Equipping future leaders!



As wonderful as South Africa is, it is bombarded by a lot of social issues. One issue that I would like to highlight is the lack of youth mentoring and guidance. How do we build a better country if the youth lacks direction? How do we build leaders from youth that lacks information? We can’t, can we? We need to dedicate ourselves and mentor those who come after us, not only for our own gratification, but for the sake of our country’s future.

We are faced with alarming rates of young high school dropouts and this issue does not only concern the families of these young people, it concerns us all. Life is not easy at all, and for a young high school dropout in South Africa it can be a whole lot harder. Where is a young person supposed to go after dropping out of school? Get a job at Pep store, perhaps? Go to the streets and beg for coins from passing pedestrians?

Well, not everyone is patient or dedicated enough to do all those, so the option would be to remain home and feed off their parents’ salaries. Those without responsible or employed parents may resort to different tactics of obtaining what they need; tactics, such as, criminal, or sexual activities. This will only start an entirely new problem, one which will most likely destroy their bright future.

Imagine if you decided to get out of your cosy and comfortable couch or just take a few minutes off from your busy schedule and mentored the youth. See them every week if possible and share your experiences, offer guidance, and advise them on problems they might be experiencing. Be the mentor you had or would have loved to have had while growing up.

An incredible young man from the North West University of Potchefstroom, commonly known as NWU-PUKKE, is one of the people who managed to realize the need for youth mentorship and he decided to act. Kabelo Radebe is a bright academic from Carletonville, with an amazing interest for social change. In the year 2016, he was struck by an incredible idea to establish his own organization that would aim to breach the gap between high school and University by providing guidance and mentorship to young people. With the help of his close friends Kabelo’s idea was finally put in motion and in 2017 the Empowered Student Organization was born. This young man was kind enough to offer me some of his time to tell me more about his organization.


 (Kabelo Radebe)


What is the Empowered Students Organization?

The Empowered Students Organization was officially founded in 2017, with the aim of empowering students through four spheres which are; sports & culture, academics, social welfare, and current affairs. So basically, we provide them with the necessary information to help them survive outside high school.

What inspired you to form such an organization?

I realized there was a huge gap between high school and university. Students are not well informed about the whole university experience and process. I can attest from my own experience, when I arrived here at NWU I didn’t really know anything about university and how things operated, because it was clearly nothing like high school. I know even now learners are still misinformed about “the right time to apply” for university entrance. This misinformation results into them applying late, missing course deadlines and not receiving a spot at the institution.

Give us a break down of the four spheres the ESO focuses on?

We chose these four spheres because we felt that it would better empower the youth not only academically, but through social welfare, sports & culture, as well as current affairs. Our mission is to turn these young minds into intellectual ones that can tackle any challenge from within the four spheres. Of course, the organization is still under development, so at the moment we are more focused on the academic sphere, while we are still developing others.

Where are you based?

Currently we are based in Potchefstroom and we do most of our activities at high schools around Potchefstroom.

What grades do you mainly focus on?

In the first half of the year we visit the grade 11 and 12 learners, sometimes even the grade 10. The Second half we visit the grade 9 learners and we offer them career guidance and provide them with information they need to pursuit a certain career field in the future.

You seem to be doing a lot, how do you manage the costs?

Since we are a non-profit organization we rely on ourselves most of the time, but we do receive donations from people and some sponsors too. Some people donate clothes and food parcels and we give them to students who are less privileged, that’s where our social welfare sphere comes in action.

What can we expect from the ESO this year (2018)?

This year we are planning the expansion of the ESO to the other two NWU campuses, then from there we would like to establish branches at other universities around the country. We already had a motivational talk earlier this year and there is still more to come. In March we are going to have high school tours and a leadership seminar, then when we return from recess we are hosting a sports day here at the university, in which we’ll invite the university’s student societies to participate, with the aim of raising funds for charity. In September we are planning to have a career guidance day and launch our outreach programme which will be under social welfare, where we will provide psychological support to students who might be experiencing psychological problems.

The ESO has a come a long way in a short period of time, how did you manage that?

I am grateful to have my team through all this and the support I am receiving from people is really motivating. It took a lot of hard work and dedication to get to where we are and we are still growing. We will keep working hard until we can establish branches in other universities around the country.

Where can people follow you for updates?

People can follow us on our Facebook page, it is called, “Empowered Students Organization”


(Kabelo, third form the left)


South Africa needs more driven and smart people, such as, Kabelo. Issues that are facing our country do not belong to a certain person; they belong to all of us. We must work together in the spirit of Ubuntu and shape the future of this country by paving the way for those who come after us.


By Tebogo J. Mphatswe


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