Shylette Ngwenya is a medical student who describes herself as a smart young woman who will stop at nothing when it comes to achieving her goals.
“I am at a point in my life that if it’s not worth the risk, it’s not worth it,” Shylette told The Weight She Carries. “I’m someone who works hard every day to achieve my goals and also to help the next person do the same. All this is done because I understand my purpose.”
We asked the founder of Young People for Jesus (YPFJ) to talk about her organization and impact it has on young people.
Tell us more about Young People for Jesus.
Young People for Jesus is a group of youth between the ages of 19 and 28. It was founded in December 2018. YPFJ’s mission is to shape young leaders who are reimagined under the wisdom of God. To nurture and develop responsible, Christ-like and soul-winning young people who can positively influence the world around them.
The organization is also actively involved in charity work, with a targeted focus on vulnerable groups, namely orphans, street urchins and schoolchildren in rural areas. This is in line with the main aim, which is to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
What motivates you to be outgoing and inspiring, considering you are still a medical school student?
Medical school is challenging, and it takes a lot of time out of someone’s day. I grew to understand that my purpose is not my career, and I should find happiness in the process of pursuing that career.
Where do I find my motivation? Passion. I am passionate about youth empowerment, leadership and adventure. I cannot say I find balance in doing all this, but I surely create time for personal development and fun. I don’t want to live with regret of not having achieved anything in my old age.
What challenges come with being a young achiever, and what lessons have you drawn from them?
There’s a lot of expectation from people that comes with being a young achiever. A lot of people who look up to you think you are a superhero or something. What they do not realize is that we have our flaws and failures too. I have days when I wish I could vanish from the face of the earth.
Purpose comes with a lot of blows; it’s just the truth of the matter. What I have learnt is that, in pursuing my purpose, I should do this with authenticity. People should know who I really am outside the lovely social media posts. They should be able to connect with me on a personal level so that when I am not okay, they are there to help. But not everyone is worthy to be in the inner circle of friends.
How has your personal experience shaped you as a young woman, considering factors you have endured such as financial crisis, loss, misfortunes and starting school at a later age?
I can now safely say I needed all that. You know, growing up without anything but enough to take me through the day and keep me warm has made me dream of a bigger picture of life. The crisis and the failures I have experienced have taught me to stay focused on the path of building a life I want to live.
I believe I went through what I went through so that I could grow through it. Honestly, I am grateful to God for the setbacks because they taught me to be a strong woman.
What motivated you to study medicine?
At the age of five, I experienced a horrendous scene when I witnessed my father take his last breath in our homestead in Binga. It was just me and him. What happened that day haunted me in my childhood years. Even now, memories are still fresh.
When I got to a point where I was well-versed with the universe, I chose medicine. I did not want to see any of my family members take their last breaths while I watched helplessly as I had done when I was five.
What keeps you going during tough times, and what is your advice to other young women?
The Word of God and praying keeps me going. I talk to God about everything and anything. I also have a very supportive circle of friends who are always there whenever I need them.
My advice to a young woman out there is you are too blessed to be playing small with your talents. God created you for a purpose. Get up and take up space. You do not know what you can do unless you try. The journey is not going to be easy, but it’s worth it. You will have days when you feel like you are not worth it, you are such a loser, whatever. But continue in that fight. It’s all worth it in the end.
Social Media Handles
LinkedIn: Shylette Ngwenya
Facebook: Shylette Ngwenya