“When you’ve worked hard, and done well, and walked through that doorway of opportunity, you do not slam it shut behind you. You reach back and you give other folks the same chances that helped you succeed.” —  Michelle Obama


Civil Society


Set In Motion SA

Palesa Phake, 25, is the founder of Set In Motion, where she advocates for children to be taught the importance of consent, body safety and boundaries. She does this through various educational videos and content posted on social media, to make parents and all caregivers of children understand what childhood sexual abuse is and how to lessen the risk of a child being exposed to it, how to identify it, and what to do if it were to happen to a child. Palesa has an honours in economics, was a 2020 Miss South Africa top 15 semi-finalist and has worked in the UK private banking division at Investec. In 2022, she founded Propel Advisory, a business consulting company specialising in start-ups and scale-ups. She has participated on radio stations, such as Cliff Central where she was interviewed in a podcast concerning childhood sexual abuse. Palesa’s goal is to write a children’s book on the subject. Her vision is to have consent and body safety as part of the curriculum in schools as a start to perpetuate a culture of consent in South Africa. “Our youth has a wealth of potential and many are eager to see it materialise,” she says.

  • BCom, economics and risk management, North-West University (NWU)
  • BCom honours, economics, North-West University (NWU)

  • In 2020, I was a top 15 finalist in Miss South Africa and I had the honour of becoming a Play Your Part ambassador for Brand South Africa.
  • I have also had the privilege of being invited to platforms such as Cliff Central to speak on the importance of teaching and modelling consent, body safety, and boundaries to children and caregivers.

I became an orphan at the age of nine when both of my parents died. I remember going back to school after the funeral and every single one of my classmates had written beautiful, comforting letters to me. I went home feeling loved and seen that day.

Worry less about fitting in and being liked and focus more on being authentically you.

We have a 61% youth unemployment rate in our country and the majority come from rural and disadvantaged communities. I would like to see our government create opportunities, not only in urbanised areas but in rural and underdeveloped communities. Our youth has a wealth of potential and many are eager to see it materialise. I would like to see South Africa where its youth is flourishing and filling in the institutional gaps that currently exist.

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