A champion is someone who leads a project, a family, a revolution. A champion is someone who sees and evokes the potential in others. This is the other meaning of champion, the one that lives alongside what we commonly define as “winner” or “someone who achieves something notable.” MC Clayton Lendrum enlightens an excited crowd to this second meaning of champion at The Venue, Melrose Arch on the 4th of December 2019 for what was an emotive and truly inspiring KLM Empowered Graduation for the Accenture EmployAbility Cadetship and Learnerships for DELL EMC, PG Bison and KLM Empowered. The ceremony was themed around being a leader and disruptor by making one’s individual authentic mark in the world.
This was a momentous occasion as it marked the final graduations from a 3-year cadetship programme for persons living with a disability. Accenture’s EmployAbility Cadet programme was launched in December 2016 in partnership with KLM Empowered. The programme was developed to create opportunity for persons living with disability to partake in an empowering 3-year journey of 3 qualifications and skills transfer. All 10 learners of the cadetship achieved outstandingly throughout.
“Sawubona – I see You – How powerful it is to see the truth in someone,” said CEO of KLM Empowered Lyn Mansour in her Opening Address. She highlighted the importance of individuality, and the recognition of that individuality in others to build a strong collective. “Growth originates from our nation coming together as individual notes to create a well orchestrated community. Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu. I am a person because of other people.” Mansour’s address captured the nuances of African celebration and collective consciousness resulting from empowered individuality that was present on the morning.
Accenture’s EmployAbility Cadet Programme at KLM Empowered is designed to empower and create meaningful career opportunities for people with disabilities within the Information and Communications Technology sector (ICT). In the duration of the three year cadetship, candidates obtain a theoretical skills grounding as well as imperative practical on-the- job experience that equips Learners with a holistic set of tools for navigating the fourth industrial revolution. Graduates of the cadetship now hold the FETC Project Management (NQF4) qualification, advanced National Diploma Project Management (NQF5), as well as a National Certificate in Information Technology Systems Development (NQF5. Inclusion and diversity are cornerstones of Accenture’s global business, and KLM Empowered is proud to be a partner in supporting meaningful growth in this cornerstone through our aligned ambitions.
The essence of Accenture’s fourth industrial revolution mindset was conveyed with style in Ntombi Mhangwani’s- Marketing Director of Accenture- keynote address, which began with Mhangwani getting everyone in the room joining in celebratory song. Mhangwani challenged the audience: “I want to challenge all people in the room today to question the obvious and understand how to reinvent yourself using technology.” She spoke on the importance of embracing change and innovation, of making space for leaders who disrupt and take risks, the importance of diversity and the power of the youth, and what marginalised and young people can bring to the leadership table from their unique and adaptable perspectives. Returning to the theme of individual power present on the day, she said “I challenge you to understand the role you have to play in this revolution.”
Overtones of wisdom from a variety of leaders were expressed. Words were shared from Khethiwe Nkuna (I & D and Corporate Citizenship Lead from Accenture) whose moving and emotive speech asked that “each one teach one, that those graduates who have been supported may go on to support others themselves.” Clerrene Muller from Dell EMC, Sibusisu Dlamini (HR Executive from PG Bison) Graduates,
Ishmael Vumile Tdhaya and Percy Maimela (Accenture Final year Cadets) Rendani Matshaya from Dell EMC, Shanon Donavan Ground from PG Bison and Kwanele Mbatsana (KLM Empowered) also shared motivating words.
In alignment with recognizing others, KLM Empowered handed out awards for outstanding achievement of individuals in the programmes:
Accenture – JHB: ND – Customer Management NQF Level 5
Leticia Khanyisile Plaatjies
Accenture – KZN: ND – Customer Management NQF Level 5
Cyril Sibusiso Ngewu
Accenture: First Year EmployAbility Cadetship – JHB: FETC – Project Management NQF Level 4
Accenture: Second Year EmployAbility Cadeship – JHB: NC – IT Systems Development NQF Level 5
Accenture: Third Year EmployAbility Cadeship- JHB: ND -Project Management NQF Level 5
Dell EMC – JHB Group 1: ND – Customer Management NQF Level 5
PG Bison – JHB: FETC – Business Administration NQF Level 4
Candice Carmen Manuel
KLM Empowered – JHB Group 1: NC Supply Chain Management NQF Level 5
Phillimon Thulani Ntuli
KLM Empowered – JHB Group 2: NC Supply Chain Management NQF Level 5
4IR, leadership, the importance of inclusion and diversity, the importance of adaptable and innovative leaders, the importance of individuality in leadership and the value of EQ were points raised and discussed at this vibrant occasion; but what stood out the most was the music, the raw emotion, the fashion- which left everyone there with an appreciation of self-expression, creative expression and the sense of togetherness that embracing individuality, in fact, lends itself to. KLM Empowered is grateful to partner with leaders of the caliber we see at Accenture, Dell EMC and PG Bison to enable the empowerment of others, and contribute to collective growth. We can’t wait to see the impact our cadets and Graduates go on to make!
Watch the graduation highlights