My name is Thabisani and I am humbled and excited to embark on my new ambassadorial journey as the Country Director for the Foundation For Tomorrow based in the Arusha office in Tanzania.
As I reminisce on my childhood, I am convinced that at a tender age the television opened many windows of perspectives and unending possibilities that captured my imagination and stretched my worldview by bringing the world as a global village to my doorstep. I knew from there on that my path would not be limited by geography but would enable me to make a difference wherever my imagination, creativity, personality, talent and skills could take me. I had a simple philosophy then; which still in part forms my life’s philosophy in that if you can imagine it, you can live it only if you work hard on translating your imagined future into reality.
I also picked up valuable lessons from the many child tailored programmes on TV during my time: that our similarities matter more than our differences and wherever you go in the world, people desire to be loved, respected and belong to a community. I think it is fundamentally the same wherever you go and building up from this energy it becomes easier to celebrate our unique diversities. (NB: The television was out of bounds at my house and grandmas where we would visit for the holidays. It could only be operated by an adult many of whom where tucked in until late especially on weekends where the most exciting programmes where scheduled, so I would sneak out of bed as early as 6am, switch on the television and with the volume on low, enjoy the world from the box. It got me in trouble a few times but my persistence won which has.)
Over the course of my three and a half decade of existence (just to make myself sound advanced in age) my imagination as wild as it was sometimes enabled me to be fearless in my pursuit of strengthening my social and technical skills including life experiences to become a better version of myself. This also empowered me from a well formed and informed perspective to be able to support and influence my peers to do more of what works by making use of the underutilized strengths and resources they possess as experts of their lives. I am the middle child in a family of 3 siblings and also hail from the Midlands in a city called Gweru in the central part of Zimbabwe, where I was born and bred. I studied there from my entry level into the official education space (kindergarten) right up to university where I got as far as Masters Degree in Development Studies from the Midlands State University.
Tanzania is a beautiful country with a mosaic of culture, language(s), music and food that drew me to it when I first visited in 2009 as part of a regional Youth2Youth training on the Solution Focused Approach. I imagined then that this could be home away from home for me. Fast forward to the present. Having worked and presented my work in the regional and international space, focused on investing and developing youth potentials to become effective agents in solution finding and building and groomed a lot of change makers, some of whom have gone on to receive international awards and recognition, I am at The Foundation For Tomorrow. I fell in love with the Founder and Executive Director: Meghann’s story. As an inspired visionary young leader and change maker, she took on a responsibility many would easily shy upon because of the sheer weight of demands, resources, commitment and time it takes to bring it to fruition and make a lasting difference. I wanted to be part of this journey and also leave a mark because she was creating an enabling environment for the vulnerable orphans and children to get a fighting chance in this world through the empowering and transformational effect of education.
TFFT is connecting ideas and action to ensure inclusive, equitable and quality education that promotes lifelong learning through innovative ideas and strategic thinking that places the child at the centre of development. The TFFT team continues to invest valuable and tireless efforts to increase the organization’s credibility and visibility. The resulting recognition has become an asset to the organization and the relationships fostered with our scholars, partners and stakeholders will ensure TFFT prospers and continues to provide holistic services that improve access to quality education, schooling, health, psychosocial support and life skills. Our Whole Child Approach caters for the social, emotional, mental, physical as well as cognitive development of scholars.
Like I said earlier, if you can imagine it…. and here I am at The Foundation for Tomorrow as part of a team of a hardworking change makers and game changers that stretches as far afield as the United States of America working to invest in the next generation of tomorrow’s leaders today! I am not only going to just count the days but make the days count in our collective efforts with our learners, parents/guardians, educators, duty bearers, sponsors and other stakeholders to deliver quality assured services that empower our learners to become better versions of who they imagine themselves to be and give them life skills to adapt and make a difference.