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Thursday, 05 March 2015

Social entrepreneur inspires students to overcome adversity

DEFYING ODDS: Social entrepreneur Brent Williams (middle in blue jacket) shared his moving life story with students at a Diversity Management lecture DEFYING ODDS: Social entrepreneur Brent Williams (middle in blue jacket) shared his moving life story with students at a Diversity Management lecture

Office and Management Technology students were inspired to defy the odds.

Brent Williams, a social entrepreneur and director at Reconstructed Living Labs (RLabs), recently delivered a motivational talk to the students at the Cape Town campus.

His talk, “Hope in the Midst of Chaos”, highlighted his life journey as a young man on the Cape Flats, dropping out of high school, his drug addiction and involvement in gangsterism. He also highlighted how he overcame these challenges to become one of the Directors at RLabs.

The organisation is the brainchild of Marlon Parker, a CPUT alumnus and former staff member. The organization started in Bridgetown, Athlone in 2008, and is now a global movement operating in 22 countries, instilling hope and uplifting communities through various programmes. 

Williams says Parker’s belief in uplifting the community and providing a platform for community members to empower themselves, instilled a sense of purpose and pride in the community and inspired him to work towards achieving various goals in life.

The organization has two youth cafés, one at the Vangate Mall and in Mitchells Plain. Here a positive environment is provided for youth to socialise and empower themselves through various projects.   The company also uses digital media and mobile technology to solve the social ills in communities by giving residents hope against all odds.

Senior Lecturer Mandie Richards emphasised the need for all people to realise the role they have to play in society and how one person can make a difference.

For more information on RLabs see www.rlabs.org

Written by Kwanele Butana

Email: butanak@cput.ac.za

Provides coverage for the Business and Management Sciences and Education Faculties, Student Affairs Department and Cape Town and Mowbray Campuses.