The Cape Flats is often perceived as an area filled with violence, gangsterism, crime and substance
 abuse. But for others, it’s a place filled with loving people and a strong sense of community.

There is a misconception that those who grow up on the streets of the Cape Flats are destined to
 become gangsters, end up in jail, or be dead by the age of 21 owing to financial or social circumstances.
 But the truth is, this all boils down to the outlook of an individual.

There are plenty of success stories of 
people who came from humble beginnings on the Cape Flats and ended up running successful
 businesses on their own. All it takes is the right mindset to turn your situation around.

Calvin Fisher, owner of Pandabomb, a digital production house that specialises in photography,
 videography, and social media marketing is a proud example of someone who changed his life while
 growing up on the Cape Flats. He put together five lessons life taught him which helped him become the 
owner of his own business with a wealth of experience behind his name.

1) Always believe in yourself

While trying to simply make life work, people will tell you that you can 
never do what you set out to achieve. Don’t believe them. Believe that voice in your head that tells you 
that you can.

2) Always keep learning

Even if you don’t have the means to do a diploma or a degree, find short
 courses and classes that you can do. Watching online videos and tutorials about the skills you’d like to 
learn can help you immensely. These days, YouTube covers just about everything you need to know
 about anything you want to be successful in. You’d be surprised by how much you could learn from 

3) Always set a goal

It can be a big one or a small one, but always strive towards something. It can be a
 promotion, the start of a new project, or simply perfecting a new skill – just make sure there’s something 
to strive towards. Setting goals for yourself will also help you keep your mind in check.

4) Fuel your passion

If you enjoy writing but your everyday job isn’t that, write anyway. Or do
photography, draw, paint, learn about the stars – whatever your passion is, feed it. Set aside time every
day to just do this. Not only will you get better at it, but it will also give you time to focus on something 
that you truly love doing.

5) Surround yourself with good people

There will be moments in your life when you need the support
 of others. It could be to celebrate your success or help you when you fall, but you will need a group of
 people whom you trust and who believe in you.

For Calvin, learning about life and success was certainly more of a challenge than it may have been for
 many of his peers from more affluent areas. Against the odds, he experienced the benefits of applying 
valuable life lessons and so avoided the numerous negative temptations surrounding him, allowing him 
to rise above the stereotype of a Cape Flats youngster.

Today, he is a successful businessman, running 
his own firm, and servicing many large, well-known brands, in particular those in the auto industry. Truly 
living the lessons he identifies is proof of what is possible with the right attitude and the desire to 

Picture: Supplied

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