Ms Nosipho Bele makes the 2017 Top 100 list of The Young Independents (TYI).

Lecturer in the School of Education, Ms Nosipho Bele has made the 2017 Top 100 list of The Young Independents (TYI). Launched in 2015, by the Independent Media Group, TYI captures exciting youth-driven initiatives locally and across the continent. This is a platform created by the youth, for the youth.

Bele made the cut for her project, Mentor Me to Success which focuses on assisting high school learners to increase their chances of getting accepted into university. This is done by finding mentors for the learners. These mentors come from universities and are often young graduates that provide personal attention, assisting with timely tertiary and funding applications, registration of National Benchmark Tests and giving counsel in their desired profession.

‘It is always an honour to be recognised. I started the Mentor Me to Success programme because of a need I saw at Nyanga Township in Cape Town in 2012. I never thought that something I thought was small would receive so much attention. I am really glad.

‘Many of the young South Africans and the initiatives that they run began out of a situation that they saw and wanted to change. The recognition encourages me to keep pushing because starting something can be challenging. So I think it’s important because it reminds us that we are not alone, there are people in South Africa who believe in what we’re doing and what we’re trying to achieve.’

Bele was also recognised for being one of the first South African recipients of the Queen’s Young Leader Award in 2015 for the Mentor Me to Success programme which she hopes to expand into KwaZulu-Natal, where she is one of the youngest lecturers in the School of Education at UKZN.

In the meantime, the 28-year-old is working towards fulfilling another dream – making a positive contribution to curriculum development and working towards a better education system.

‘Education is a powerful tool in the cessation of poverty. My focus is education and its ability to make a positive contribution to curriculum development and working towards a better education in South Africa,’ she said.

Words: Melissa Mungroo