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'Follow your heart': SA celebs on what they'd tell their younger selves

Our team asked some stars what they wish they’d known sooner

13 June 2021 - 00:03 By Sanet Oberholzer and Thango Ntwasa
Candice Modiselle and her younger self.
Candice Modiselle and her younger self.
Image: Supplied


Actress and TV presenter currently appearing in The Queen

Dear Candice

Breathe. You won't always get it right. It's at those moments that you have to offer yourself an abundance of kindness, compassion, love and empathy. Breathe again. You're not your mistakes and shortcomings, young one. Know that each setback provides an opportunity to learn, grow and honour yourself. You're destined for great things.

Farieda Metsileng and her younger self.
Farieda Metsileng and her younger self.
Image: Supplied


Actress and MTV VJ currently starring in uBettina Wethu.

Dear Farieda

You're going to do amazingly. You have so much power and potential. Don't give up! Your infectious energy will be one of the many things you can use to uplift people's spirits. Your biggest fears will show you how strong you are. Be unique, like your name. You are loved.


Chef and co-owner of Marble Restaurant, Saint Restaurant, and author of Mile8Dear David

David Higgs and his younger self.
David Higgs and his younger self.
Image: Supplied

I certainly wouldn't have changed much. My views and outlook on my career were never goal driven, it was really about survival. Through hard work and loyalty to the people who employed me, I got massive opportunities.

Those opportunities allowed me to work with people who were mentors in different business sectors: property developers, marketing specialists, chefs and entrepreneurs with that incredible spirit - like my business partner Gary.

Looking back, I'd like to say it would have been great to have a balance, but I'm not sure I'd be where I am today if there had been that balance. I'm naturally quite an anxious person - when I was younger, I was always making sure that tomorrow the job was still there and I could progress as quickly as possible. That was the drive then, so I'd probably advise myself to be more patient, and allow myself to breathe - that's about it.


Actor currently starring in uBettina Wethu

Dear Michael

Be gentle on yourself and don’t sweat the small stuff. Work hard, follow your heart and everything will work out.


Actor currently appearing in uBettina Wethu

Dear Brighton

Quiet your mind and think about what you love doing the most. Follow your passion fiercely. Stay strong and always be kind.

Tyla Seethal and her younger self.
Tyla Seethal and her younger self.
Image: Supplied


Singer and social media and TikTok star

Dear Tyla

Ever since you were small you've known you wanted to be a global African pop star. But growing up you'll struggle with believing you're capable of achieving that dream. Keep pushing, hoping you'll get lucky. You are more than good enough. It's a difficult journey but you'll make it in the end. One day you'll make your country and continent proud.


Actress best known for the TV series Jiva!

Dear Noxolo

Don ’t waste your time regretting the things you didn’t do. Everything has its time, and it was no mistake that you didn’t do it then.

Zweli Dube and his younger self.
Zweli Dube and his younger self.
Image: Supplied


Actor best known for his role as Pule Mapetla on the SABC2 soapie Muvhango.

Dear Zweli

Never let anyone tell you you're "useless" — all young people have a purpose in life. The poorest person is one who doesn't have a dream. You can be anything you want to be but there are steps and life choices that can either make you fail or pass your way to victory and living your dream. Drugs, excessive drinking, ignoring your education or even surrounding yourself with the wrong people (baddies) can kill your dreams. I know because I've been there.


Rapper and hip-hop artist

Dear Yung

Put in more hours. No matter how talented you are at something, hard, dedicated work will always pay off in the end, and it will give you the edge. Stay patient, great things come to those who never give up.

Nzinga Qunta and her younger self.
Nzinga Qunta and her younger self.
Image: Supplied


Business news anchor on SABC News. She moderates the World Economic Forum's Davos Dialogue on Education and hosts President Cyril Ramaphosa's Investment Conference.

Dear Nzinga

I know you're unsure about so much and that you're an awkward, ambitious young woman: I promise you that everything will work out better than you imagined. Self-esteem is something you battle with. As you get older you'll learn that being yourself and listening to your voice will make you more sure of yourself. Getting it wrong doesn't mean it's the end of the road. Always keep trying, learn from your mistakes so you don't repeat them.

The things you want will come with work, good timing and luck. Always remember your current circumstances are not your final circumstances, so when things are great, be grateful and enjoy them - and when they aren't, be grateful and know that the moment will pass.

Continue to be kind to people you meet. It makes your parents proud of you and the world needs more of that. Remember to be kind to yourself, too. Eat well. Exercise. Take care of your mental health. Leave things that distract you from your goals and don't make you feel good.

Everything will work out in the end. Enjoy the journey!


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