Choose the uncomfortable over the comfortable Dr Emmanuel Taban

This morning our Kingswood pupils were fortunate enough to attend a talk in our Kingswood College Memorial Chapel by Dr Emmanuel Taban.

At the age of 16, Dr Emmanuel Taban left his country of birth, South Sudan after his father was killed in the South Sudanese Civil War. With the help of various charity groups, Dr Taban was able to complete his secondary education and was able to go on to study medicine at Medunsa University.

While the road to success has not been an easy one for Dr Taban, it is a road that he navigated by making the decision within himself to not settle for anything less than what he wanted for himself and his future life. While there were many people who said “no”, and countless hurdles that he needed to overcome, Taban knew that he needed to reframe his own perspective and pursue the road less travelled in order to get to where he wanted to go.

Dr Taban is now a successful Pulmonologist who holds three medical degrees and has most recently qualified to offer expert pulmonology care at Mediclinic Highveld (an invaluable service for a rural area) and practises at Mediclinic Midstream.

While the talk centred on his own life journey, the true power of Dr Taban’s talk was the fact that he told our pupils to not only be dreamers, but to be doers. The road to success is not an easy one. Many obstacles will inevitably come our way. It is how we choose to face those obstacles, which will predict our true success.

The dreams you have for yourself are only attainable if you are brave enough to pursue them. Do not waiver or be scared to take the longer route in the pursuit of what makes you happy. He also reiterated to the audience that as a society we have become so comfortable in seeing ourselves as “victims” rather than as people with the ability to change our own narrative.

He urged our Kingswood pupils to become true thought leaders and thinkers. To take their ideas, their passions and their skills and harness them in such a way that can affect change in positive, restorative ways that have the potential to benefit all. It all begins with a single step. Taban went on to emphasize it all begins with a single step and that not all obstacles should deter you from trying and failing and then trying again.

He made a powerful assertion during the course of his talk that it is always easier break down than to build up, and that unfortunately this has become society’s default way of responding to the injustices around us.

We need to learn to find new ways of making and bringing about change and that we need to be willing to put in the work to achieve meaningful change. Education alone, Taban says is not enough. He urged those in attendance to invest their education, skills and passions into the African continent, because if we do not, then others will.

Our pupils left the Chapel this morning with serious food for thought and we are certain that it has prompted many of them to rethink and reframe the way in which they will look at their lives going forward. We need to be open to changing our mind-set, our narrative and our ‘truth’ because it is only in being open to change that one is able to truly learn, grow and succeed.

Dr Taban has spent the whole morning at Kingswood College today facilitating various interactions with our pupils in various spheres of our campus life.

We thank Dr Taban for sharing his time with our pupils and staff today.