Inspiring Stories
A collection of personal Interviews with celebrated leaders, entrepreneurs, corporate honchos or any success stories.


Koketso Marishane

A young man is here to share his story about his dreams and aspirations for his community and the globe at large, and how he has been able to thrive on this path. His name is Koketso Marishane, who is a globally political multicultural young social entrepreneur concerned with the socio-political and economic wellbeing of South Africans. He is an activist in Information & Communications, Arts, and Technology & Education for development, wanting to reposition the brand legacy of his country in every positive light.

He defines himself to be a servant leader with the following institutes:
(a) The Es'kia Mphahlele Foundation - Consultant
(b) The Enchanting Verses International Review- Editor
(c) Organisation of African Youth- Portfolio Chairperson on Accounts
(d) The National Eisteddfod Academy- Adjudicator
(e) The National Digital Repository of South Africa- Researcher
(f) Limpopo Online- Editor, Columnist and CSI consultant
(g) Stephen Gill Peace Academy- Ambassador among others.

Koketso Marishane says, "I've always been involved with good orderly productive initiatives like educational workshops, seminars etc., since middle school. So I've been continuing with the lifestyle of learning ever since. I've decided to dedicate my life to all I've been doing throughout my past life as I don't have any regrets. Like everyone else, I've had my dark days when the skies weren't quite as blue and had to keep my head up during the waves. People then noticed my work and took me under their wings. Over and above all else, my lifestyle is guided by the philosophy that whatever I do should be something my future will be grateful for and for me 'education' is the primary key." When asked about where in his life did he get the trigger (or triggers) necessary for doing all these, he said, "It was in my early days of life in middle school when I was told by one of my favourite teachers, Dr. Marnevick, that for everything you want to do in your lifetime, be mindful that there're billions of people outside your circle who can do it better than you can- so for that assignment you want to do, regardless of size, focus on it and give it your all. It has all been possible because for a long time I've been standing on the shoulders of giants in past and present. However, as life is unpredictable, the most challenging reality for me as a youth from South Africa is, and has always been the issue of learning platforms like having access to internet facility where I'd enable myself to learn about almost everything the world offers, and hence start innovative projects from there. I've always believed that I was born for a purpose- though it has always been a challenge in finding out what it could be. As time goes, I've learnt to take pride in everything I do, giving it my all.
Recently, I've had the privilege of attending the One Young World Summit held in Johannesburg, South Africa. It was electrifying with global leaders as counselors and different youth leaders as delegates. Having interacted with most delegates and counselors there, I've noted with great amusement that people are busy- most of them hardly sleep, especially the youth - hence the 'burnout syndrome' that Ms. Arianna Huffington clearly elaborated in her presentation. I've also learnt that, to become the best, finest and greatest of anything I want to be, I must commit myself, persevere and give it my all in whatever I do, especially living in a globalized world like we do. My spirit for pro-activism got rejuvenated at the summit- to use my youthful spirit wildly, but wisely, to benefit myself, my family and the general masses.

For someone who's super-passionate about good orderly development, I hope to succeed in building a multi-purpose centre which will cater to everyone's need in my community, GaMarishane. The centre would include both computer labs with internet facilities and library with tangible books. The vision and mission, hereon, is simply to reposition the community of GaMarishane, as the content hub for good orderly development. This is a medium goal I am working towards that will help create employment in the community and encourage sustainable lifestyles - a tradition of learning, and by the grace of the Lord the vision will materialise either with me as the driver or someone else. The goal here is to make it happen!"
Referring to the youth, Koketso Marishane said that, "Most of the youth, today, is confused with career options due to various factors such as: lack of career guidance from both the parents and the teachers, lack of industry exposure to stimulate interest for the professional candidate, lack of access to guiding tools towards professional lines and lack of diligent mentorship from experienced professionals. We live in exciting times- times where we're presented with too many challenges than opportunities. How to model your situation and create a better world for yourself, your family and everyone in the world is a responsibility you choose to assume or ignore. As an African, I firmly feel and believe that I've a huge role to play in facilitating development in the lives of my community and the continent, before the world at large. The 21st century youth by now understand that the world has become tiny via the digital divides- meaning there's no longer room for 'me, myself and I'. The password for a better world is 'WE', the People (national & international collaborations). One of my mentors told me before the OYW summit that, "Marishane, your being holds no value if it doesn't benefit anyone around you", and since that time, I've been working mindful on the ideology. And lastly, one must learn to understand to make peace with the reality that there's no longer time for anyone to await opportunities to come their way. You must create them for yourself, for your family and for the general public - the global community at most."

Koketso Marishane admires the USA President, Barack Hussein Obama because he came from a disadvantaged background with little to nothing to his name. He survived in painful circumstances, maintaining a peaceful lifestyle towards gaining national and international recognition as the first African American President in the USA, the most powerful nation in the world. Koketso Marishane is inspired by this humble global leader who stands as one of the greatest orators the world has ever known. Koketso Marishane shares his final message with us saying, "Finding your purpose in life and pursuing it unconditionally is the most important aspect to live a life that is fulfilling and rewarding."

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Any facts, figures or references stated here are made by the author & don't reflect the endorsement of iU at all times unless otherwise drafted by official staff at iU. This article was first published here on 30th December 2013.

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