A young South African passionate about the sciences, writes this letter to you from the African Leadership Academy. I am Sisipho Zinja, from the Western Cape in South Africa, and I am 16 years old.
I have only been at the Academy for three months and I have learnt so much about Africa and the world. I have not only looked at the issues we face as a continent, but also why we face them. My favorite experience so far is being able to understand the stories told about Africa, and who is eligible in telling the African story, also digging deeper into who exactly is an African. I am yet to find my identity as a young female South African.
During my journey, I have been involved with the International Relations Council, which participates annually in the Harvard and Georgetown Model United Nations. I have enjoyed the classes greatly, and whenever we have intense discussions about issues affecting the world, currently like the Ebola outbreak, ISIS and Burkina Faso’s military president, I find content. As a result, in January the following year, I’ll be participating in the Georgetown MUN conference, where I will meet other young people with similar interests and have a passion for changing the world and challenging how we see it.
I have also been intensely involved in sports such as volleyball, soccer and beginner tennis. During this term, I have been able to participate in volleyball tournaments with other schools around Johannesburg. I have been able to learn new sports, volleyball and tennis, and realize my talent in them. I have challenged both my thinking and physical abilities by exposing myself to new challenges. I have also participated in Martial Arts, which is also a new experience for me. It is amazing, I had not imagined I have the skill of learning self-defense and be deemed a quiet panda! Silent, yet deadly!
Now that I have adjusted to the Academy environment, I can then focus on starting my own initiative on campus, so far, I’m looking at starting an Astronomy society! I have so many activities I would like to start with the club, I hope everything works out.
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