Life is filled with exasperating twists and turns. Often it can be an uphill battle, filled with trap doors, wrong turns, regrets and loads of “what ifs”. Don’t even get me started on the people we’ve regrettably allowed a part of our lives. “Could haves” build up into fortunes of mishaps and dreams often become experiences from a horror movie. The once beautiful journey, filled with sunshine and glorious paths of success, has now become nothing but a lifeless graveyard filled with never ending roads of turmoil. Sigh…

The once beautiful journey, filled with sunshine and glorious paths of success, has now become nothing but a lifeless graveyard filled with never ending roads of turmoil. Sigh…

I find writing therapeutic. It’s as if I have an A1 canvas in front of me with an array of color paints at my disposal. Like the adrenaline experienced when speeding down a one way, cringing at the thought of any oncoming traffic appearing. I experience a similar sensation when speaking. To think that I was once an out of place little boy who hid himself from the world, overflowing with fear, afraid of opening my mouth. The complete opposite of the man I’ve uniquely grown into. I’ve often wondered how I got to that place. Was it even possible for a human being to be that afraid?!

I’ve heard many people describe life’s mishaps as “sticky situations” or “unfortunate events”. We often speak of them with a “victim mentality” as if we have no control, sitting behind the seat of a steering-less carnival ride with people watching in amusement. “How did you get there?” I’d often ask folk. My response to their “I don’t know” is “we must learn so that we don’t end up taking the same road twice”.

It’s amazing how we can find ourselves at a point in life, completely oblivious to how we even got there! Surrounded by confusion, disbelief and a whole lot of blame in a tin jar. To avoid this toxic situation in any given scenario, one must understand that life is meant to be lived!

This means that I must be aware of what is happening around me! I must know that I am more than capable of achieving things that I envision for my life! Nothing can stop me because I believe in myself! Nothing is too hard, and no mistakes are too big to confront and change.

Sho, that sounds easy enough! Why don’t we all just do that you ask? Well, I believe it’s because we live in a society that is afraid to speak. Afraid to open and allow light to shine in darkness. We live pretentious lives which drain the joy from our veins and leads to loneliness. The trick though is to find people you can trust! People who support you, who motivate you, who love you with a relentless love.

Many of us stay stuck in hopeless situations, not able to overcome because we feel as if we are alone and have no one to turn to. We all aught to embrace an empathetic spirit and connect to our fellow man. These are the lessons I learnt after the passing of loved ones as a teenaged boy. The fear of loss and being alone finally took its toll after years of hiding. I had had enough! Death knows no cause but I’ve decided that my smile shouldn’t know one either!

Overcoming anything, irrespective of what that may be for you takes time and courage. Once we have spread our sights onto greater horizons, we need to ensure we surround ourselves with likeminded people. The right support yoked with renewed sight will fuel your desire to grow. I couldn’t believe my luck when Toastmasters announced their arrival at Multichoice. I’d long desired to be a Toastmaster. To get the training and experience that so many great leaders before me had. The mystery that was Toastmasters had made its way to me… Somebody please pinch me!

Toastmasters is an absolute revelation! My desire to become a great speaker was overtaken by the desire to lead others. The spirit of leadership that was transferred through this organisation is remarkable. I’ve had the pleasure of learning from my fellow club members and great mentors – Tebogo Majokana and Enias Chingwe. I now also have the privilege of working with the charismatic Frank Tsuro. Toastmasters shows and reminds me that I am able! That nothing is too hard! Alone, I can grow my personal ambitions and goals – but together, we are able to help other’s rise and reach their full potential!  

Wasim Fortuin