a volunteer mentor who can invest time and guidance into their lives.
Commenting on his participation in the project, Mduduzi Ngubane, Durban ICC Operations Director noted, “It felt great to contribute a little time sharing my own upbringing experience with the young men at the Foundation. By taking part in their mentoring programme, I hope to have expanded their view of what it means to be a man in today’s society. I believe that the most important role anyone can take on is being a parent – a responsible parent.”
The Imbeleko Foundation exists to provide a holistic empowerment experience to the orphaned and vulnerable child in rural Valley of a Thousand Hills; encompassing academic support, a healthy lifestyle and social interaction.
Sam Mbanjwa, Risk Manager at the Durban ICC commented, “Considering my own experience as a young boy growing up without a father from the age of 13, I could easily have chosen to be a drug abuser or a drunkard due to peer pressure. The reason I decided to join the mentoring walk was to share my experiences of early childhood life with the young and upcoming boys who might not have the same luck I did in choosing the correct path.”
On Thursday, 26th July, men from the Centre participated in another such initiative, namely the “Take a Boy Child to Work Day” programme. This year the Durban ICC partnered with the Ethekwini Municipality to host 100 male learners from various areas within KwaZulu-Natal.
The programme included visit to various Municipal departments, a demonstration from the Metro Police Dog Unit, and a tour of the Old Court House in City Hall. Students were also taken to the Marianhill Landfill Site and the uShaka Marine World.
Men from the Durban ICC provided a full tour of its facilities to the learners and highlighted the various career opportunities available in the business events industry. The impact of these days is usually far-reaching, as the learners typically share their learnings with family members and their broader social community.
Commenting on the initiative, Durban ICC CEO, Lindiwe Rakharebe said, “The purpose of this initiative is to expose these young men to different careers opportunities in the conference and events industry. If we are going to successfully raise the next generation of leaders, it is important that they have positive role models to look up to and that these mentors make the time to guide and inspire them to believe in themselves.”