Nkululeko ‘Nkulu’ was the first Rover in the Limpopo Scout Region to obtain the BP Award, which is the highest Award in South African Rovering. I spoke to her about the role KTD196 and Scouting have had in her life and how she feels about making Rover history in Limpopo. ‘I come from a small village called Shiluvane in Limpopo.
I joined the Scout Movement way back in 2003 as a Scout when my mother Elizabeth Mabuza introduced me to it”, explains Nkulu. “My mother was – and still is – part of the Scouts’ family through the partnership with local NGO ‘Keep The Dream 196’. Even though I was a child, I could see how the program was impacting my life and so I started being fully involved in 2004. My character was developing gracefully and I realized that I was behaving differently than many other children in my community.
It was clear that I was learning a lot of things like leadership skills, self-leadership, communication skills, project management skills, perseverance, and of course pioneering – where I learned more about ropes and knots”, she says with a smile. When Nkulu turned 18yrs she stepped into adult uniform, joined the ‘KDT196’ team, and started her own Cub Pack for children aged 7-11yrs, plus spearheaded the growth of Cubbing throughout the Limpopo Scout Region once she graduated from university. However, every journey has its challenges and Nkulu has encountered – and overcome – some along the way. “One of my biggest challenges was time management,” continues Nkulu. “At some point, I had to juggle academics as a university student and Scouting. I’m also a bit of an overachiever and so I tried to perfect everything that I did, even things that were beyond my control.
So that was challenging at times. But I was able to overcome these challenges by looking at the bigger picture and what I wanted to achieve. I learned that I can do anything I put my mind to.” Nkulu remained focused on completing the activities required in order for her to achieve her BP Award.
“I was elated when I was handed my BP Award,” she says excitedly. “I felt honored and appreciated that my hard work and dedication had finally paid off. It also boosted my profile and leadership skills. Rovering is all about service and I am so passionate about community development and about helping children in rural communities to achieve their dreams with the little resources that they have. Some of the activities that I ran within my community included the color run, career exhibitions, and a recycling project which was done at one of our schools” she adds.
I am now in my professional life leading a team of older ladies as we develop the SHGA in the poorest areas in the Greater Tzaneen. We have 13 groups of 20 women established, plus 5 from last year's pilot phase. It is so exciting to see the women become financially independent and meet their own financial needs. We are starting the next phase of this project where they woman starting to identify small businesses with the cash flow they now have. This will catapult them to the next level of financial independence.
I love the work I do, in fact, if I could, I would do this work for free I enjoy it so much.
Nkululeko is currently also the Chair of the National Cub program in South Africa. “In addition to achieving my BP Award as a Rover, I also plan on continuing to work together with my Cub team to achieve all our goals and fulfill all my duties. I am working on behalf of the cubs of South Africa to ensure the program is achievable for all children. Moreover, by completing the Personal Bar and Movement Bar within the Rover Programme I have learned that values acquired in Scouting stay with you and motivate you to do more in life. “All of this was made possible through Louise and my mother Elizabeth and their vision to help orphan and vulnerable children in Limpopo by starting Keep The Dream196, and with your sponsorship!
In South Africa, we have a saying “It takes a village to raise a child!” I hope you are happy with your investment in my life. I am like so many others coming up behind me, I just have the privilege of being the first in our province to be awarded this award, but watch this space, more are coming through thanks to you!”
Thank you so much and God Bless you