Teen years best time to find your purpose, says new author, 15
Young people are losing themselves in social media and failing to think about their future, and for someone hoping to find their purpose and passion, the best time to start is right now. This is the advice Ntando Makwela hopes to share. And he should know.
Having just published his first book at the tender age of 15, it is also a motto for his own life.
Makwela, who lives in Johannesburg but whose family originates from Port Elizabeth, authored and self-published The Dynamic Kid: 9 Keys to unlock your future.
The book is aimed at providing guidance to young people hoping to achieve greatness in their future careers.
“The book is all about finding your purpose, and the best time to start is when you are young,” Makwela said.
“I saw a void among teenagers. The previous generation worked hard and knew their roles in [society], but now there are young people who would rather be alone and spend time on social media than use that time to better themselves.”
Makwela, who says he reads a lot and gained the knowledge to write the book from attending various business seminars, was especially inspired to write by Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad Poor Dad.
“Writing was something I always wanted to do, but [Kiyosaki’s book] inspired me to write about what I’ve learned.”
He started writing late in 2015, and when he completed his first draft in 2016, he spent another year on editing.
“My biggest challenges were procrastination and getting the book exactly right. I had to restart it eight or nine times, and once when it was nearly completed I deleted everything and started [from scratch] to make sure I get the message right.”
His father, Mandla, said he was relieved when his son finished the book.
“It has been a long journey,” Mandla said.
Still, Makwela does not plan to rest – he rather wants to follow his own advice.
“Self-development is one of the most important ideas of the book – and that you can use your talent to change lives.
“I use my free time in the holidays and I’m always busy. As much time as I can make, I use.”
For now, his main focus is matriculating from the Nova Pioneer school in Johannesburg, where he will be in Grade 10 this year, after which he plans to study quantum and nuclear physics.
“I also want to continue writing, because I love expressing myself [in that way], and I want to start my own business and reach out to others without resources to help them [on their journey].”
Makwela does not think his youthfulness limits any of these goals.
“I encountered a lot of resistance, especially from my peers, who never thought of writing a book like this. People don’t always see that you can learn from anyone, and there are some who say I’ve never had a job.
“They are right, but if you have knowledge, it is best to share it.
“I don’t think age is a factor [or] an indication of competence.”
Nova Pioneer headmaster Gavin Esterhuizen seems to agree.
“It comes as no surprise that Ntando has managed to get his book published at such a young age,” Esterhuizen writes in the foreword of Makwela’s book.
“He has set high expectations for himself and the advice he offers on purpose, self-development, talent and belief are all relevant and powerful.”