“The Best Person You Can Be is yourself” – Profile of Shelton Moyo,
One of the Youths in YMCA Bulawayo
Young Men Christian Association in Bulawayo is devoted to empower young people with knowledge and skills. It aims to give youths a voice, and contribute to their well-being. Moreover, it aims to transform youth into responsible citizens, and empower them by building civically competent young people that aspire to be social leaders.
Shelton Moyo, aged 20, has been a member of Young Men Christian Association, Bulawayo, since 2014. His first encounter with YMCA was through assembly at his school where one of the YMCA members was making a presentation about YMCA. As he is interested in learning new things, he decided to join. He also participated in a Y-club at his school, Entumbane high school.
Shelton grew up in Entumbane, a small community within Bulawayo city. Today, he lives with his Aunt, two siblings, and his two cousins. His mother is currently living in South Africa with his stepdad. Shelton’s biological father passed away when he was a child.
The young devotee has always enjoyed learning – through doing research and reading. He loves writing poetry and, one day, he hopes to attend university and study library and information studies. His friends often come to him for advice. Due to his interest in learning new things, he is happy that he joined YMCA Bulawayo as he has benefitted much from being a part of the activities. As a young person in Zimbabwe, his life has been impacted by the economic and social challenges the country faces. However, he states that YMCA Bulawayo have made him stronger, and changed him into becoming a confident young man.
Through Y-clubs, Shelton got the opportunity to talk and discuss with other people that were actually listening to what he was saying. The YMCA club at Entumbane High School taught him about problems that young people in Zimbabwe are facing, and how to avoid pressure concerning popularity and negative behaviour. He says YMCA has made him much more confident to make his own decisions, problem solving, and embracing who he really is. Furthermore, YMCA Bulawayo has given him the opportunity to visit other townships and travel around Bulawayo. His encounters with other young people in YMCA have taught him to see things in different perspectives.
Shelton states that” the best person you can be is yourself”, and he wish that all youths knew this, and would be confident enough to resist the peer pressure they are experiencing every day. YMCA gave him the opportunity to “be who he really is”. It gave him the chance to be heard – having people listen to him, and also encouraging him and lifting him up. Furthermore, YMCA taught him to be a leader, and to help others, and today Shelton is the youth chairperson in his church – something he said he would not have had the confidence to do if it was not for YMCA.
Being a member has also introduced him to the YMCA family. According to Shelton, “the members will give you solutions, help you, give you a space where you feel safe, and they will give you something to do so you will not be bored”.To close, Shelton concludes that “I want to help others, the same way YMCA have helped me, so that they discover themselves”