What is your political background and what attracted you to your political party? I grew in KZN in a place called Claremont, a very active township in terms of politics during our youth days. I started leadership at a young age when I was in standard 8. I was chairperson of the Zakhele Social Club which was a youth organisation dealing with a range of inclusive activities such as drug awareness campaigns and career guidance and so forth. I was then invited by SAPS to join them in raising more awareness in the community concerning drug and substance abuse. I was then elected to be the president of the SRC in my high school, I received an enormous amount of support. I then enrolled at the University of Durban Westville where I studied law in 1998. At university I first became the Deputy Chairperson of SASCO and then the Deputy Chairperson of the Black Lawyers Association (BLA). The majority of SASCO members were law students who were also part of the BLA, so we would combine the meetings most of the time. When my tenure as a Chairperson of SASCO came to an end, I was then elected the Chairperson of the Law Student Council to work with the faculty of law at the university and in the provincial legislative committee as a political commissar.
When I graduated my plan was to branch out and start practising as an attorney but there were still other prominent issues that I was entrusted to deal with. In 2003 I received a call from the University of Pretoria and they had a wing called the Southern Student Volunteers of which I was to be part of the group of students that were selected to travel to London as part of youth exchange programme for a year. The programme was split and the first half of the year we spent in London and the remainder in South Africa where we did a lot of community development work and built a school in Limpopo with some of the exchange students from the UK.
I graduated in 2004 and in 2005 I joined the Road Accident Fund (RAF) as a claims handler and in-house attorney where I worked for 5 years. When I resigned, the NFP called me and while I went back to practising law I was part of the formation stages of the NFP at the same time. In 2012 I was elected as the first NFP Youth President - a position I still occupy to this day. In 2014 I was amongst the top 3 members of the party that was sent to Parliament.
What has been your impression of the Fifth Parliament so far? It is very vigorous and youthful with the arrival of the EFF. It has become more interesting than the previous parliaments. People are now more interested in what happens in Parliament, not only just issues around the pension grant and child support grant. There is a lot of improvement regarding the interaction with the public.
Which constituency office have you been assigned to by your party? I have been assigned to the Pinetown constituency office, but because of the number of seats we have in Parliament, we had to expand to be in more than one office. Now I am also assigned to the Eastern Cape in Bizana and in Port Elizabeth.
What are the most interesting things that you have come across in your constituency offices? Just a little while ago we launched a community hospice founded by a young guy. The hospice looks after the old and sick and one would be amazed at the things that ordinary people out there do, people who do not even know about the National Development Plan (NDP) and the he 2030 government vision. Some of these things are not even publicised widely.
What are you most passionate about? I grew up without a father and in our community our neighbours played that fatherly role. I also love people and I enjoy helping out people as someone who has been blessed enough to be where I am today. I always want to ensure I extend a helping hand where necessary. I am most passionate about my family, because that is where charity starts.
What is your message to South Africa? My message is simple. We need to love our country enough to preserve it. We need to start protecting our resources to ensure that developed countries do not continue exploiting us. One does not need to be a Member of Parliament to make a difference. Anyone can drive change and make a difference. No matter how small it is, Ubuntu is not measured by quantity but the will to reach out and help out where you can as an African.
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