MTV Base hand-picks future leaders to meet Obama

The 'MTV Base Meets Michelle Obama' recording. (Lee-Roy Jason)

The 'MTV Base Meets Michelle Obama' recording. (Lee-Roy Jason)

Seems like a distant memory, yet it was only two weeks ago that US President Barack Obama, accompanied by first lady Michelle Obama visited South Africa as part of his Africa tour.

Michelle Obama spent a Saturday afternoon with four youngsters discussing education as part of her commitment to African youth. 

Grade 10 student Mirriam Kgokane, Aubrey Baloyi (Grade 12), 16-year-old Teboho Tenyane and Grade 11 student Keamogetswe Rakgoadi (17) from Johannesburg were hand-picked to meet Michelle Obama in a special edition of MTV Base Meets Michelle Obama

The event was taped at the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre in Newtown, Johannesburg, on 29 June during the Obama’s state visit to South Africa.

The room was also filled by hundreds of teens and young people from across South Africa while others joined the conversation from Los Angeles, Kansas City, New York City and Houston via a Google+ Hangout.

Obama spoke passionately about education, leadership and dreaming big dreams, while revealing an easy-going style and infectious sense of humour. She also spoke about the importance of role models in young people’s lives, citing former president Nelson Mandela as one of her own inspirations and describing his release from prison as “one of the most important moments in the history of civilisation”.

Singing sensations
Rakgoadi, from Parkwood, Johannesburg, who was one of the panellists, said meeting Obama was one of the most amazing experiences of her life.

?“It was so insightful. She shared so many beautiful stories about her life and I felt like I could relate to her personal experiences. I didn’t know what to expect leading up to the day but I doubt anything that it would have outshone my experience of the day,” she told the Mail & Guardian.

Rakgoadi attends Parktown Girls High school. She is part of a fundraising group at her school, they are currently raising funds for safe houses that shelter young children who have been abused or trafficked.

MTV Base VJ Sizwe Dhlomo emceed the event, fielding questions from around the world. R&B superstar John Legend joined students in Los Angeles to participate in the event while singer and actress Victoria Justice, ambassador for girl empowerment campaign Girl Up, joined from Houston.

MTV Base Meets Michelle Obama aires on MTV Base on Sunday, July 21 10am CAT; Monday, July 22, 8.30pm CAT; and Friday, 26 July 8pm CAT.

Rhodé Marshall

Rhodé Marshall

Rhodé Marshall is the Mail & Guardian's arts, culture and entertainment content producer. She started as a radio reporter and producer in Cape Town, before jumping into online news. When there is chaos, she is the responsible, cool and calm one. With one hand glued to her phone and the other to a can of Coca-Cola, she is a pop culture junkie. And don't you dare write her name without the accent on the e, she will make sure that you know how to do it on every device. Visit her blog: Read more from Rhodé Marshall


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