My Name is Mpho Lebyane & I’ll Succeed, No Matter What

Editor’s note: If you ever get to meet Mpho Lebyane, the first thing you’ll notice is her huge smile. The second thing you’ll notice is that she is “vertically challenged.” But you know what they say: dynamite comes in small packages. Read this story (as well as some of the stories that she has written herself) and you will see that this young lady is heading one way!

My name is Mpho Lebyane. I was born in Pretoria and relocated with my family to Bushbuckridge, which is one of biggest rural areas in South Africa. Two months into my final year of High School, I decided to quit. I had just lost my grandmother who had been looking after me, and so I was forced to leave school and fend for myself. I worked a number of different jobs, but nothing ever worked out. I found myself sitting at home with no education, and worse, no job.

The is always a light at the end of the tunnel.

While I was still in limbo as to what I was going to do next, my neighbour brought me the forms to be filled in for an ICDL course, which stands for International Computer Driving Licence, and told me the course was being offered by an organisation called GWF or Good Work Foundation.

Within days, I was a registered Absa bursary student at GWF’s Hazyview Digital Learning Centre.

A few weeks into my studies, I made a bold move: I remember walking into the CEO’s office (her name is Kate Groch) and telling her about my dream to study journalism. Unfortunately Kate could not offer me a journalism course, but that didn’t stop her from making a plan. Kate immediately made an appointment for me with Ryan James, GWF’s “wordsmith” and account manager, and it wasn’t long before I was interned as a student writer. My very first article was a profile on one of my fellow students: Precious Mngomezulu scored 90 percent in PowerPoint and the story was published on the GWF blog in June 2014.

Mpho Lebyane: Open Learning Academy facilitator, intern Media Assistant, Media Academy student and now, blogger too.

Mpho Lebyane: Open Learning Academy facilitator, intern Media Assistant, Media Academy student and now, blogger too.

Getting more than what I bargained for.

Towards the end of my ICDL course, I was approached by Crispen Bvumbghe, Head of English at GWF, who asked me to volunteer in GWF’s Open Learning Academy – a programme that provided rural, low-income schools with access to supplementary digital, English and math’s literacy.

I am now a proud ICDL, Hospitality and English for Access graduate. I continue to work as a facilitator in the Open Learning Academy, “paying it forward” and extending digital learning to the children of our community. I am also an English facilitator and my blogs regularly appear on the GWF website.

Here are six of my favourite blogs from my year contributing to the GWF website:

5 Helpful Hints for CV Writing
2 GWF Students Accepted into Top SA Tourism School
Our Top Achieving Students for 2014
From Joburg Orphanage to World-Class Graduate
Hazyview Baristas: “Bean” There, Done That
Student Success: Dan Mnisi & Terry Madlophe

Mpho Lebyane with Ryan James on a visit to Tfolinhlanhla Primary School early in 2015.

Mpho Lebyane with Ryan James on a visit to Tfolinhlanhla Primary School early in 2015.

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