“When I become excellent it won’t be accidental –- I will have laboured.”

Seitebogo Peta


Civil Society

Organisation / Company

Seitebogo Peta Cleft Palate Foundation


Thirty-two-year-old Seitebogo Peta is the founder and chief executive of the Cleft Palate Foundation. “I literally and figuratively give children smiles for a living — I raise awareness and advocate for children born with cleft and craniofacial defects,” she says. Describing herself as a “people and confidence builder”, she helps those affected by the condition to get free and safe reconstructive surgery and post-surgery care. In addition, she gives educational and motivational talks to patients and their families and teaches the public on cleft and craniofacial defects. Seitebogo, who is studying towards a psychology degree, says part of what motivates her to succeed in her endeavours is setting a precedent of excellence — especially as a woman — for her daughter to follow. “To not only know, but to see and understand, that you must fight for your dreams and want to succeed in everything that you do,” she says. Seitebogo would like people to be better educated about cleft and craniofacial defects, as it would mean that there would be fewer adult cases because people would get assistance from as early as birth.


Currently studying towards my psychology degree.


Every cleft lip and palate surgery that comes out successfully is an achievement for me. Seeing the literal smiles, believing in God, and the families that I interact with afterwards is what makes me feel proud.


Nthabeleng Likotsi of the first woman-owned mutual bank in South Africa. I have followed her story extensively and it shows me the importance of resilience and believing in your dreams.