By City Life Arts Writer
A former school leaner who was captured in a video with others smoking dagga wants to inspire change among young people.
Nceba Ngwenya, is among the learners from Leondale High School in Ekurhuleni who were caught celebrating a dagga day called 420 and the video went viral. The term 420 originated in the 1970s with a group from California high schoolers in the United States who would regularly meet after school at 4:20pm to smoke weed.
The viral video led to 37 learners being suspended at the school. Ngwenya who has since turned his life around is heading to Thailand to address a world conference about challenges of drugs among young people.
Ngwenya will be among the speakers at Best Diplomat Conference taking place from the 28th of April to the 1st of May 2023 . Best Diplomat is a New York based diplomatic organisation which serves as a platform for young leaders and change makers to exchange ideas and resolve the most challenging global issues. The programme is United Nations (UN) endorsed.
Speaking to CityLife Arts, Ngwenya said he was looking forward to speaking at the international event.
“After the ordeal that took place on the 20th of April 2022, World Changers Candidate came to the school and made a presentation to the SGB (Schoool Governing Board), the management , and parents. I personally made a decision to join the World Changers programme. Since then, I have been reborn, and I have devoted my life to changing the world one soul at a time.”
“Despite the shame that was over my head, I believed this was much more to life than just breathing, little did I know that it was simply the start of my purpose driven life of being a servant to the globe. I am looking forward to representing the country and speak about challenges that youth faces especially when it comes to drugs.”
The learner who completed his matric last year, kicked out the dagga habit after joining World Changers Candidates programme. World Changers is a Johannesburg based NPO that assists people who have drugs and substance abuse. The organisation was founded by Lucas Mahlakgane in 2002 after he assisted music star and now pastor Kabelo Mabalane to quit drugs.
“Last year after the video of Leondale High School learners throwing a dagga party in School uniform within the premises went viral, the organisation was invited by the Leondale High School (SGB) to come make a presentation for intervention to the affected 37 learners to parents and Teachers. After the organisation made the presentation, we asked learners who needed help to come forward. That’s when Nceba Ngwenya and Kabelo Mabena volunteered for help and the parents of both learners both gave consent.”
“The two learners were then put on the World Changers Candidates programme which they extended in the School with hosting support groups taking place on Wednesdays after School hours. As the two continued availing themselves as World Changers Candidates Anti-Substance Abuse ambassadors, World Changers Candidates saw an opportunity to expose the two to other programmes and Best Diplomat seemed to be the most relevant platform.”
“After making the inquiry about their programme we then expressed interest to send one of our young leaders, Nceba Ngwenya. The response was positive then the process began. Isanti glass formally known as Nampak was approached to sponsor the trip.”