Every mentor is unique. They each have their own story, life experiences and ideas that have made them into the people they are today. This week, we were lucky to have one of them share their story with us.
Ta’Siga’s story is one of courage and change. He has had to endure a lot. But in the end, these experiences made him into the mentor he is today. His name in his community has even changed to represent what an inspiration and leader he has become.
‘Ta’ is short for Uthate Omkhulu, the title given to the township elite. It is a rare for a person of his age to already be seen as an older, wiser and experienced member of society.
Ta’Siga has lived a lifetime of experiences in his short years. Now we want to share these experiences with the people around him in the hope that he can help them to not make the same mistakes that he did.
This is his story.
Where it all began
The start of his journey to mentorship began in Soweto, where he was born, and Kathlehong, where he grew up. It wasn’t easy for him. He lost his father when he was young and got involved with the wrong people.
Before he knew it, his decisions had led him to become the person he never wanted to be.
“I’d drink my money away, even the money I was meant to keep. I had debt, I was always absent from work, not looking after myself, I’d even go days without eating. If I had a mentor earlier on, things might have been different.”
Something had to change
There was only so long he could live like this. He needed a wakeup call. Something that would turn his life around and about two years ago, he got that sign – his child.
“I knew something had to change when I started neglecting my own child. Because of my drinking, I had no money to buy him food or pay his crèche fees.”
It was then that he looked back on his destructive lifestyle and knew he had to be a better person. It was then that he started taking the first steps to become the mentor he wished he had.
How Ta’Siga is making a difference
Ta’Siga knew he had to help others, to be the shining light in their lives. So he started a business with a difference. He opened the U-Turn carwash.
What makes this carwash special? The people who work there.
“I recruit people that need help. People that are faced with the same challenges as me, like underage drinking. I mentor them because I see a part of me in them, and I know how hard it can be when you are young.”
Taking the pledge
Ta’Siga took the pledge because he knew that if he could sway just one person from taking the path that he took, he would truly be making a difference.
Want to see Ta’Siga’s full story? Check out the video below: