By Sandra Lesenyeho
Nozi Kubeka a beacon of hope for the youth and her passion transcends through everything she does with her remarkable wisdom. “If it is to be, it is up to you” says the youth mentor.
This slogan is also emphasized in the Be Wise foundation established by Nozi. She is also CEO of Zon Communication. Kubeka resides in Fairlands, Johannesburg and has been married for 29 years with 3 children.
She holds a B Soc Sc (social work), honors from the University of Cape Town, Diploma training from Damelin and BA (social work) from Wits where she met her husband Muzi who was studying B com in Finance. The tone they set for education is reflected in their children Nkululeko, Sisanda and Lindokuhle.
“My elder son graduated in software engineering, my second born is doing her BA honors and my last born is in Grd 11”, says Nozi, whose parents were teachers and firm believers in education.
Mrs Kubeka is passionate about youth empowerment. Through her Be wise foundation established in 2012, which is growing strength to strength, she works with the youth from different communities and further extends her social work counseling to 5 different colleges. Mam’ Nozi, as her students call her, is also a motivational speaker and inspirational writer.
She has published 4 books. “My best-selling book is Teenager Be Wise and this book has sold more than 27 000 copies” says Nozi.
The book saw the growth of the Be Wise foundation. The inspirational book Teenager Be Wise sparked the entrepreneurship in Nozi as companies empowering youth, schools and parents loved the book which is why it’s still in demand. Kubeka’s entrepreneurial streak inspires her to push boundaries in seeking sponsorship, increase sales for the best selling book and sustain the foundation.
“I don’t compromise on teenagers involved in sexual activities however I don’t judge anyone” she says. She is deeply concerned with how youth behavior has spiraled out of control.
A strong believer that children are misbehaved because families have disintegrated.; Kebeka says: “ I’m going to sound very controversial but when I was growing up, you wouldn’t dare fall pregnant out of marriage because it was frowned upon. We also find young mothers who have no business being mothers at a tender and fragile young age”.
“Young parents are challenged when it comes to parenting because they are children themselves. Some families are affected by divorce even though there are more resources than ever before to assist struggling or failing marriages”, she adds.
“In my days we married for the right reasons and not money and besides no one had money those days. These days people get married for all the wrong reasons. Such challenges influence and at worst determine a child’s behavior”.
“Young fathers must also stop impregnating young girls and leaving them to struggle, this too does influence a child negatively”.
“The youth cannot use their background as an excuse to fail in life. If you are hungry enough work hard, stay away from bad company and follow your elders’ teachings – you can succeed” says Nozi.
The social worker says it is difficult to influence behavior by the age of 18-19 years, it’s easier at a much younger age. “Parenting is a full time job. The government has become soft and what are you doing buying alcohol with R350 grant money meant for the wellbeing of your child?” “Another crisis with the youth is laziness” Nozi adds.
Nozi has been on several radio stations and TV shows advocating for youth empowerment. She will be expanding into education and hopes to secure her own facilities. “I’m doing my bit and so should you because the youth needs a helping hand more than ever”.