MOT South Africa’s YOUTH BLOGGERS FOR THE MONTH: NAWAAL ISAACS AND LAEEQAH CHARLES
Living from the streets to the seats at college.
My name is Nawaal Isaacs and I am a recovering addict.
My mother was a single parent as my parents got separated due to their unstable relationship. My mom and I had a very close relationship and we relied on each other for emotional support. I was always in a warm and safe environment at home with her.
In 1990, my mom was diagnosed with angina heart and could no longer work. My life changed when my mom passed away in my arms three days before my birthday.
My mother had left everything to me, and I was only 12 years old and not old enough to look after myself. My sister and her husband took me in. Soon after I had moved in with my sister’s family things changed. I lost that feeling of warmth and security at home. I was sexually abused.
I continued with my schooling despite the challenges. This is where I got drawn to friends and circles that introduced me to drugs. It escalated to me selling drugs and living with a drug dealer. As a result, I ended up in jail. I served three years in prison. I was then released a month earlier for good behaviour. This is the price I paid for channelling my pain in an unhealthy way and for hanging out with the wrong crowd.
I was out of prison but started living on the streets with no friends or family to support me. I went back to live with the drug dealer, but things continued to become worse for me as I was back to my old ways.
One night a friend of mine introduced me to this fellowship for recovering addicts. They welcomed me with open arms and helped me feel a part of them. I then joined the programme. I drew and restored my hope by listening to other addicts’ stories. I decided to stop hanging out with my bad friends and made new ones who were also in recovery and who could relate to what I was struggling with. I created my own warm and safe space where I could grow and become a better person.
I’m currently in my second year of Office Administration studies and trying my best to practice the principles I’ve learned from the fellowship daily. I have become more honest and open-minded and willing to take help from people who want to see me prosper in life. I can move forward in life not idling anymore and am content in life.
I got exposed to MOT and was later granted the opportunity to attend the Young MOTivators’ Education to become a leader. I had always felt uncomfortable being assertive when saying no, but the more I did it, the easier it became. MOT taught me self-love and respect and today I can proudly say that I’m a conqueror through being part of MOT as they helped me breakdown all the walls I had built up in the past. It made me realise that leadership is not a position or a title, it is action and setting an example for others and that’s what I’m going to apply daily. Through MOT I feel free and in charge of my future!
My name is Laeeqah Charles and I am a Young MOTivator from the College of Cape Town, Crawford Campus.
During my primary school years, I was constantly the one being picked on and bullied. It all started when I was in Grade 1. My mother used to sell things at school. A classmate threatened to take my crayons and if I didn’t give them to her, she would tell her mom not to pay for the things they ordered from my mother. As the year went on the children started cutting my hair, would break my things and would take my money from me. In grade 7, I was smacked by a girl because I had no money to give her.
I never had a great high school experience. I always thought that I won’t fit in. I never saw myself as important and had a very low self-esteem with no self-confidence. This all led to the point of me taking drugs and dropping out of school in 2015 while I was in Grade 10.
I refused to go to school after that even with my family motivating me to do so. In 2017, I decided to study at the College of Cape Town, Crawford Campus and this was the best decision ever since it allowed me to participate in the MOT Programmes. It made me believe in myself and made me realise that I have a purpose in life!
In 2018, I was selected to attend the 3-day Young MOTivators’ Education with 12 others from my college. I learned and experienced so much at the camp and just the fact that I was chosen to be a leader out of all the others meant a lot to me!
My advice to those who have been or are still victim to bullying is to please speak to someone you can trust no matter how hard the situation is. There is always a way out.
I would also like to motivate all of you reading this to not give up on yourself no matter what! Even if you fall, it is never too late to get up! Always focus on your goals and dreams and cut out the negativity.
Lastly, I would like to thank MOT for giving me the opportunity to find the courage to believe in myself and to find myself again. Thank you for giving me the platform to share my story. Today I can proudly say I am grateful for that I have got the chance to be a part of MOT.