“Growing up as a young fellow, I never knew I would perhaps one day be a role model to millions of young people across the globe.”
Marvel Mthembu, a young influencer and global changer, is the president of a movement called Crushing The Barriers. He shares his success story with FLAIR correspondent Siphiwe Tsheu.
Tell us about your journey as a young person
Marvel Mthembu is a 22 year old young African Leader born in Johannesburg, South Africa, whose passion is to transform the world to a better place. Born and growing up in Johannesburg, soccer was my passion. I was a very good soccer player from childhood, so this is where leadership for me was evoked. At the age of 12, I was given the honor to be captain of the team I was playing for. And there came a time that our coach had to leave because he was a soccer player as well, when their team was promoted to another league. So we had to agree on the collapse of the team or I could take over and become the coach of the under 10 and under 14 (my juniors then). We played soccer without a kit, but the level of soccer we played was on point. Although my age division didn’t perform so well, my juniors became number 2 in the league. They were so indisputable to the point where we started getting soccer kits. This was an introduction to bigger things!
Now tell us about the establishment of Crushing The Barriers (CTB) and the vision behind it
After a great time with Kings Stars, winning trophies and redefining soccer, there came a time when I had to drop it because of church commitments. I remember my Pastor telling me that God had greater plans for me. I had to decide whether I wanted to continue or forsake God, because most of my games were on Sundays. I finally decided to leave and start a new phase of my life. In 2015 I founded Crushing the Barriers (CTB) and it was a new phase too. It wasn’t an easy one, but it has been awesome getting to learn and impacting lives for good.
How many Countries has CTB gone to and been Established?
Crushing The Barriers is currently in 32 nations across Africa, Asia, North America, Middle East and Europe. We have impacted over 129 000 people across the globe through our programs mostly hosted in Africa.
Any Accolades or achievements?
Through the community developments projects we have hosted, we have drawn attention to the organization with several accolades, and these include “2019 Young Mandela of the Future” , 2019 TYI SADC Trailblazer”, and “Top 100 Loveworld global soul winners.” I was also a nominee finalist of the 2019 TYI SADC Innovator; I have also had the privilege to attend the Asia World Model at Bali Indonesia, as well as attended the 2019 Youth Leaders Forum at Sharm El Sheik, Egypt.
Any future Aspirations? Where do you see yourself and CTB in the future?
My aspirations are that I would one day like to see a better world everyone, irrespective of ethnicity, religion, or race, because we are one, and our differences are not to show who is superior and who is inferior, but showing the art of human diversity
Any parting thoughts?
My time at church has really helped me discover the true definition of leadership and aspirations drawn from a platform I was given, and in 2014 I made a decision not to leave the world the same way I found it. I would also really like to thank God for every member of CTB. They have contributed immensely to organizational growth and expansion; they are actually the heroes behind the scenes. I celebrate them always!
Siphiwe Tsheu is a Public Relations Management student at the VUT.
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