Palesa Mohape – Speaking from the top of the world

How old are you and what grade are you in?

I am 18 years old and currently in Grade 12 at Lyttleton Manor in Pretoria.

When and how did you first realise your passion for words? Have you always been a good public speaker?

I have always been interested in languages and even studied French for a few years. I think I’ve always been able to express myself well, but I only started public speaking in Grade 8.

How has winning this competition affected your life?

Winning the competition has completely changed my life. Suddenly everybody knows me and I’m always busy rushing from one interview to the other. But it has also made me realise how wonderful South Africans really are and how supportive our nation is.

What is your understanding of the concept ‘African Renaissance”?

My understanding of the ‘African Renaissance” is that it is a process of change from a struggling Africa to the mighty continent it ought to be.

What do you think is the role of women and youth in the revival of Africa?


Women have always carried the continent and I think that the youth should take up the challenge of staying in Africa and using their skills for the betterment Africa.

Has your school played a part in your success?

Yes, my school has supported me from the beginning and all the public speaking teachers I’ve had over the years have given me the skills to achieve my goals.

Is there still time for romance in your life?

There’s always time for romance! I don’t see my ‘better half” as often as I used to, but he’s been great from the beginning.

Who do you look up to as a role model?

Nelson Mandela is my role model as he gave 27 years of his life so that children like myself can have the opportunity to have a great future.

What’s your favourite TV programme?

My favourite TV programme is Recess, a cartoon on YO.TV. Everybody needs a break and it’s really funny.

If you were to change the world’s view about Africa, what would you change?

I would change the stereotypical notion that we are ignorant and barbaric. Africa has so much to offer.

What message would you like to send to other youngsters and teachers?

To the youth: carpe diem — sieze the day. To the teachers: Go the extra mile for the children and when they can return the favour, they will go 10 000 miles for you.

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Suzan Chala
Suzan Chala works from Jhb, Gauteng, SA. Editor of Sowetan Education, MSK and Matric Q&A. Former journalist: M&G. Love life and all its ups and downs
Advertising

ConCourt settles the law on the public protector and interim...

The Constitutional Court said it welcomed robust debate but criticised the populist rhetoric in the battle between Busisiwe Mkhwebane and Minister Pravin Gordhan

Small towns not ready for level 3

Officials in Beaufort West, which is on a route that links the Cape with the rest of the country, are worried relaxed lockdown regulations mean residents are now at risk of contracting Covid-19
Advertising

Press Releases

Covid-19 and Back to School Webinar

If our educators can take care of themselves, they can take care of the children they teach

5G technology is the future

Besides a healthcare problem Covid-19 is also a data issue and 5G technology, with its lightning speed, can help to curb its spread

JTI off to court for tobacco ban: Government not listening to industry or consumers

The tobacco ban places 109 000 jobs and 179 000 wholesalers and retailers at risk — including the livelihood of emerging farmers

Holistic Financial Planning for Professionals Webinar

Our lives are constantly in flux, so it makes sense that your financial planning must be reviewed frequently — preferably on an annual basis

Undeterred by Covid-19 pandemic, China and Africa hold hands, building a community of a shared future for mankind

It is clear that building a community with a shared future for all mankind has become a more pressing task than ever before

Wills, Estate Administration and Succession Planning Webinar

Capital Legacy has had no slowdown in lockdown regarding turnaround with clients, in storing or retrieving wills and in answering their questions

Call for Expression of Interest: Training supply and needs assessment to support the energy transition in South Africa

GIZ invites eligible and professional companies with local presence in South Africa to participate in this tender to support the energy transition

Obituary: Mohammed Tikly

His legacy will live on in the vision he shared for a brighter more socially just future, in which racism and discrimination are things of the past

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday