The secret to their success? Sheer determination

The secret to their success? Sheer determination

Three ways to harness your determination to succeed.

Beautiful News - Three lives 2
Beautiful News

Everyone desires success. That means something different to each person. But at our core, we all aspire to better ourselves. Wouter Kellerman, Ntsikelelo Solani, and Hannele Steyn were determined to go far. On the surface, their ambitions were humble. Kellerman had his heart set on making music. Solani wanted to express his creativity. And Steyn longed for adventure. With the odds stacked against them, their wishes seemed near impossible. Yet they’ve turned adversity into absolute triumph.

Growing up, Wouter Kellerman couldn’t afford to study music. So he put his plans of being a musician on hold and pursued a stable career. Still, Kellerman couldn’t resist his passion for the flute. “Every few years I’d try and swap over to music, run out of money, go back to engineering,” he says. This carried on for 30 years. Every day, his resolve grew stronger. “I started experimenting and slowly over time melodies crystallised,” Kellerman says. Not only did he achieve becoming a full-time flautist, but in 2015 Kellerman was honoured with a Grammy Award. “When that finally happened, it was an amazing moment,” he says. 

Ntsikelelo Solani was equally ambitious. “Since I was young, I knew there was something special about me,” he says. Filled with creative ideas, he envisioned making a living out of his talents. But a few bad financial decisions later, Solani ended up homeless in Hillbrow instead. It didn’t stop him from pushing for his dreams. “I slowly stitched my life together,” he says. Solani learnt the art of leather making, and completed a diploma in fashion. Today, he owns a business designing and selling quirky bow ties. 

While Kellerman and Solani can chalk their challenges to finance, Hannele Steyn found her own body working against her. Born with a hole in her heart, doctors predicted she’d never lead an active life. But her willpower was stronger than her diagnosis. Proving them wrong, Steyn took to mountain biking and discovered an aptitude for the Cape Epic. “It’s more than just physical strain,” Steyn says of the race. “It’s a lot of mental strength.” Since the event’s inception in 2004, she’s completed every single one – making her the only female biker to do so. “I’ve worked hard to conquer anything,” she says.

In the face of obstacles, it takes sheer determination to not only keep going, but to achieve beyond expectation. Solani, Kellerman and Steyn show it’s possible. “Everyone can become who they’re destined to become,” Solani says.

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