A Day in the Life: Ziko

Get a glimpse into how the Academy can enrich your gap year, college, or high school experience.

Hey, I'm Ziko!

I am from Pretoria, in South Africa. Alongside the Academy, I am doing my senior year of high school online, and I will be moving to Canada later this year to attend UWC Pearson College. I decided to join the academy, because I wanted to supplement my curriculum with lessons and values that will prepare me to transition from student to leader, during this period of uncertainty. Additionally, I wanted to have thought-provoking conversations with students from all walks of life, and therefore cultivate cultural humility by reinforcing or challenging my world view. The Academy is all and more of what I expected. I am truly grateful to have met classmates, a mentor, guest speakers and class instructors , who encourage and inspire me to evolve into the best version of myself.

Ziko - headshot
Ziko - 6:00am

My morning routine

To set the tone for the day, I do my morning routine which entails doing a 10-20 minute Vinyasa Flow, meditating and making breakfast. I follow my yoga practice on YouTube (I highly recommend Jessica Richburg!). With any tensions released from my body, I then do a quick meditation on InsightTimer. To nourish my body and soul, I make breakfast which is usually oatmeal or a veggie patty or bread topped with avocado. (On rare occasions, my breakfast looks aesthetically pleasing)

Ziko - 7:00am

Finish up pre-class work

If I have not finished my readings or work in the previous day, I finish it up just before class. The work varies from listening to podcasts, reading articles, reading academic papers or watching videos. Right now, the unit focus is on community, so our pre-class work entails watching videos on Asset Based Community Development, systems of oppression, root-cause analysis and cultivating cultural competency.

Ziko - 8:00am

Academy Leadership Course

My Academy classes start at 8 am on Minerva's interactive platform. We usually start off with a check in question on the pre-class work. After that, we get instructions from the instructor on our learning outcomes and how to achieve them in class and break out groups. After getting briefed, we split into groups of 2-3 to share our view and experiences on the topic at hand. We then go back into class and do debriefing, then close out with lessons we have learnt.

Ziko - 9:30am


Because I am homeschooled, my work schedule is flexible. My current subjects are English, Math, isiZulu, French, Physical Sciences, History, IT and Life Orientation. I spend this time attending Zoom classes, revising for upcoming tests or doing homework.

Ziko - 5:00pm


Running and hockey have been ways for me to unwind from a busy day. I play hockey for a club in my city and I run on my own with the help of the Nike running app. My distance varies, depending on how I feel that day, but usually between 5-10 km.

Ziko - 8:00pm

Dinner & Journaling

After a day of absorbing so much information, I relax and speak about what I learnt that day with my family at dinner time. Before bed, I listen to binural beats while journaling.

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