In recognition of his academic achievements and community service, University of KwaZulu-Natal Master’s student and Golden Key member, Bayabonga Zulu, was one of 200 students from around the world selected to attend the Golden Key Leadership Summit in Niagara Falls, Canada.
Bayabonga says the summit aimed to assist members to realise their potential through the advancement of academics, leadership and service and that it was a great learning experience. For example, in the session presented by the CEO of the Niagara Workforce Planning Board, Mr Mario De Divitiis entitled Building Your Brand through Academics, Leadership, and Service, he “learned that everyone is a brand”.
For Bayabonga, the highlight of the conference was when one of the speakers, who has autism, said that he cannot read or write, but wrote a book. “It was a life-changing realisation that we are not limited by our lack of ability, but rather by our lack of will. Indeed, there is nothing we cannot accomplish when we put our minds to it,” he says.
He particularly enjoyed interacting with other international delegates. “Ideas were shared around the pillars of academic excellence, leadership and service. We have taken this back to our universities and hope to make a significant impact in our respective communities.”
The Commerce student said he felt honoured to represent the University and South Africa. “I feel like a star… It has been a wonderful and life-changing experience to share the same space with intelligent delegates and guest speakers who came from different cultures and parts of the world. It was completely awesome!”
Bayabonga thanked the Golden Key International Honour Society and Acting Executive Director of UKZN’s Corporate Relations Division, Ms Normah Zondo, who helped make the trip a reality. He also extended his gratitude to his mother Ms Fikile Ngcamu, and his family and church for their ongoing love and support.
Golden Key has more than 400 chapters at universities around the world. Each UKZN campus has its own Chapter headed by the President. Bayabonga is currently the Acting President of the Chapter on the Pietermaritzburg campus.