At only 21 Mojakisane’s passion for philanthropy has taken her places already



MASERU – Katleho Queen Mojakisane is a young lady who has made it her mission to serve and advance the welfare of others. Her core values are advocacy and generosity. She started the practice when she was just a young girl and has always wanted to carry it out.  Advocacy means public support for or recommendation of a particular cause or policy, whereas philanthropy is the desire to promote the welfare of others, expressed especially by the generous donation of money to good causes.

Mojakisane, 21, of Ha Pita Maseru is the eldest daughter of four children and holds an International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma from Machabeng College. “I fell in love with advocacy through my church, Christ Embassy Lesotho. We have a culture of giving back to the less privileged through a campaign called the Inner City Mission. So I have always found fulfilment in giving back and advocating for those who cannot advocate for themselves since I was a child.

“It is also funny to say that I was inspired to give back to the community through a movie called The Good Lie, which highlights the struggles many Africans face during wars and disasters.

“It prompted me to help Africans who are victims of wars and genocide and to also advocate for peace and security. To me, advocacy and philanthropy entail working together to bring about systematic change by directly addressing social issues in order to achieve sustainable development goals,” Mojakisane says.

Her family has been her tremendous support system throughout and she believes she is able to do all these things because of them.

It has always been her dream to lead and own businesses and philanthropic organizations. She is always inspired by the words of one Reverend Chris Oyakhilome who teaches people to see themselves as owners of businesses and not employees of such businesses.

Mojakisane says she knew she wanted to be successful and has always envisioned herself being interviewed by top media outlets for being an inspirational force. She adds that she has always wanted to be the woman who is a testament to young girls and that women can indeed achieve greatness. When asked how advocacy and philanthropy align with her future dreams, she says her long-term career goal is to be a government policymaker and social impact consultant, actively involved in crafting policies that uplift and empower marginalised groups, particularly women, youth, and the disabled community.

She notes that, having spearheaded initiatives like KidsInTech, ‘A Man to Remember,’ and empowering girls through collaborations with various organisations, she has witnessed the transformative power of targeted interventions.

“However, to bring about systemic change, I recognise the need to influence economic policies directly. In my envisioned role as a policymaker, I aim to focus on policy adjustments that address gender disparities in the workforce, create opportunities for financial inclusion for women, and provide targeted economic support for children born into poverty. I aspire to design policies that not only address immediate challenges but also contribute to long-term sustainable development,” she says.

Mojakisane also volunteered for the youth summit in October 2023, as well as the Prime Minister’s Sebabatso Initiative. She recalls saying she saw an advertisement on Facebook and then proceeded to attend the meetings.

“These two really opened my eyes to the opportunities that Basotho entrepreneurs have, especially investment opportunities out there for them to get hold of.  “The experiences actually made me want to get in touch with international organisations and foster sustainable collaborations between them and Basotho, who need investment opportunities.

“I do believe it entails leadership skills. In my journey as a leader, I have actively sought opportunities to collaborate with diverse groups, fostering an environment where a multiplicity of perspectives converge for collective impact. The role of Interact Club President at Machabeng College from 2022 to 2023 served as a crucible for this collaborative ethos,” she says.

She also mentions that leading a team of students with varying opinions, she orchestrated initiatives in partnership with esteemed organisations such as the Rotary Club and the National AIDS Commission. Engaging with these entities allowed her to develop skills in drafting funding proposals and navigating administrative processes, thereby enriching her understanding of effective leadership.

“In 2022, I assumed the position of project lead for more than five community outreach projects in collaboration with Leap Africa. This experience sharpened my organisational skills as I co-ordinated groups of students at Machabeng College.

“Each project was a lesson in adaptability and resilience, requiring me to navigate unforeseen challenges and collaborate with diverse personalities. It was through these projects that I internalised the importance of flexibility in leadership and the transformative potential of collective effort.

“Serving as the Secretary of ‘Crushing the Barriers International’, an organisation in South Africa, provided a unique vantage point into the intricate dynamics of organisational governance. By collaborating with fellow leaders, I contributed to the formulation and execution of strategies aimed at breaking barriers to social progress. This experience fortified my belief in the potency of effective teamwork in overcoming challenges,” says Mojakisane.

Mojakisane has also contributed to many other projects, besides the youth summit and the Sebabatso initiative. She says that in the heart of Lesotho, where the rhythm of progress often misses a beat, she noticed a significant gap in Lesotho’s education system.

She says while over 70 percent of children attended free primary schools, there was a striking absence of computer literacy education. She says this realisation birthed the KidsInTech initiative in June 2022, a brainchild she spearheaded. With the support of dedicated students from Machabeng International College, they set out to bridge the digital divide.

She further adds that their sessions reached out to 70 less privileged children each month. These weren’t just lessons in word processing and number editing; they were windows into a world of possibilities. She says they ventured into video and photo editing and even dipped their toes into the realm of application development basics. As the children’s eyes lit up with newfound technological understanding, she saw the power of education to transform lives.

“Plans are underway to expand this initiative to touch every corner of Lesotho, partnering with ‘The Hub Lesotho’ and leveraging the expertise of Lehlohonolo Mapetla, a Computer Science student at Stanford University.

“Yet, as the journey extended beyond the realm of technology, Lesotho’s treatment of girls troubled me deeply — a harsh reality disguised as cultural norms.

“Many young girls lacked basic necessities like sanitary towels and cosmetics. In response, in August 2022, I joined hands with the Ministry of Education, Tuna Safiri, and the Audacious Leaders Network. Our collective effort birthed ‘The Free Market,’ an event that not only provided essential items to over 100 girls but also emphasised the importance of mental health and self-love. Collaborations with Lesotho Correctional Services (LCS) ensured that the same relief reached girls in the juvenile prison in Maseru,” she notes.

The success of these initiatives resonated, opening doors to remarkable opportunities. She found herself at the World Bank entrepreneurship seminar, representing Lesotho and sharing insights on youth participation in political, economic, and social life. The journey taught her that collaboration isn’t just about shared goals but is about amplifying impact through diverse perspectives and collective effort.

She, however, mentions that a pressing concern arose when she witnessed a surge in violence and crime among young men in Lesotho. She says this spurred the ‘A Man to Remember’ programme, a month-long initiative aimed at providing life skills to over 300 teenage boys. She says they collaborated with the Letlotlo Boy Child Foundation and the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF). The programme included motivational sessions, life skills workshops, and a football competition.

“In the realm of education, my journey continued. Recognised as the best student of creative writing in Lesotho for the 2021 Lesotho General Certificate of Secondary Education (LGCSE) final examinations, I initiated an English language teaching programme for over 100 students at Unique Remedial Centre.

“Beyond academics, the city of Maseru faced a surge in pollution. Teaming up with students from Machabeng College, we embarked on weekly clean-up missions in August 2022, leaving tangible differences in the polluted areas of the CBD.

“However, the fight for a healthier Lesotho extended beyond the visible. As President of the Interact Club Lesotho, I played a pivotal role in implementing an integrated HIV and sexual health programme in Maseru,” she says.

Mojakisane says the programme was not just about workshops and awareness but was about creating a lasting impact. She says the collaboration with various organisations led to blood donation campaigns, workshops, and even a direct dialogue with citizens through Radio Lesotho on World AIDS Day in December 2022.

For the sustainability of all these projects, she co-founded a non-government organisation in 2023 called Youth on the Rise, which aims to make these projects annual events for the continued empowerment of young people.

Lastly, she volunteered to be part of the organising team for the first-ever Lesotho Youth Summit held on October 5 – 7, 2023, where the youth of Lesotho came together to discuss feasible strategies to deal with unemployment and how they can collaborate to see the fruition of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

These endeavours, though challenging, were not just a series of tasks; they became a narrative of resilience and determination for her. Despite being a student herself, she navigated personal adversities, turning them into a driving force for positive change. She says the road was not easy, from facing opposition to experiencing armed robberies in her hometown, but it was precisely these challenges that fuelled her passion for creating a better Lesotho.

Speaking about her trip to Nigeria on December 31, 2023, Mojakisane narrates that she was honoured to have been among the top 10 young leaders in Africa who were awarded the Future African Leaders Award by the Future African Leaders Foundation.

She says the award was accompanied by a cash prize of US$10,000 (M188, 705). She says the Future African Leaders Foundation continues to explore, expand, and recognise the commitment of young Africans to the progress and development of the African continent.

She says in a meeting with the former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obansanjo, GCFR, they learned the qualities expected from them as young leaders.

Through all her hard work and dedication, Mojakisane was able to get the Mastercard Scholarship, which she says is designed for individuals who show potential as transformative leaders.  She applied for it online, wrote several essays and proposals, and then she got it. She explains that it is essentially the largest scholarship and leadership initiative of its kind in Africa and offers mentoring, leadership skills development, tutoring, internship opportunities, and career services in addition to covering tuition and basic living expenses.

“My future plan through all these is to see a Lesotho that is not left behind, or not so far back when it comes to economic and digital advancements. Our youth should be able to be represented in every space globally because opportunities will have been presented to them to nurture their talents and dreams.”

According to Mojakisane, it is important for every young person to take ownership of every space he or she finds himself in when it comes to their career. Get involved in community outreaches, volunteer for youth programmes, and always be willing to learn and network. That is where opportunities are, and they must find out what they are passionate about and pursue it “as though their lives depend on it.”

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