ACCLAIMED CULTURAL WARRIOR, DINESH NAIDOO has spearheaded myriad Hindu cultural organisations since whetting his cultural appetite at the tender age of 6 years when he participated in the annual Telugu Eisteddfod. Ever since, his hunger and passion to uphold Hindu tradition has seen him at the forefront of many organisations. He was the youngest general secretary of the Andhra Maha Sabha of South Africa at the age of 20 years. Subsequently he became the President of the National Hindu Youth Federation and in 1994represented Hindu youth in Denmark as part of the South African Youth Council. In 1995 he served on the United Nations Youth Council in Denmark and the World Assembly of Youth in Sweden.
Despite achieving a brown belt ranking in karate and representing his school in cricket and hockey, it was reciting Telugu poetry that fostered a love for the language and developed a fervent passion for Karnatic music which he studied formally. While his involvement in religion and culture may have seemed precocious at the time, Dinesh has carved a path for the youth that is cemented by virtuous principles. Growing up in Merebank, Durban, his own youth was marked by humility and required that he become independent at an early age. He worked many part-time jobs during his schooling and aft er leaving ML Sultan Technikon (now known as the Durban University of Technology), where he completed a data processing course, he worked as a shipping clerk. Years later he fi nds that the landscape facing the youth of today is abundant with opportunities and he strongly encourages South African youth to “… plan with a vision and set goals!” so that they make the most of the available opportunities. Concerned with the prevailing education system and the need for youth to gain experience in the workplace he feels that more active role models are needed to assist with these challenges facing our youth.
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