Rising from Adversity: Karabo Seretsi’s Journey to Redemption and Success at Ubuntu Hub

“Arriving in the city of Johannesburg for the first time to attend an audition at Ubuntu Hub turned my life around.”

Meet Karabo Blake Seretsi, a 19-year-old from a small town in the North West province of South Africa. She grew up as an odd one out at home, school, and in the community, with a deep anxiety about talking or meeting people. Blake immersed herself in church activities, and spending time alone became her solace. This reclusive personality persisted until her parents convinced her to join sports at school, and she decided to be part of the hockey team, where she excelled and felt confidence in herself for the first time.

This newfound self-worth was shattered when her parents separated in 2020, and she had to move to the Gauteng Province with her mother, which also meant changing schools. This move coincided with the global lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She only got to attend her new school for two months before staying at home. This led to a relapse in her childhood personality disorders, and she was ultimately diagnosed with manic depression and generalized anxiety, requiring admission to a psychiatric hospital.

As time passed, her journey to recovery began, and in 2023 she met a new friend who sent her a text inviting her to Johannesburg for an audition for the Leak fashion show at Ubuntu Hub. She arrived in Johannesburg for the first time. “I had never heard of Ubuntu Hub before, but when I arrived, I was warmly welcomed by friendly faces and voices. The Ubuntu Hub staff explained the project to the audition group, and I really felt at home, like I had found a home.”

After the auditions, she was invited to be part of the 100 Movement, an NGO modeling agency that harnesses the talents of young and aspiring models without charging a fee. Then, Ubuntu Hub hosted Make Something Week, where she volunteered to be an MC for the musical show “a dream I always had.”

During the Make Something Week musical show, a TV producer was part of the audience and spotted her amazing talent, offering her her first job as a TV presenter for a show called Lyrics Debunked. “Ubuntu Hub has become a safe space for me and has opened up opportunities that I never thought possible for me.”

Story provided by Ubuntu Hub, Johannesburg, South Africa