On the 20th of September 2015, Burt Ronald got on a plane from London Heathrow to come back to South Africa, with no intention of staying. Just over four years later, he’s still here!
It was meant to be a two-week holiday. I was a broken man, having endured a very difficult time in the UK. The country was good to me, but due to personal circumstances I was lacking purpose and vision, and simply going through the motions of life, slowly dying on the inside.
And SO… I returned for a ‘refresher’ holiday, with a family wedding being the draw factor, I needed a reason to return! Cause WHY else would I come back right?! What is there to come back too?? There were a multitude of ‘reasons’ not to. Man was I about to be surprised and get a resuscitation of note. Fast forward four years and I am still here!! I never got back on that plane to London and have fallen madly in love with my city, Durban and South Africa. I walked through King Shaka Airport and almost instantaneously fell in love with my home again. The warmth of South Africa, from our people, to the climate healed my heart. Family, friends and other important communities played a huge role in this. South Africa/South Africans helped reinvigorate my mind, body and soul. I found vison and purpose again, and have since started two organizations.
The first focuses on supporting Entrepreneurs from being self-sustaining to employing. Many South Africans find themselves as entrepreneurs purely through circumstance and having to find a way to survive, others have the means to become entrepreneurs. BUT both need the guidance to succeed. Raising and supporting a multitude of entrepreneurs who become employing entrepreneurs, is one of the major ways we can solve our unemployment dilemma. We are the answer!
The second organisation I founded focuses on empowering the next generation, our young people! THE INCREDIBLE YOUTH OF SA! Who, I have no doubt, will go further and farther than we have ever gone before as a nation!! Watch this space! Our youth are phenomenal, and I get to see it firsthand.
We create a safe environment, listen to their struggles, feel their pain at times and then empower them. We feed them with truth and stir their ambitions, so that they know and believe that no matter what background you come from or circumstance you find yourself in, you are LOVED, VALUED and created with purpose for greatness! We mentor and nurture them through content specifically designed to ‘expose and draw out the gold’ within, as well as through our passionate facilitators who believe in them.
We are also rewriting the Life Orientation Curriculum, so that we can make it RELEVANT and better prepare our young people for the outside world. THE KZN Dept of Education have already given access to over 189 schools to pilot this! We want our young people TO DREAM again. Just like I needed to dream again.. But to then also have those dreams activated and empowered! So that they can go on and be world changers! And show all man that South Africa is a beacon of hope and of what can be possible when a nation unite!
It has not been an easy road with plenty of difficulties in birthing and pioneering the vision, but it is SO worth it for the fruit that we will and are seeing!
I am glad that I, personally, chose to stay. Wherever you are in the World, as a South African or adopted South African, you can play your part by simply Speaking LIFE and HOPE into South Africa!