If you don’t act, just forget.




Mautswi Primary School

Tebogo Molepo, 32, works at Mautswi Primary School, in Polokwane, Limpopo, teaching languages and commercial subjects, as well as coding and robotics. He regularly holds activities which help to give pupils core skills, such as spelling bees, reading clubs, chess, drama and public speaking. He is responsible for the information and communication technologies integration teacher development workshops at his school and helps to monitor and mentor his colleagues. He promotes e-learning in schools by incorporating teaching and learning with technology. Tebogo runs coding sessions for teachers and pupils at both Mautswi Primary School and community schools in the area and every Saturday he conducts catch-up sessions with matric learners to motivate them to study. He runs community projects, such as cleaning up and recycling litter. He encourages people to adopt the 4Rs — reuse, recycle, reduce and reclaim. As well as winning several awards, including being one of the Sunday World Unsung Heroes in 2022, he has been selected for the Mandela Washington Fellowship leadership programme in the US for 2023. What drives Tebogo to excel is trying to change lives through education. “I want to make a huge impact on all of the learners I am teaching,” he says. He didn’t have it easy growing up, and this has motivated him to “rise from poverty and live a life of contribution to others”. The advice he would give to his younger self is “don’t lose focus and never compare yourself with someone else”.

  • Completed matric in 2011 at Mmaphuti Secondary School
  • Bachelor in Education FET, University of Venda, 2016
  • ICT Integration in Teaching and Learning, Wits University, 2019
  • Coding and Robotics course, University of Johannesburg 2022

  • National Teaching Awards, 2018
  • Excellence in Teaching Technology. National Teaching Awards, 2019
  • Excellence in Teaching with ICT. National Teaching Awards, 2021
  • Excellence in Primary School Teaching. SADTU Best Hardworking Teacher. 2021
  • Sunday World Unsung Heroes, 2022
  • Mandela Washington Fellowship Fellow, 2023

Waking up every morning to go to school, walking up to 3km to get an education. This has inspired me to rise from poverty and live a life of contribution to others. Times were tough then. Both my parents were not working, so I didn’t have the security that someone would be there for me.

Don’t lose focus and never compare yourself with someone else.

A drug-free society and a place where everyone works in helping others, not just for themselves.

View previous winners from 2018 to 2022

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