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The Youth Issue Vol. 2

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She’s on set – this small petite frame with a twinkle in her eyes. She bursts in with a smile as I approach to greet her. We greet each other with a hug as she says “How are you, O?” 

I won’t lie, I was a ball of nerves and tension coming into this shoot as 2 days prior we had just passed the 3-month mark of Riky’s passing. It was a hard day for Bianca, so I would’ve understood had she decided to not show up and rather curl into her shell. But she showed up. As she always does. Bianca is a follow-through and commit-to-the-end woman – it’s in her essence. 

I responded with “I’m good, how are you?”

“Aaah… I’m okay,” she says.

Always so considerate and reaffirming, my dear friend Bianca will always ask how you are and how you feel no matter the circumstance. Ever so honest and earnest… Bianca never shies away from being frank about how she feels in the moment to those close to her. Bianca and I had made an acquaintance about 10 years ago through Riky. Riky was a connector extraordinaire. I swear he had a calling of connecting people he knew were soulmates as Bianca and I would later connect and form a lifelong bond. 

In the 2020 issue of the Art of Superwoman Magazine, B shared with me how she chooses to not have live-in help and raise her children herself and do everything from school drop off to morning school lunch preps. This, alongside running the Riky Rick businesses and brand. The Riky brand remains one of the strongest and most iconic brands SA has seen in our lifetime. Many would think someone behind the brand and running the machinery would perhaps be an iron fist… Well, this one is in a velvet glove.

We all know that everything Riky touched turned to gold and it still feels like it does as we’ve just seen with Cotton Fest’s success in April 2022. Riky was synonymous with excellence. Riky was also a champion for entrepreneurship and youth, often taking young people under his wing and ensuring they get platformed under his watch. Bianca brings that Virgo energy into all of this, meticulous to the T. 

“Riky was a perfectionist,” She often says, whilst she would be actively perfecting something. 

A true believer in God and purpose, Bianca brings her values into everything she does. She understands and aligns with many of Riky’s values on entrepreneurship, youth and inclusion.

As Lerumo Maisela wrote in his tribute piece to Riky, “Let us remember Riky Rick’s values of entrepreneurship and inclusion. Let us invest in the talent and potential of our young people just like he did.”

As we commemorate Youth Month and consider what our contributions are to the building of our communities and youth spaces this month, I take a page from Riky and Bianca’s partnership – values and alignment. 

The kids loved Riky and equally revere Bianca, fondly known to them as Aunty B, and see the reflection of this legacy and therein see hope. Hope that there will be opportunities created, there will be an investment in them and there will be potential realised. 

That is what we must commit to – keeping hope alive and doing the active work in steering opportunities towards the youth, every month. Not just in June.

 

AoS x Bianca Naidoo

At the end of the AoS Youth Month’s cover shoot, the indomitable Bianca sat down with Olwethu to reflect on her late husband’s legacy and Youth Day. Watch Bianca stand tall in her purpose and continue to flourish.

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When parents actively initiate and invest in talking about play with their children, it helps create a better connection and communicates a level of respect, trust and love while simultaneously laying the foundation for a healthy emotional state most conducive to learning.

There’s a reason why the United Nations lists play as one of the basic rights of children and AoS shares some in