A prestigious milestone, recognition as one of the few African young influencers, the only South African to receive and be honored with the Princess Diana award, and one of the 6 young people to be specially recognised by the Duke of Sussex for leading an exemplary life and positively influencing the world, making it a better place for future generations. Marvel Mthembu, the president of Crushing the Barriers (CTB) organization, talks about the accolade that he won on 1 July 2020, with Flair Correspondent Siphiwe Tsheu.
In our last interview you shared with us your success story, and how it has been, and being one of the most influential young men on the continent. What drives you?
As I always say that the only limit I have is myself, so it’s up to me to keep the focus on high or to let it sink. The greatest choice I ever made was to consider me as the best competitor I can ever have – Yes, Me and myself. See a mistake one can make is to place another person as their competition because so and so can limit my progress.
Princess Diana Award, how did it happen that you be selected for this prestigious award?
It was something we prepared for about half a decade ago. The news came as a surprise, because I never expected this accolade in 2020. I suppose it was God’s timing and plan. This award almost passed me, it went to my former presidency office email which is now dormant, but the Diana Award team was kind enough to go the extra mile to ensure I receive this news.
This award, mind you, is the only accolade that is named after the Princess of Wales, the late Princess Diana. I call her the Princess of the people, because she did so much for those who needed help, she shared hope and sparked smiles on many faces.
What does this award mean to you?
This accolade is rated the best accolade a young person can ever receive, so already that holds so much integrity. This accolade is like wn encyclopedia, so when somone wants to validate the CTB we can refer them to the Princess Diana Award. This award has opened certain doors for me and my organization, and I know this is just the beginning. I mean it has just been 2 weeks since we received this but we have been exposed to numerous opportunities. So with these words, I’m saying I’m grateful to the CEO of the Diana Award Ms Tessy Ojo and her team for seeing us worthy on behalf of CTB International.
You are one of the 6 Influential young people that were praised by the Duke of Sussex. How does that make you feel?
Hahaha obviously this gives some exuberant feeling cause this is something big, no matter how society might try to make it normalcy to us, it’s something I always look to and say there’s hope for tomorrow. The Duke of Sussex, Prince Harry, gave a salutation to me and other 5 Change Makers; he called out our names and commended us for the work we do, and not only that but he also said we were the 6 young people that they would like to ‘specifically’ celebrate, we were celebrated by both himself and his brother HRH Prince William the Duke of Cambridge. So not only were we being celebrated and honoured by Prince Harry but also by Prince William. So it’s very big and this also echoes our modus operandi first as a Young African leader and also for all the CTB representatives.
From here, what’s next?
From here it’s still the same new. Because this award is key, so we have access to the building now.
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