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  • Ashalia Maharajh

Transformation calls for deep healing, one generation at a time.


"Each of us has a unique part to play in the healing of the world." - Marianne Williamson


Even the most optimistic and enthusiastic among us have been shaken by the impact of our history and the current state of our education and unemployment in our country. The hope and faith we have in South Africa has taken a knock over the past 2 years. And it’s because we’ve been forced to face the truth, and the truth of our pain. There’s a temptation to ignore this truth until the negativity subsides – a fairly common response to fear-based trauma.


However, this solution doesn’t truly serve us, and our frustration shows itself in unlikely ways. We see a disgruntled customer angrily shouting at a call centre agent, road rage at 7am, misplaced outrage in tweets and Instagram shares. Only through understanding our history can we begin to transform our future. And it begins with shedding that layer of hurt and allowing deep wounds to heal. Empowering each other and ourselves can set us on the path to wellbeing.


In a new democracy, it’s fair for us to want to build anew. To improve systems, processes, skills and build an economy that can take our country to new heights. We want to progress and create more opportunity for all, equally.


Although, what of our past and archaic systems that are still in place? Many would like to move on swiftly and welcome the new. But what of our pain? What of the layer of healing that must take place in order for us to move forward? When we move forward without healing our past, we are building on a landmine. Creating systems, businesses, mindsets, friendships and careers on ground that could explode at any minute. Before we can progress, we need to heal a generation – deeply, one step at a time.


Understanding the past to change the future



Even the most optimistic and enthusiastic among us have been shaken by recent events in our country. The hope and faith we have in South Africa has taken a knock. And it’s because we’ve been forced to face the truth, and the truth of our pain. There’s a temptation to ignore this truth until the negativity subsides – a fairly common response to fear-based trauma. But this solution doesn’t truly serve us, and our frustration shows itself in unlikely ways. We see a disgruntled customer angrily shouting at a call centre agent, road rage at 7am, misplaced outrage in tweets and Instagram shares. Only through understanding our history can we begin to transform our future. And it begins with shedding that layer of hurt and allowing deep wounds to heal. Empowering each other and ourselves can set us on the path to wellbeing.


Offering the youth the future they deserve


Understanding the roots of our emotions, perceptions, biases and thoughts helps us uncover why we have them in the first place. Through our Youth Coaching at Sivuka Youth we have the profound opportunity to witness how these underlying feelings affect daily life. A young graduate who has worked hard at university and is now ready to start her working life struggles to find a first job. She feels angry and frustrated. In today’s climate, it’s natural for her to feel victimised by the state of the country, an economy she did not create or break down. But she has two choices:

  1. To suppress feelings of sadness and disappointment and push on in her job search, most likely with a bundle of unexpressed, unhealed emotions as she starts her career by grabbing the first job she’s offered.

  2. Or, to take some time to heal. To feel the pain and understand its roots so she can heal. And, while her feelings are personal, they also reflect the world around her. By taking a moment to consider her situation, she can move forward and, in time, follow the path that aligns with her values, beliefs, career goals and of course abundance. She can choose to show up as the positive, talented and intelligent young woman she is, in a role that is meant for her career and will bring her the abundance she deserves.



The second choice is one of self-accountability. The choice that says, “I am not my circumstances”. It is not the easy choice, but it’s the one that will heal this generation and the ones to follow. It is the choice that will see us leading change and making decisions that support our individual growth, as well as that of our communities.


Martin Luther King Jr said: “As my sufferings mounted, I soon realised that there were two ways in which I could respond to my situation – either to react with bitterness or seek to transform the suffering into a creative force. I decided to follow the latter course.”

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