Braam Hanekom | Refugee Rights Activist

Braam Hanekom is the founder and chairman of People Against Suffering, Suppression, Oppression and Poverty (PASSOP), which works for refugee rights. He was named one of Mail & Guardian‘s 200 Young South Africans. Braam has also been published in the University of Pennsylvania Law School Journal and was awarded the 2008 Inyathelo award for youth in philanthropy.


What Drives Me | I am driven by the hope that one day we will be living in a better world and when I look back at my life I want to be able to say that I played a part in creating it.


BraamHanekomThe Difference Between good And Great | People who are good at what they do work hard, but people who are great are inspired with what they do and inspire others through their work.


My Key Talent | I believe that out-of-the-box thinking will enable people, especially youth, to achieve  greatness. It is important to read, to learn and to be educated, but it is equally important to remain original and creative. I would encourage people to skill themselves, but also to ensure that they use their skills to empower themselves to achieve what they want to achieve. Skills, education and qualifications alone will create doctors and managers, but creativity will enable people to be inventors, agents of change and revolutionaries. Ultimately we must remember that years from now we will look back and think how primitive, backward and simple our times were, as every generation looks on the one before it. Work hard, find a passion and think outside the box, while taking into account material conditions and the opportunities that they present.


Braam Hannekom 1Daily Actions And Habits | We need to respect ourselves, if we don’t respect ourselves we can not respect others and we will never achieve. Respect yourself, respect others and try to be the person you want to be. Be humble in success and be positive when you are defeated. Life is a series of tests. Don’t give up, continue to evolve and innovate we must always be able to adapt.


Principles I Live By | I believe that it is better to have tried and failed than to have failed to try. I try to take on challenges that are in my path and never ignore an opportunity to improve myself. I always remind myself to never take myself too seriously and to laugh at myself.


My Critical Skills | Fearlessness and passion are my skills, I think that these will enable me to achieve the impossible.


How I Use My Mind | I believe it is important to win in your head first, then the race can follow. I believe that many people lose the race long before they get onto the track, we need to be in charge of ourselves – this is the biggest fight, with the biggest reward, in our lives.


braam-hanekomLessons I’ve Learnt | Never ignore those who are loyal to you, never allow yourself to be too proud to admit failure and make sure that you play an active role in society.


Dealing With Doubt | There are times when I don’t believe in myself and there are times when I have not respected myself. In those times others will not respect you or believe in you, you can get into serious depression. I have realized that once you believe in yourself you can get others to believe in you. It is also necessary to accept that everyone has serious weaknesses. These weaknesses can often be compensated by others, but you must first accept and respect them.


Performing At My Peak | No one always performs at their peak, life would be very boring if we did. I find that routine and systems can help in getting a consistent and better performance in any aspect of life.


PASSOP-logoThe Best Advice I’ve Received | Don’t wait for inspiration, you have to run after it with a stick.


I Am Inspired By | Honest, proud, genuine, hardworking and often simple people, who are so dignified in the often menial work that they do.