Durban Youth Council

"Today's Youth... Tomorrow's Leaders..."


Wise Words from Past Councellors

Cara Weir Smith DYC Bill Ward Receipient 2002

Council… what more can I say! My term on council has been one full of laughter, fun and tears. It has been an experience that has opened my eyes in so many ways. From learning from different people, to reaching out to the community and touching the lives of those who are less privileged than myself, DYC has definitely influenced my career choice as the more I became involved in the community the more I see and the more I feel drawn to people who need to be loved and looked after. This year I was part of an AMAZING COMMITTEE, Community Services!

We did a lot this year and I feel made a difference in the lives of many. I have made so many new, interesting and diverse friends at council who over this past year I have become very close to and who have become a part of my life. I hope to be a social worker after my matric year and then join the Junior Chamber. I want to do what I do and love best, be involved in the community and give people what I have been so fortunate to have. Thank you DYC for choosing me, this year will be one that I will never forget but look back on with fond memories.

The one and only,
Cara Weir-Smith (17)
Our Lady of Fatima

Christie Smith DYC Treasurer 2003

My name is Christie Smith and I am the new Treasurer for Durban Youth Council 2003/2004. It is my job to make sure that a certain amount of money is being made by the councillors each month, I am responsible for all money coming in and out of DYC and I have to keep books to up to date. I have an absolute passion for helping people and for the past three years I was adamant I would join DYC once I had reached Grade 11. I am involved in several groups at school which deal with the disadvantaged e.g. Interact. I built houses in December last year for Habitat for Humanity which was an amazing experience. I attend Our Lady of Fatima Convent School in Durban North and I am the kind of person who knows exactly what she wants, sets high standards for herself and strives to achieve her goals. I plan to study at Stellenbosch University doing a BCom accounting degree.

I intend to be a Charted Accountant, eventually becoming a Managing Director. This is why I applied to be Treasurer rather than the other executive positions as it is good experience while still helping those in need. I love doing accounting, it actually for some strange reason relaxes me. My favourite sport is rugby, which I absolutely love; this is due to the fact that my dad’s whole life revolves around rugby. I am also a strong Christian and take a youth group on Fridays and a Sunday School class. I am a bubbly person who loves meeting new people and I am seldom at a loss for words. We have an amazing Executive Committee and very dedicated councillors. So I am sure that with the guidance of the Steering Committee this year at Durban Youth Council will be a huge success.

Christie Smith
Our Lady of Fatima

Deon Botha-Richards Steering Committee President

I have been involved with DYC since late 1996. I realise that serving our local community is a vital part of life and that everybody should contribute in some way. Through the projects that DYC runs we do provide a vital service to both the young and old in the greater Durban and surrounds. Through that process we also provide a platform to develop the youth of Durban both to grow individually and to develop a sense of responsibility and community. Being able to positively influence the councilors and to watch their transformation from being young and energetic to being young, energetic and capable is hugely rewarding to me.

I believe we leave them with a greater sense of themselves and of their wider community and the part that they play in life and we give them an opportunity to partake more fully therein. It is this transformation that gives me my reward for the effort that we put in as Steering Committee. Working with my fellow Steering Committee members also give me great pleasure as I also see the growth and transformation that takes place as young students evolve into contributing, responsible adults. I firmly believe that DYC provide one of the most complete and effective vehicles for growing the young minds of Durban.

Executive Committee Durban Youth Council 2002 / 2003

Wow, what a year this has been! This year has been full of good times, bad times and weird times for the executive committee of 2002/2003. Being on the executive was a totally new, exciting and different experience compared to that of being a normal councillor.

We started our year with multiple workshops held in Rasigan’s garage. It was in that very garage that we set our goals for the year ahead. Many constructive goals were set for 2002/2003. Many of those goals were carried out and many… well… did not quite make it. DYC’s letterhead and official documentation was finally in place, the stamp and business cards were incorporated and the DYC files were finally sorted out!!!!

The executive participated in many projects that were held this past year. The various parties held for orphanages at Mitchell Park, Pizza Hut evenings, Fashion shows, Aids extravaganzas, cultural shows and many more! One of the biggest projects that the executive took part in was the Habitat for Humanity youth build 2002. We never realised how uplifting that experience could be. Knowing that you helped to build a home for an underprivileged family really made a big impact on our lives.

One of the projects that the executive committee did co-ordinate was NATCON 2003. During Natcon the new councillors had a chance to ‘bond’ with their fellow councillors. The executive and steering committee also watched for possible mayoral candidates during various exercises held during Natcon. An Easter party was held in collaboration with Community Services for the children of the William Clarke Gardens. Aside from one glitch on the first day, Natcon was a very successful project that benefited the new councillors.

Being on the executive was a fulfilling and soul enlightening experience. As the year progressed the executive grew closer and we got to know each other better. We have had some bad experiences but we got through them together as an executive. The lessons and skills that we have earned through being on council, we will carry with us into our future careers.

To the new executive and the new councillors of 2003/2004: ‘All the worlds a stage, and all the men and women merely players, they have their exits and their entrances.’ Council is your stage and you are the players. Council will be what you make it. If you uphold the prestigious name of the Durban Youth Council by being good ‘players’ in your play, then at the end of your year, you can reminisce and be proud of the people you have become, through your experience as being one of the ‘players’ on council. Yes, you will have some unsuccessful projects, there will be those councillors who will try to diminish council’s reputation and you will encounter various other problems. Together you can accomplish anything. Make the best of your council year because it will be one that you will never forget!

”Vision without action is a daydream but action without vision is a nightmare.”
Stax of love,
The Executive Committee of 2002/2003.
Zanele Khumalo (Mayor)
Sameera Bayat (Deputy Mayor)
Ryan Naidoo (Town Clerk)
Yadhna Bhugwandeen (Treasurer)
Shahista Ramanand (Secretary)

Joedene Chetty DYC Town Clerk 2003

As Town Clerk of the Durban Youth Council, I am truly grateful to be part of such a prestigious and fundamental organisation. Being a member of council has opened many doors for me and has allowed me to explore my talent, which lies in reaching out to those less fortunate and assisting them in achieving a brighter future. Since being on council, my span of peers has become enormous and I have been subject to and have been educated about different cultures and religions.

Council has enabled me to follow one of my dreams, which is to aid and encourage the youth of today to better themselves and reach for their dreams despite the harsh circumstances and tribulations they face each day. Recently on a visit to one of our local hospitals ( a council project ), I was filled with a deep sense of joy as I witnessed the sweet smiles of little children as I handed them a simple chocolate Easter egg. Little things like this make a WORLD of difference in an individual’s life. So to each one of you, pursue your dream and search for the same joy that I have found in Council.

Thank You
Joedene Chetty
Pinetown Girls’ High School

Minenhle Ngcobo Durban Youth Council Mayor 2005

As one hesitantly walks down basement of City Hall, apart from encountering a rich cultural history of Durban and its traditionally memorable buildings; one is sure to encounter a bunch of highly enthused high school learners who call themselves youth councillors. Only meeting on a Wednesday for a never-enough-hour-and-a-half; the week can never go too quickly as we eagerly look forward to descending the long stairs to encounter a new world; one in which we help others, strive to empower the youth, and learn valuable life lessons that make us into proud, astute and aspiring young individuals. Now, for the good stuff about DYC.

Being a part of the DYC family entails far more than a mere meeting on this auspicious day (as many refer); but a host of enriching experiences ranging from engaging with youth from other schools, a sharing of ideas and information, a rich cultural and socio-historical mixture of various ethnicities and beliefs; and lastly; if one thinks that the “sms” is the most exciting gambit to hit the streets of late; one should visit the board meetings which occur on Monday nights- truly a unique experience! Once you enter that room, it feels like we never really wanna leave, for this simple reason- helping others, emancipating the youth and serving the community has never truly felt that good, or been that fulfilling!

Even though we are guided by the ever-wise Steering Committee, it is with bated breath that we take each step, each day and ensure that every project is carried out with a high level of professionalism, enthusiasm and zest. If there is one thing that we have learnt in our time here, it is that you and I are the only people in this world that can make a difference, by standing up and making our voice and opinion count. But, lest us concentrate on the future- and the future is indeed in the hands of those reading this text- you, both as the reader who might be interested in coming aboard and joining the DYC family, or as a student who is no less a part of the future than the person next you. So, from us, the members of council, a message to you out there-

“DYC is happening, it is happening right under the crevices of your city, and will soon be well above the streets of Durban, so join us and lets help each other to become tomorrow’s leaders, since, after all, we are indeed, today’s youth!”

Nicole Graham Durban Youth Council Mayor 2006

“Not many around dyc to me is a representation of a united and open opportunity south African society, where people interact, work with and enjoy all those around them regardless of colour, religion or creed. it is a breeding ground for success, leadership, spirit and friendship and has an impact upon the lives of its councilors in a way underestimated by many”

Rasigan Naidoo Steering Committee Secretary

No words can aptly describe my journey abroad the Durban Youth Council Mothership this past decade….It is with both trepidation and nostalgia that I attempt to recall everything that the DYC has given me since I first walked into the basement in May 1997 flanked my colleague and best friend Durban High School soon to be Deputy Head Prefect Jonathan Bergh.

DYC is and has been the basis of everything that is empowering, learned and great in my life. Having enabled me to enrich my life in ways never previously envisaged, DYC has been the fuel that has continuously rejuvenated my life and subsequent growth and development. Up till now, I’m unsure which moment is better….

is it the sight of the eager, enthusiastic, yet naïve eyes of the young gentlemen from DHS who aspires to be mayor (history dictates that DHS has an astounding propensity of nurturing DYC leaders) on the first day he walks into the basement and is politely choked by the delicate fragrance of the kitchen…..

….or is it the sincere, natural charm of a young girl whose charisma and beauty bowls over the councillors on election day to overcome the rivalry for mayor from the pompous, almost arrogant boy from the school next door… or….is it the last board meeting when Exec members finally cry when the noise of the last gavel denotes the end of an era, an era of camaraderie, failed relationships (for some), matric dance photos, copious hours on the DYC mxit group…and the impending gloom of matric begins…..

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention a few of the greatest leaders I’ve had the honour of meeting…wait a minute…am I being serious here, or perhaps a bit ‘over zealous?’ Can these near teenage mortals possibly be dubbed ‘leaders’ at their tend age, I kid u not ladies and gentleman…they most definitely are….

When I think of the conscientious, ever ready trio of Trish Singh (Recipient: Steering Committee Award 2002), Jenna Wade Dunn (Bill Ward Recipient 2000/ 1), Joedene Chetty (Recipient: Toms McDonald Award for Service 2004), I wonder what DYC would have been without them. Then there is the artistic, effecient Micaela De Freitas (2006) and the brilliant, competent Executive of 2002/ 3 which altered the future of DYC. My my my, I still remember the 1st day I met Fara Dawood (2006), probably one of the most brilliant minds that ever sat on the DYC Board……..and who can forget Safiya Bobat (Mayor of 2000), another amazing leader whose faith in people and humility won many a heart on DYC. Before I am accused of being sexist, there were males amongst the ranks…..two young boys, many would regard as men, who were instrumental in the growth of the DYC. The vocal and sophisticated leadership of Donovan Govender (DYC Mayor 2001/ 2) was an era to recall and lest we forget younger brother Neil (DYC Mayor 2006), whose presence, maturity and natural leadership gave birth to a time of greatness (his council year raised over R20 000 and yielded over 56 projects), WOW! Honestly, I would rate Neil as the best mayor DYC has ever seen.

It is these individuals who embody leadership in its very essence…practice values of integrity and youth empowerment and espouse everything that a young person ought to be…and the very reason that keeps me coming back…in my quest to meet more of tomorrows leaders ras

Scelo Bhengu Durban Youth Council Mayor 2003

I’ll start off by saying Durban Youth Council-the place that I call my second home simply because of the atmosphere that it creates, warmth and the enthusiasm for hard work. The very first day I stepped into this institute I felt proud of myself for landing a foot in such a significant organization. I promised myself that I would be 102% dedicated until as an individual I make a solemn and positive difference in Durban Youth Council.

On the 29th of May, the day I was inaugurated I was astonished, extremely excited but in my heart I knew that the delicate rope and chain did not approach me unaccompanied but it came with expectations of hard work consisting of commitment and vitally determination. As the Mayor of Durban Youth Council, the most important aspect that I want to accomplish is being able to passively share respect with the Councillors thus moulding Durban Youth Council into a highly recognized organization known for its excellent deeds. Rewinding back the hands of time when I was elected Mayor, the tremendous support that I received from the councillors was overwhelming and it fundamentally triggered my inspiration and love for the Councillors and the success of D.Y.C.

Durban Youth Council has had a major impact in my life as it has pushed me to experience a journey of not only Leadership skills, but different yet basic dynamics of life. It has granted me with opportunities to meet significant people and it has created an eternal amount of doors for my future.

The role of being Youth Mayor entails a remarkable amount of work. My first challenge as Mayor, I had to attend a ceremony at New Haven Secondary, as I had to deliver a speech that would immensely motivate the Youth. As I stepped up that stage, I observed a passion for education and dedication throughout the Learners of the School. This event bestowed me with the audacity to accomplish more out of D.Y.C. and most prominently for D.Y.C. I’ve also been fortunate and taken fortification in publicizing D.Y.C. on radio (Ukhozi FM). I also grasped this opportunity to express my views on D.Y.C. thus increasing its status. I was invited to a prestigious event at the Divine Life Society, thus getting and opportunity to voice my opinions on Religion.

Not taking too much credit, the Executive Committee and myself were exposed to the vibrant city of Durban (Celebrate eThekwini). Yet again the Executive and myself obtained a chance to mould with the Youth of Durban, with me delivering a speech that was to motivate the Youth (K.T.V. Market day). One of the latest events that I have attended is the Drug Free Marshals where I was a Guest Speaker. This event enlightened me tremendously about the issues of drugs. Children’s Right Centre is an organization that I was invited to and spread the word of D.Y.C. Children’s Right Centre is currently working with me on a Leadership Course at Zululand as I, will be given the role of a Facilitator (8th – 10th December). Remembrance Day, a day in which all the soldiers are committed to memory.

The Honorable Worship, Mayor of Durban, invited me to this day. I ultimately believe that this day has been the climax of my term as Mayor thus far, as I was willed with an opportunity to meet the “top dogs” i.e. the people of high ranked positions and was given the most ethical experience and moment that is laying a wreath entitled in loving – from the Councillors and Youth Mayor.

So Durban Youth Council has really acted as a catalyst in making me who I am and what I’m going to be…. It has proven that success is attained by determination and vitally hard work. Councillors (2003/2004) from me to you, so far you have really impressed and made me proud with your motives of dedication and your thirstiness for success!!! I will conclude in the manner, Youth, by scrutinizing between the positive and negative aspects of life, you will be a success one day!!!


Zandile Dlamini Durban Youth Council Mayor 2004 June - December

I’ll simply start off by saying Durban Youth Council – the place that I call my second home simply because of the atmosphere that it creates, warmth and the enthusiasm for hard work. The very first day I stepped into this institute I felt proud of myself for landing a foot in such a significant organization. I promised myself that I would be 102% dedicated until as an individual I craft a solemn and positive difference in the Durban Youth Council.

On the 29th of may, the day I was inaugurated I was astonished, extremely excited but in my heart I knew that the delicate robe and chain didn’t come unaccompanied but it came with expectations of hard work consisting of commitment and vitally determination. As the mayor of Durban Youth Council, the most imperative aspect that I want to accomplish is being able to passively carve up the respect with the Councilors thus molding Durban Youth Council into a highly recognized organization branded for it’s excellent deeds. Rewinding back the hands of time when I was elected Mayor, the tremendous support I received from the councilors was overwhelming and it fundamentally triggered my inspiration and love for the councilors and the success of D.Y.C.

However the first day, I had to chair the council was weirdly nerve racking. Although, I am glad that things finally started to soothe as far as the Wednesday day meetings were concerned. As mayor of D.Y.C., the last year of 2003 was fairly eventful as I was invited to be a guest speaker to a few occasions. I would just like to highlight the one that was at new haven secondary, as I had to deliver a speech that would immensely motivate the youth. As I stepped up the stage, I observed a passion for education and dedication throughout the students of new haven secondary thus making my job a lot easier. I’ve also been fortunate and take fortification to publicize D.Y.C. on radio (ukhozi fm), explaining the function of the organization and the various committees.

I also grasped the opportunity to individually express my views on D.Y.C. only to increase its status of course! Another imperative event that fulfilled my position was the invitation to reservoir hills interfaith youth summit to which I had articulated a speech based on the themes: human rights in achieving peace and the role of religion. It was a moment of brilliance for me and certainly to those that had their ears open, as the message that was exemplified that afternoon was meaningful and valuable.

There were many more events/ activities that consumed my time as D.Y.C. mayor. Now, the question I have been asked a million tomes and is still asked, ‘what is your role as the Mayor or what do you as the Youth Mayor?’ well, the answer is: I obviously manage D.Y.C.; attend significant events with the media as I am the face of D.Y.C. chair debates and represent the voice of D.Y.C., introduce new schools; be the final signatory of all PP& B’s and lastly be professional, upstanding and maintain affirm level of respect from my fellow councilors and my amorous exec.

Being the driving force of D.Y.C. has been a pleasant job to do. The respect from the councilors and exec has been exceptional. My life in that basement with those people who I refer to as my exec and councilors has been well worth my while; it has made me feel at home. Council has had it’s up’s and downs but because we are a focused team that is heading for success we have managed to heal ourselves in face D.Y.C. optimistically.

I made a distinct choice to make D.Y.C. my first priority. You (councilors) have impressed me with your motives of dedication and your thirstiness for success!!!

Our journey was pessimistic and optimistic but we reached our destination with grandeur!!!
Good luck for matric and your vivid futures!!! Stay as charismatic and as ‘loud’ as you are!!!

Thank you!!!
Zandile Dlamini
June – Dec 2004