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A wife, sister, friend, daughter and aunt, Candice Groenewald aged 32 has made it to the top 200 influential person list.

Candice is a Senior Research Specialist in the Human and Social Development Unit of the Human Sciences Research Council in Durban. She achieved her doctorate in psychology and has dedicated her research to adolescent drug abuse and addiction. Aiming to find out what support parents need, who have children that are abusing substances.

When nominated for the Top 200 influential persons under 35, by Mail & Guardian, Candice was not very confident in getting onto the list, she was grateful for the nomination more than anything else. When asked why she thought she wouldn’t make it, she answered: “Djy ganit ie maakie ma is orait, hulle het vi jou genominate. That’s something we do as Coloured people, we first think it’s not going to happen and we are doubtful. I think it’s the scars of how we have been neglected.”

Candice worked three jobs to get her through undergrad and finally for her masters and honors, she received bursaries.

Her advice to Coloured girls who have dreams, “Be unapologetically yourself, do not apologise for who you are, what your face looks like, what your hair is like or what your accent is like, don’t apologise for any of those things. Don’t feel that you need to change who you are to accommodate anyone, because you are successful within yourself already.”

Her plea to other people who have made great strides in life is simple: “We need to give back, it’s the only way we can help others climb”.

Candice Groenewald, 2019 Top 200 Young South Africans