A Grade 9 learner at Flora Park Comprehensive High School, Keith Chituni was named Polokwane Police Station junior station commander and Limpopo head ambassador following his presentation at the national Nelson Mandela Children’s Parliament held at the provincial Legislature recently.
He was given an opportunity to participate at national level after he was selected at the provincial leg. Keith said he had to represent a group of eight at the provincial event for him to secure a spot in the provincial team. In the national competition, Keith had to contend against ambassadors from all nine provinces as he represented the provincial team made up of ten learners from various schools in Limpopo. He said he was declared Limpopo head ambassador by Social Development Minister Susan Shabangu while the title for junior station commander was given to him by the Polokwane Police Station. He further said his argument was based on challenges faced by young people in society such as gangsters, drugs and other criminal activities.
During the debate, speakers had to table strategies that they thought would help curb social ills for government to consider implementing. He stated that he was planning to appoint a team of boys and girls to help him execute his duties as he takes over where the previous ambassador left. He added that he was certain that he would go the extra mile in addressing problems in society. Keith further outlined that the commander position benefits young people in Polokwane while the ambassador title caters for Limpopo residents.
“I now have the powers to report matters to the Police and social workers for further investigations because of my titles. Both victims and perpetrators of crime need help and I will do everything in my power to assist them. It was not an easy task to win the titles but I am happy that the Minister and Police saw potential in me,” Keith explained and added that his team was awesome and assisted him a lot.
He emphasised that he was ready and keen to amplify children’s voices and make sure that they get help where necessary. He said he was preparing for the provincial Men’s Parliament having received an invitation from the Office of the Premier. The session is scheduled for today (Thursday) at the Legislature and Keith commented that he was looking forward to the challenge and the chance to debate real issues at hand.
Keith is not only a debater but also an aspiring scientist who recently competed at the Eskom Science Expo regional round at Gateway International Airport where he won a bronze medal for his project. The project entailed a machine which senses the smell of alcohol in the classroom and sends a signal to the principal’s office for educators to investigate. The other one works as a register and if it finds that one learner is not in class, will still alert the principal while the third machine detects harmful items such as knives and guns on learners.
Keith urged young people to stay away from criminal activities and focus on things that would groom them into better leaders of tomorrow.
Story & photo: ENDY SENYATSI