Olwethu Njoloza, 14 BRAVO (Traffic Officer trainee)
My journey started at the Chrysalis Academy on 6 September 2014 and I graduated on 29 November 2014 – but it did not end there. Chrysalis Academy offered me an opportunity to do an internship at VPUU in KhayeIitsha where I did research with students from the University of the Western Cape. It was a great opportunity to network with people and implement what I have learnt at the Chrysalis Academy.
In 2015, I was fortunate to get an opportunity to return to Chrysalis Academy as a Junior Instructor-in-training. It was a great privilege, because during my time as a student, I completed a Child and Youth Care course. When I joined the Chrysalis team, I learnt the power of peer support and on-going training. As a Youth Instructor, I was expected to work shifts, facilitate leadership courses and do peer mentoring and counseling. I can say without bragging, that I was one of the fittest women at the Chrysalis Academy, and loved hiking and sports. Part of my duties included, leading group hikes over a two-week period, for both male and female courses.
Today I am fit, healthy, strong, wise and learning that I am still “work in progress”. As a student, I met four female Youth Instructors, Ms. Mgijima, Ms. Engelbrecht, Ms. Fortune and Ms. Mlaza, who were such an inspiration to me. Eventually they became my colleagues, and continued to inspire and support me, during my time as a Junior Instructor.
In 2019, I had the opportunity to speak at the Women’s Month Event at the Department of Environmental Affairs, where I had to share my experience as a young South African woman. It was a great opportunity and one that I will never forget. I thank Chrysalis Academy for the opportunity especially, Ms. Turner, Ms. Hartze and Mr. Piet for the support they gave me when I was preparing my speech for the event. I remember practicing in the Duty Office with Mr. Piet being the audience.
I was appointed as an Administrative Officer at the Chrysalis Academy for a short period, before learning that my application to the Metro Police and Traffic Officer Learnership Programme was successful. The 18-month learnership began in January 2020, and luckily for me, the fitness test was easy because of the routine that I followed at Chrysalis! I am very proud of myself and feel blessed that my application was successful because over 4 000 people applied, and I was one of those chosen. Unfortunately, the learnership has been put on hold due to the coronavirus.
I encourage all young people to adhere to the Lockdown regulations, and to make sure, that they wash their hands and wear a mask.
Chrysalis has changed my life mentally, physically and spiritually. Thank you Chrysalis Academy, and continue doing the great job you are doing for the youth of the Western Cape.
Congratulations to the Chrysalis Academy on achieving 20 years! May God bless all the staff members of the Academy.