Third year BSc student, Stehan Malherbe, believes that the youth should come into their own in South Africa, and that their thoughts, actions and dreams form the foundation of our country's future.
During Youth Month, we put the spotlight on eight members of the Stellenbosch University (SU) Choir – one from each voice group. Together with more than 100 other individuals from diverse backgrounds, cultures and fields of study, and under the leadership of conductor André van der Merwe, they inspire and captivate audiences across the world with their unique sound. Visit the SU Choir's YouTube channel to listen to their songs.
Stehan took a moment to answer a few questions:
Tell us about yourself, and how it came about that you joined the choir.
I grew up in Stellenbosch but my family now lives in Kleinmond, a small beach town near Hermanus. I am currently doing my third year in BSc Chemistry and Polymer Sciences. I have a huge passion for music and maintaining strong relationships with friends.
I have been singing in choirs since the age of five and not once have I regretted my decision! It fills me with so much joy. To sing in the Stellenbosch University Choir has always been a dream of mine. I remember being very nervous to audition. On the last day of submissions, I found myself on a small farm with no signal. I recorded myself in the house and had to climb a hill for signal to send my audition video through to our conductor. It is one of the best decisions I ever made.
What do you enjoy most about being in the choir?
My favourite thing about the choir is the life-long friends I have made, the eternal memories I have made and most importantly the way that this community, this family, creates a safe space for me to just be myself. The choir gives me a voice and a chance to spread hope in our country and the world. It allows me to make a difference.
With Youth Day in mind, what is your message of hope for other young people?
My message to the youth of South Africa would be that you should take up space in our country. You deserve to be heard and you should demand to be seen. Your thoughts, actions and dreams form the foundation of our country's future. Be proud of yourself and of what you have achieved. Enjoy the small things in life, but dream the impossible dreams.
What is your favourite song at the moment?
My favourite song would be "When I was Your Man" by Bruno Mars. I can relate to the song, and it has a beautiful range. I just can't stop singing it.