· Creseldah Ndlovu, an Author, Inspirational Speaker, Social Entrepreneur, Humanitarian & Philanthropy Practitioner · Being born from single parented households, at the age of 16 I assumed the role of parent to my sibblings as my mother’s working schedule allowed her to only come home once every 3 months. The responsibility increased, as I had to juggle schoolwork, family and social engagements. What this experience, of being a teen mother to my siblings, did to me is that it made me more responsible and developed me into a proactive teenager, it made me streetwise.

This is because I was not raised with a silver spoon in the mouth. At that tender age of 16, I pursued an opportunity to start my own hair salon after school to make ends meet. One of the gut-wrenching challenges I faced is that, regardless of the fact that I was a responsible, proactive and focused teenager, growing up in a deep rural remote area limited me access to opportunities due to lack of resources and information.

My own upbringing inspired me to be the hope to the hopeless, especially girls and women. I knew how it feels to grow up in poverty and no one seems to care, hence I heeded the call because I knew there are lots of “teen Creseldahs” out there and as an epitome of possibility and as someone who understands the pain and struggle that those other Creseldahs are going through. I am trying my best to create enabling environments for them to not get drowned in those circumstances – I wants to be the help I wished I had.