Sicelo Bhengu was a deputy head prefect of a prestigious school and, naturally, when he matriculated there were expectations about his career choice. It came as a disappointment to some when he chose teaching as a career. But the disappointment did not deter him from fulfilling his purpose and doing what he is passionate about. Today, at 33, Bhengu is deputy headmaster at one of the most prestigious schools in the country, Southdowns College.
His wish is for young people to take their education seriously. His belief in education as a tool to unlock one’s potential was why he co-founded Linking Notes in 2011, a finishing school that helps young people improve their matric results. In 2015, he also co-founded Catholic Youth Development, which fundraises to pay the registration fees of young people wishing to study at university.
“To a person younger than me: choose a career that you are passionate about and not one that people believe is the right fit for you … Don’t let expectations from the (close) people around you deter you from fulfilling your purpose,” he says.
After all, if Bhengu had dwelled on others’ disapproval of his career choice he would have ended up in a job that he did not like and would be miserable. He says even though he is confident that he has worked hard to be where he is, the biggest surprise of his career is holding such a senior management role at a relatively young age, in an environment where he thought all obstacles were against him. Bhengu is finishing his master’s degree in leadership and policy education at the University of the Witwatersrand.