Johannesburg – Kevin Hart, the comedian and Hollywood box office powerhouse, visited Masibambane College in Orange Farm as a guest of Education Africa (www.EducationAfrica.org).
He was accompanied by Dr. Reuben E. Brigety II, Ambassador of the United States of America to South Africa, and Lord Matt Scheckner, Chairman of Advertising Week and President of Education Africa Inc.
They undertook an interactive tour of the school before Hart took to the stage to engage in conversation with at least 2 000 school learners.
Social cohesion is a cornerstone of Education Africa, a Johannesburg-based NPO that was established in 1992 and prides itself on delivering a diverse portfolio of educational projects to disadvantaged South African communities for more than three decades.
Education Africa’s motto is Educate • Equip • Empower and the organisation is committed to Make real change Happen. Masibambane College is one of Education Africa’s flagship projects.
James Urdang, CEO & Founder of Education Africa said: “When we heard that Kevin Hart was coming to our school, we wanted to share the experience with other schools in the Orange Farm community, as well as St John’s College with whom we partner in ensuring the maintenance of high academic standards at Masibambane College.”
The learners who braved the wet weather and participated in this social cohesion event represented the following schools: Masibambane College; St John’s College; Highlands North High School; Leshata Secondary School, Mphethi Mahlatsi High School; Jabulile Secondary School and Aha-Thuto Secondary School.
They were not aware that Hart would be addressing them.
“You can imagine their surprise when we announced that Kevin Hart was our special guest,” said Urdang.
“The level of excitement was off the charts!”
Kevin Hart shared the stage with five of the high school learners, answered their questions, and offered some heartfelt words of motivation to the enthusiastic audience.
He expressed how moved he was by the people he had met at the school and told the learners that, “Knowing that you guys are part of the future; that you guys will be a part of the change; that you guys are responsible for breaking new ground is what I’m most excited about.
Hart added: “I hope you guys truly understand how bright your future is. I am so inspired by everyone that I have met today. Dream big, love strong and take advantage of your now.”
He said some people struggle at times with being themselves.
“But things become easier once you find the happiness in you, and then everything else will fall into place,” Hart said.
“Through comedy, I found happiness in telling my story, living my story, and putting that story on display for everybody to see.
“You must always be true to yourself. I love to put people in an environment where we can all laugh together.”
Hart also shared some advice on the important aspect of mindset. “You can choose to focus on the bad and let the bad weigh you down, or you can find new reasons to live and smile.
“Embrace the idea of a dream, because that’s what keeps you going. When you don’t have a dream, that’s when life gets stagnant.”
He also encouraged the learners to embrace the idea of work.
“Always give 100% – sometimes when you give 100% you get 1 000% in return; stay grounded; life is hard but know that the sun always comes out at the end of a storm.”
And finally, he urged learners to take advantage of their education. “I challenge you guys to take advantage of your now;
“I challenge you to think about your future.
“Be a future leader; be a ground-breaker; be a changer – that’s what you’re supposed to do because you are the next generation.
“You are the future of South Africa. If you want change, then make change.”
Also speaking at the event, Ambassador Brigety offered this piece of advice to the students: “Your passport to your destiny and your future starts here.
“I hope and pray that you take advantage of every last second of your education.
“Because South Africa and the world needs you, and we cannot wait to see what you are going to do with your lives.”
At the closing of the event, James Urdang thanked Hart for visiting Masibambane College and interacting with the Grade 1 learners.
He also thanked Hart for meeting with Education Africa’s Early Childhood Development (ECD) team and their ECD students from the Orange Farm community.
Urdang presented Hart with a gift from Education Africa – a framed plate of the late Walter Sisulu who was a great friend and supporter of Education Africa, and on whose recommendation Masibambane College was built in Orange Farm.
Hart is in South Africa for the World Premiere of his Amazon film Die Hart the Movie along with making stops in Cape Town and Johannesburg on his Reality Check world tour.
Hart along with Thai Randolph (CEO of Heartbeat, Hart’s global media company) were keynote speakers at Advertising Week Africa.
Hartbeat partnered with Advertising Week to bring the inaugural edition of Advertising Week Africa to Johannesburg.
Advertising Week is the world’s largest annual gathering of marketing, media, and technology leaders.
Its long-anticipated debut in Africa took place from 15-18 February 2023.