They say you only live once, but if you do it right, once is more than enough. Today’s post might sound like a sermon in church, but that’s exactly how I feel right now.

I want to stand up and shout, and say “God, help me, guide me, show me the way, so that I can guide and help people around me, because it tears me to pieces when I see young people, with so much of opportunity giving up on life.”

I am writing this post, because I read about the DUT students who have caused the campuses in Durban to shut down amidst violent protests. Is this what we have been brought to my brothers and sisters? This is not going to help to get us education. Burning the very same institutions we are fighting to be a part of. When the fighting is over, what will be left for us to use to learn, to educate ourselves, to empower ourselves. We cannot study amidst ashes? We cannot read books if they have been reduced to dust.

What legacy are we leaving for future generations. If we don’t like something, we burn it? No. I refuse to believe that this is the only solution to the education crisis. Burning or destroying is never a solution for anything.

I am also deeply saddened by the loss of a life of a student, who was apparently shot while protesting for free education ( I say apparently because there are conflicting reports) but regardless of what the real story is, the sad truth is that we have lost another soul who might one day have made a change in the world. His light extinguished before he had the chance to let it shine on the world. Close your eyes, and let that reality sink in, and then remember that there are a 100 other lights also burning, that need help to stay bright, to not be turned off before their time.

I want to share what I have learnt from one of my favourite movies Pursuit of Happiness . Please make the time to watch it if you can.
Based on the true story of Chris Gardner, the movie tells the story of how this man never gave up. He just simply refused to let anything stop him from waking up in the morning and going out and meeting the day and trying.. that’s what he did. He tried, he just kept trying until one day he got it right. He slept on the floor of a public bathroom. He walked for miles to sell door to door.

He faced obstacles, but it did not stop him. Nothing stopped him. He never gave up until he succeeded. He did not burn anything. He did not fight with anyone. He did not blame anyone for him being poor. He chose to stay focused and believed that he could achieve anything.

I am telling you today, don’t give up. Believe in your dreams. Don’t let the lack of money stop you. Don’t let other people make you think that you can’t do it. Don’t let failure stop you. Just keep trying. When you don’t get it right, that is not failure. When you stop trying, that is failure.

My brothers and sisters, use your skills to empower people, not destroy them. Use your voices to bring about change, not chaos.

Don’t be the light that stops shining because you gave up.Yiba ukukhanya okuhle (Be the light that shines bright).

Talk to Sipho at siphosaysza@gmail.com