Grade 9 pupils at Phoenix High School in Manenberg had the opportunity to explore career options at an interactive exhibition held there on Friday September 15.
The event was arranged by non-profit organisation Conjunction Foundation, which was founded by Xolile Makutoana earlier this year.
Shamiso Mbabala, the chairperson of the board of Conjunction Foundation, explained that the organisation wanted to empower young people.
“We want to empower young people by creating access and opportunities to engage. We do this by providing information and training to young people, like information on studying opportunities, job readiness programmes, and we are in the process of piloting a mentorship programme. We are a young organisation that only started earlier this year. It started with Xolile’s passion for young people, and he shared this vision with some people, and we got the ball rolling by establishing a board,” Ms Mbabala said.
Mr Makutoana added: “Conjunction Foundation focuses on empowering young people and encouraging them to shoulder self responsibility.
“We are also focusing on the main two challenges faced by young people in our country – unemployment and education. We want to paint what their future could possibly look like, and through perseverance let them dream again.”
The career exhibition was aimed at Grade 9 pupils because when they reach Grade 10, they will have to make subject choices, which will be informed by their career interests, Mr Makutoana said.
“Working with the relevant stakeholders, the exhibition allowed pupils to be informed about their subject choices as they go to Grade 10, and help them make choices which are in line with their future plans.”
Among the speakers at the event, was Nambita Ntshongwana, who is from the University of Cape Town’s Student Recruitment department. She echoed Mr Makutoana’s sentiment, when she said that the pupils would make better subject choices if they were knowledgeable about the subjects they needed for their chosen career.
She also introduced the pupils to the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), as many were concerned about the cost of tertiary education.
Institutions such as Damelin, Northlink College, Standand Bank, False Bay College, Central Technical College, and the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), were among the exhibitors.
Phoenix High principal, Shafiek Abrahams, expressed his gratitude to Conjunction Foundation for arranging the career exhibition.
“Some of the exhibitors were a bit nervous to come to Manenberg, but once they got here, they were so impressed with our nice hall and the good manners of our pupils,” Mr Abrahams said.
Emmanuel Jacobs, Grade 9, said the exhibition was beneficial. He admits that he still needs to do more research, but he is more aware of the requirements of wanting to study law. He also said that it was the first time he had heard of NSFAS.