For the fifth instalment of the #MindsoftheYouth feature, I met up with Zamokuhle Njabulo Zwane. Zamokuhle, also known as Zama, is one of the most honest and genuine people I have ever met.
He is well known for his love of soccer and having a growth mind-set. He works for BroadReach Healthcare as a client engagement officer. He is passionate about education and he is a co-founder @ReadersMinds.
Zama loves having deep conversations.
Tell me about your upbringing and where you come from?
Born and bred in Tembisa. I started my schooling at Isekelo Primary School, and then went on to Zitikeni High School. Growing up my first love was soccer – I lived, breathed and dreamt soccer. I used to carry a soccer ball to school where we, during breaks, would team up against each other and challenge each other for money. I attended training after school as well as played local league matches on weekends. In a nutshell, my life was centred around soccer.
I never saw myself as an academic, or as someone who would pursue academics further as soccer was always on my mind.
Despite passing my matric year well, I failed maths. I decided to stay behind and better my marks, which was a painful decision to make. But it had to be done. This taught me the importance of soldiering on and timing for everything – delayed is not denial.
My mom and uncle played a huge role in my upbringing. My uncle always believed in me; and for that I will forever be grateful.
How old are you turning this year?
I turned 27 on June 11
What were your plans for this year?
My plans were to get a job, which I did. Pursuing a scholarship in Hungary, which was not successful.
I am planning to explore the fields of risk analysis and project management next.
What did you love to do in primary and high school and what were your favourite subjects?
I loved to play soccer. In primary school my favourite subjects were natural science and technology. In high school I enjoyed Economics.
What did you study after high school?
BA Honours: Public Management and Governance – majoring in Politics at the University of Johannesburg
What is your quake book and why?
The Obstacle is the way by Ryan Holiday. I was despondent when I began reading this book. It made me reflect and believe in myself again.
At the time of reading this book I got mugged and my internship at the City of Tshwane was coming to an end. I was unemployed and three months later, I got another job not related to my field of study.
What are you most proud of in your life thus far?
In grade nine I was chosen in my class to go on a week-long camp in Hoedspruit. This trip changed my life. I was exposed to different things and learnt new things like how to light a fire, be self-reliant, team work and synergy.
I was also proud of myself during my first graduation.
What’s your personal philosophy?
I subscribe to Stoicism and it’s all about knowing what’s in your control and not in your control. It focuses on perceptions, actions and will. It’s all about becoming a better person than I was yesterday.
What do you stand for?
Freedom of expression, I believe that everyone deserves to be heard and express themselves freely, but as long as they do so responsibly.
What are you currently battling with?
Prioritizing important things and implementation. My problem is that I want to do everything at the same time which is not possible. But I am slowly getting to where I want to be.
What’s your morning routine?
Read The Daily Stoic Journalby Ryan Holiday. Thereafter I write on my journal and plan what do I want to achieve for that day. Followed by doing mini workouts in my room, bath and go to work.
In the evening, I reflect on my day and write down key lessons and short comings. Do workouts, read and got to sleep.
If you were to promote one policy in government what would it be?
I would improve the education policy. Our current model doesn’t serve and cater for individuals who are not academically inclined. If you can, for example, tailor banking behaviour, insurance, music on Spotify why not the education system? We cannot standardise education, our minds are different. Like Jim Rohn said, “you cannot take a duck into eagle school.”
What are you currently reading?
I am reading two books, namely Sapiensby Yuval Noah Harari and The Laws of Human Natureby Robert Greene.
These books are true treasure troves to understanding human history and human nature.
What is your favourite quote?
“Amor fati” which simply means be the lover of fate. It is a stoic principle
“Think win-win” – Stephen Covey from The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
If today was your last day how would you spend it?
I would channel my remaining hours and energy to a course bigger than me. For example, going to read for children in an early childhood development centre.
What is your advice to the youth out there?
Don’t be afraid to fail and try new things. You will never discover what you love until you try.