This world has become a cold one for a child to grow up in. it is filled with drugs that kill children’s dreams and purpose. It’s a world where sex seems to be a better activity to engage in than sports. Talents are not so important anymore, but rather money corrupts a young mind before they can even discover those talents. Again this world is a cold one for a child to grow up in, but there is one young lady who works hard to change that.

Nura Parastaran is a 24 year old engineering student at the University of Pretoria. Unlike many students who focus their attention only on their books, she works on her talent just as much. Nura further elaborates “we must use our talents to help uplift other people”. She teaches dance to teenagers during weekends. Nura draws her inspiration from God. “The love of God and mercy upon my life has made me realise that we have to appreciate what God has given us by helping other people too” she said.

Originally from East London, she travels by taxi every Saturday to Mamelodi. Despite all the pictures given to people about townships being dangerous, she still doesn’t let fear overcome her as that would stop her purpose. She draws a lot of attention walking on the street because of her race, “our background in this country still makes it look weird to see a white girl like me walking on the streets of Mamelodi”.

From an area that is haunted by the high rate of teenage pregnancy, most of the people in her dance class are girls. Mostly range from 13 to 17. She says she enjoys being with these girls because she is able to express herself more. “One thing we do after class, I chase out the boys and I have at least 30 minutes minimum of girl talk” she added. Since dance is another form of physical exercise, she is convinced that her learners are able to think better, and work better on their school work.

Nura says her biggest dream in this project is to see the children make it big in life. “I would love to see them completing their studies, going to university and becoming the best they can be”. The parents of the children fully support Nura’s work, and say that they are glad that their children are always kept busy. One parent said “I have seen how the girls same age as my child behave, and my daughter has discipline and drive, I don’t know how she would’ve been if it wasn’t for the class, because she’s at an adolescent stage now”.

The dance class has opened and revealed other talents from the learners. They create their own stage plays, music and poetry. Nura has been the biggest inspiration to the group and all fear that after she finishes her studies, she will have to leave them and go back to East London. With a smile on her face, she said “I am happy for what I have achieved in my class, I have seen great dancers and I hope they will do well for themselves on the dance industry”.

Talking with these young ladies has highlighted the fact that there is nothing impossible in life. Young people in every industry and with different talents can work together to uplift their communities.


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