At a very young age, she found herself attending a private school, even though her family lived in one room. We speak to Christill Cave.
BD: Tell us about your childhood, where you grew up, went to primary school, what growing up was like.
CC: My childhood was pretty cool. I was born in Port Shepstone in a village called Nkampini in Margate. Funny enough though my family wasn’t financially stable at that time and my mom was young at the time, so my grandparents raised me and took me to a private school called Port Shepstone Senior Primary School. It never made sense to me and most people from our community how my family could afford to take me to such a school when we lived in one room. Growing up was a bit challenging for me because I always had to wear a mask concerning the situation at home and having to have friends that came from good backgrounds with wealthy parents , I wanted all of that but I didn’t know then that fitting in was never an option for me. I was born to stand out.
BD: How did the love of working in and with your community come about?
CC: Working with the community started when I was in high school. My leadership qualities were recognized by my grandparents from a young age. I started joining different community projects and in school I was always a class captain or RCL rep. I remember one of my high school teachers Mrs Anitha Maharaj told us about Junior Achievement South Africa – a mini enterprise program that helped young people who one day would aspire to pursue Entrepreneurship/ Business so she had announced this and I thought to myself “Let me just go join this so I can be able to skip Mathematics class” Ha ha. Not knowing that joining JASA would change my life completely and open doors for me. Even before joining JASA my grandparents were already helping me join radio stations in Durban and I would be given slots to come through to youth shows to give inspirational talks to young people. I had no idea that I knew how to speak and motivate but my grandparents saw it in me and they would buy me books and newspapers to read so I could increase my vocabulary & knowledge about what happens in the world. From then when I turned 15 I started my organization Youth in Action Africa (YIAA) in 2009 inspired by a mini enterprise program which was offered internationally by Junior Achievements.
BD: What does it do?
CC: We seek to change the mind-sets of the disadvantaged youth of South Africa by equipping them with skills that help them make a difference in their personal lives and by creating opportunities to expose them to the possibilities of a better life. YIAA is both an educational and social empowerment organization designed to broaden the perception of our learners as far as education is concerned.
BD: Did you receive any training to do social work?
CC: didn’t receive much training concerning community work. When you are born with something it comes naturally and you work hard to become the best you can be. JASA paved the way for me when I was in high school through the program and lessons we learned. I was awarded best Sales person and youth activator. You know what I always say is Being A World Changer is a Lifestyle for me and God is my executive producer for my production.
BD: What does serving the community do for you personally?
CC: Serving for me is giving thanks to God. The word of God speaks of acts of service. When I serve my community I’m reminded on how Jesus served. It’s not about recognition for me but unity. Young people who come together as one makes me even want to work harder in bettering the views of young people in this world. I personally have learned so much through Acts Of Serving whether it’s in church, my organization or helping at a local Centre. There are things which I have accomplished or connected with people that I never thought I would because of Serving. Serving with a heart that loves, I give my all. That for me makes me happy knowing that I’m making God happy as well.
BD: What do you believe is your purpose and are you fulfilling it?
CC: My purpose is to fulfil my assignment that God wants me to fulfil while here on earth. Everything else is just extra bonus.
BD: Is giving back a spiritual thing? Do you have a different way of seeing and interpreting the world?
CC: I will speak for myself on this one. When I was still young, I would see my grandmother praying and going to church and how she was so hands on in the church and other projects in our community. It never made sense for me until I asked her why she liked serving so much. “Don’t you ever get tired of doing things for free and spending so much of your time on things that don’t even make sense, “I asked her. She said to me “Chrissy you see the reason why we are able to take you to a private school, provide for you and everything else we do is because I do it for Christ not for people”. To cut the long story short, I learned the importance of Serving God even in my inconvenience. My relationship with God has made it even more inspiring to give back not because of what the media has to say. “Well done, good and faithful servant!” are words I long to hear!
BD: Who or what inspires you
CC: Besides Christ, My grandparents and my spiritual mother Pastor Uba inspire me daily. Their lives have so much meaning and I look up to them. My mother has also played a role in my life by giving birth to a World Changer which is me. Ha ha!
BD: In your opinion, what are some of the hardships young black South Africans face on a day to day basis?
CC: Lack of opportunity, we often hear complaints about the apathy and entitlement that young South Africans supposedly suffer from. Yet the #FeesMustFall movement, which gained international attention, has been just one example of youth anger coming to a head.
BD: You seem passionate about young people. Why is that?
CC: I’m passionate about young people because we are the voice of this country. When young people come together instead of gossiping or bringing each other with pressure magic happens. The thought of just knowing how much we are capable of inspires me more.
BD: How do you plan on achieving the goals you have set out for yourself?
CC: For me planning on achieving is simple. It is comforting to know God causes even my mistakes to work out for my good. It is maybe even MORE comforting to know He causes even the mistakes of others to still work out for my good. The process is not fun, but I count it all joy (even through tears at times), knowing that the testing of my faith produces endurance and that endurance will have its perfect reward. I stand on His Word. I hope in His promise. I yield to His love.
BD: Do you get any assistance from either government or private companies?
CC: Youth In Action Africa has been operating for 6 years now and over the past years we weren’t getting any assistance from government and still don’t. We are however grateful that we get help from different individuals who are inspired by our work and love what we do for the community.
BD: What is your favourite quote and why?
CC: My favourite Quote: The Future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
BD: What is your greatest inspiration?
CC: Persecution grows you. Tribulation refines you. Trials build you. Tested faith produces endurance.
BD: What does an ideal world look like to you?
CC: An Ideal world for me is a world where no child suffers, patriarchy does not exist. A world where charitable instincts exist and there is global acceptance of all different types of people.