Latoya Ndzo 05 BRAVO (Khayelitsha)

In 2005, I joined the Chrysalis Academy’s 05 BRAVO women’s course. I was unaware of what I was getting myself into, but was determined to do it anyway.

LITTLE DID I KNOW THAT MY LIFE WAS GOING TO BE ALTERED. The level of discipline, unity, team work, love, sisterhood that prevailed during the 3 months course, was beyond my expectation. I related to everyone, although we came from different cultural backgrounds. The Daisy hostel felt like home. Adapting to the daily routine was not easy, because it was totally different from what I was accustomed to back home. The morning PT sessions, preparation for room inspection, the quick shower every morning, breakfast, parade, drill and prayer were scheduled with precision. In all honesty, it was very challenging! However, the experience was fulfilling and inspiring with some pain and exhaustion, because my body was still familiarizing itself with the routine. The Instructors’ commands got me aligned and focused. The leader in me was stimulated.

I BECAME A NEW PERSON INDEED. This was just the beginning of my life, the edging process. I still remember when we went to Outward Bound in Sedgefield for 21 days, sleeping on the mountain, and hiking with heavy back packs. We would frequently run out of water, and would then look for the nearest stream on a map using a compass. I believed that one needed strength that came from within. REGARDLESS OF ANY CHALLENGES THAT WE FACED, WE HAD TO ACCOMPLISH OUR MISSION AND MOVE FORWARD. The team spirit was truly remarkable, and kept us going. There were days I cried and wanted to give up, but I pushed through as the gigantic heroine within me was awakened. It was so emotional having to say farewell to the Instructors who took care of us day and night in the 21 days. We left with beautiful memories and great experiences, bittersweet days with strangers that became family.

At the end of the course, I was nominated as one of the candidates for the Junior Instructor position. The training was intense, but I made it to the top 5 and became an Instructor for 05 FOXTROT. I was excited to share my knowledge and experiences with the students, and it taught me responsibility. I was forced to be a role model and an encouragement to others, a sister, a friend and a mother. I worked with a great team in the Training department – selfless people who were willing to invest in other people. Towards the end of my 3 months’ contract, I applied for an Administration post at the Graduate Affairs Department and my application was approved. I worked as a PA to the Community Liaison Officer. We worked directly with communities through community clubs. Following this, I was promoted to PA to the HOD: Graduate Affairs. I was fortunate to complete a Data Capturing course at Boston College in 2009. Soon after that, I moved to the Resource Centre where I focussed more on community profiling, job & learnership placements, data capturing and management.

I WAS GRANTED A LIFETIME OPPORTUNITY BY THE ACADEMY AND THAT SHAPED MY CAREER IN AN AMAZING WAY. I became more focused and dedicated in my work. The academy had such an amazing effect on me personally as well as on my career. My abilities and my approach towards my work, was highly impressive to every supervisor that I reported to. This experience has edified my excellence, efficiency, tolerance, team work and knowledge. Currently I am a Receptionist at one of the best packaging companies, CTP Cartons & Labels. I am also studying Human Recourse Management at MANCOSA, while running my own small business on the side.

The years I spent at the Chrysalis Academy, gave me great references and experiences for life. I am truly grateful for all that the academy has invested in my life.

Alumni Celebrating the achievement of Chrysalis Academy graduates over the 20 years!

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