Young Paul Nkosi’s future changed when his school identified him as one of their learners who needed a kick in the right direction. Nkosi was a pupil at Tembisa Secondary School in Midrand, which experienced problems with discipline, tardiness and poor sanitary conditions. He had repeated grade 9 because he fooled around more he than studied. Then he was chosen to attend an intensive six-day residential academy run by Columba Leadership, an organisation that gives school staff and pupils the leadership skills and vision to tackle their problems. Nkosi and 11 classmates worked with the principal and two teachers to become “change agents to improve their school. “The Columba programme motivated me school-wise and socially to take responsibility for my life,” Nkosi says. “It’s a very magical thing that it does. You get so much fulfilment there as a young person. When you come back from the academy you want to change things in your space.” Nkosi began doing well in class and his newfoun...

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