When the cameras are off and the lights go dim, off our screens, actor Wayne van Rooyen is doing Inspirational work with the youth. Thandokazi Njongo chats to him to find out more about the ‘Aspire Higher’ Initiative.
TN: What exactly is the Aspire Higher movement about?
WVR: The Aspire Higher movement exists to encourage all the young people of South Africa to transcend their circumstances and become the best person they can be. Someone who uses their unique talents to make a positive impact on our beautiful country.
TN: What was the motivation behind the target set?
WVR: The pre-teen to teen years are a very formative period in an individual’s life, a period when they
can really be reached with a message of changing their outlooks on life. They can be encouraged to achieve their best so that when they start having an influence on their country from university
and beyond, great things will happen. Hence, we hope to reach as many grade 7s – 12s as possible with the message, that their stories
can have lasting impacts on their country.
TN: What does an Aspire Higher workshop equip one with?
WVR: Right now there are no workshops, just motivational talks to inspire. But we can easily develop what we have into a workshop. Ultimately, we hope that learners would be inspired to use their life
stories to make a difference in South Africa. We could, through collaboration, equip them with the life skills and storytelling tools to tell their stories, through music, films, books, etc.
NJ: What values do you hope to instil in the upcoming generation of storytellers?
WVR: Love, integrity, honesty, authenticity, achievement, boldness, compassion, innovation, influence, community, competency, contribution, creativity, curiosity, determination, growth, optimism, self-respect, service, respect, responsibility, knowledge, leadership, happiness, success, wisdom.
NJ: Why is it important for the younger generation to discover their own voice to tell their stories?
WVR: Every young person is unique and can have their own unique influence on their families, schools and communities. They all have the right to tell their stories and have their voice heard. The need
to know that how their stories turn out is up to them and that their stories can make an impact.