I am Mfundo Mbulelo Jiyane, SSA Youth Influencer for the Gauteng Region. I joined Scouting when I was 10 years old. I was in Grade 4 when one of the leaders from the Maru Scout Group came to recruit Scouts in my school. The Group back then had Scouts in almost all the schools around the township of ‘Tsakane’. To be honest I never knew what Scouting was all about until I got home and told my mother and grandmother that I am now a Scout. They were so excited and I thought to myself “this means I am doing the right thing”. They tried to explain to me what it was all about and I myself got super excited about it and couldn’t wait for the next parade.
My first camp was Gauteng Kontiki 2006. That’s when my understanding of Scouting truly started. From that day I told myself that I will be a Scout for life. The adventure, the fun and everything about Scouting complimented the boy that I was trying to grow up to be. I had a very low self-esteem growing up and Scouting gave me a platform to kill all of that. It taught me a lot of things, leadership skills, communication, teamwork, discipline and most importantly respect.
Scouting complimented the boy that I was trying to grow up to be
Unfortunately the Group closed before I could finish all my advancement badges, even after it came back it was not as strong as before hence I did not go back there anymore but the love of Scouting eventually forced me to. All I wanted was to see little kids having the very same Scouting opportunity that my leaders gave me at my younger age.
To me Scouting is defined by the Scout Promise and the 10 Scouts Laws and I keep up to all of them till today. I still bump into former Scouts and classmates while wearing my Scouts uniform and they always ask “are you still a Scout?” and my answer is always “I made a promise when I was 10 years old and I intend to keep it for the rest of my life.”
My short term goal is to receive a BP Award and of course a Wood badge so I can make sure I am able to do justice to the kids in Scouting by making sure they reach all their advancement badges since it was something I couldn’t achieve due to unforeseen circumstances experienced by the Group.
Scouting has changed my life in so many ways and it has made me the person I am today. I strive to be kind, respectful, caring and always willing to help everyone because Scouts try their best to do at least one good turn to somebody every day.
Now as an adult I am trying my very best to get more kids into the Movement, especially in the township that I grew up in. I believe Scouting will have a positive impact in their lives because they’re surrounded by a lot of negative things happening around them such as drugs, alcohol abuse, teenage pregnancy and a lot more. My dream is to help them make healthy lifestyle choices. I always tell myself that if I can’t change at least 50 lives then may God help me save more, because that’s what Scouting did to me, it changed my life and for the best.