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In the last two decades of my career, I’ve come across so many young people who asked me to coach or mentor them, and these requests came from everywhere around the country through my social media platforms. Most of these requests came from youth that have either studied PR, Communication or even Journalism. They looked at my career over the last twenty years and thought they could gain something from my experience.

The number of requests that I’ve received over the years indicates that youth are desperate for role models or those that can help them turn their dreams into reality. I have over the years done my level best to coach or mentor as many graduates as I could; some have the potential to be great because of their attitude towards their work. Some, unfortunately, do not possess the qualities of a great work ethic. I’ve also come across those that feel entitled, those who demand to be coached or mentored – with an attitude that thinks that the world owes them something. The ones with the wrong attitude have not weakened my resolve though; I’m still determined to help those I can and those hungry for these opportunities. My mentor has always said that a teacher is as good as his willing student.

I decided to tackle this topic because I would like to plead with professionals in different fields to try and make the time for coaching or mentorship. Over the years, I’ve found some gems who deserved the opportunity to be mentored by me, and they were grateful for everything I did. These few gems are the ones that make me want to encourage every professional out there to take the time out of their hectic schedules to help those in need of experience. My passion for mentorship and coaching is one of the reasons why I started this empowerment zone so that I could share the knowledge that I have with those that need it the most.

I know that many professionals who are not mentoring anyone at the moment will say that it is because they don’t have the time. I’m very aware that many of us are all in demanding jobs that require a lot of our time, and we only have 24 hours in a day – sometimes we feel like this is not nearly enough for us to even deliver on our daily responsibilities. I’m still pleading with professionals to make the time – no matter how little. Over the years, I’ve tasted how good it feels to give, and it has become my new addiction. There’s nothing more fulfilling than seeing a young person flourish and they remind you that you played some role in the person they have become – I’m telling you it’s a great feeling. What these gems have not realised, though, is how much they’ve taught me as well in this process of mentoring them.

I’ve noticed in the years where I have coached or mentored youth that a lot of them are very educated. They are very enthusiastic about ensuring that they go beyond just obtaining a degree but instead go for the honours or masters’ levels. The challenge, however, is that some of them, if not most, cannot apply the theory that they learn into practice. This is where we professionals come in to ensure that there is a reasonable balance between theory and practical. After all, we are building the next generation of professionals, the country’s future leaders.

My thing is that I don’t want to go to my grave with all this knowledge. I feel like if I don’t share my knowledge with those that need it, then what was the point of me being on earth in the first place. Me being selfish when it comes to the knowledge that I have accumulated will not help anyone – not even me. So, I’ll say it again – it feels good to give. I know that I have found my purpose in life; it is to help those in need in any way I can. So, I’m asking: what’s yours?

Miranda Lusiba is the Founding Director of Strangé Consulting – a boutique PR Agency specialising in Communication, Freelance Writing: Content Development and Storytelling, Media Relations, Reputation Management and Media Training. #Womeninbusiness

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