– by Mould Empower Serve (MES)
Over the past 23 years, a rising star was born. Tebogo Mabye from Hillbrow, Johannesburg, made the best out of life against all the challenges that he faced. The young man – who includes God in everything he does – grew up in the most difficult circumstances. Coming from Hillbrow – which is well known for drugs, crime, and prostitution – Tebogo proved to many of us that your current situation doesn’t determine your future.
Passion for helping others
Tebogo, who was raised by an unemployed single mother, together with his 3 siblings, first got in contact with Mould Empower Serve (MES) while he was still in primary school. He used to attend the MES Afternoon School Programme, where he would get food and assistance with his school work. The meals that Tebogo would get every day after school are provided by the KFC Add Hope Project. It was at this stage where MES saw Tebogo’s passion of helping others and also his love for dancing. The young man started to be more involved with the MES Musical Shows and Dance Productions, which allowed him to escape the difficult challenges he faced. He attended camps and the Bible club, where he grew spiritually and started to motivate the others who were facing similar challenges.
A moment of hopelessness
In 2013, Tebogo failed his National Senior Certificate (NSC) examination, and that’s when he nearly lost hope. MES encouraged him to rewrite the examination and gave him all the support he needed. A tutor was hired to help Tebogo finish his studies. Fortunately, Tebogo managed to pass his examination and that helped him to join the MES Joshua Learnership Programme. Having a NSC is one of the requirements of joining the Programme. The Programme gives the youth opportunities to become servant leaders.
Network of encouragement and support
During this time, the MES Youth Enrichment Programme was led by Japie Krige. He remembers Tebogo as one individual who has totally committed to the teachings and to the way of life that he wishes each and every young person who goes through the MES programme can live. “It is rare for a youth worker to see the fruits of your labour develop in real time. It is also humbling to realise that someone has learnt enough from you to be able to do what you do, and in some cases even do it better. After so many shared experiences, camps, work, outreaches, coffee appointments, etc. He has become a close friend and brother to me.” Said Japie.
A beacon of light
It was also at this Programme where Tebogo got an opportunity to start helping the others. This Programme allows the youth to help learners from the after school programme with their home works and other skills development. After completing the Joshua Learnership Programme, Tebogo was appointed as an intern in the Fundraising and Marketing division of MES. As it was becoming evident that Tebogo’s future is bright, the young man was later appointed as a co-ordinator for the Joshua Learnership Programme. With all the experience he had at this stage, he committed to help and improve the lives of the youth in Hillbrow. He made sure that all the Joshuas understand their roles and the importance of the programme. He also instilled the values of Christianity in everyone he worked with.
Ambitious, determined, motivated
Meriam Moreki, MES Youth Enrichment Programme Manager, who worked with him for a long time described Tebogo as an ambitious, determined, go getter, and self-motivated young man. She added that Tebogo is a person who believes in seizing any opportunity that comes his way. Tebogo is not only an influencer, he is a three times Karate and Kick Boxing South African Champion, model, who was once featured on the McDonalds billboards. Adding to all the achievements, the young man was also one of the Voices of Hope Ambassadors for KFC Add Hope Project. In 2013 he was nominated as the LeadSA youth hero for the month of October for the Teenage Pregnancy Awareness Campaign.
All glory to God
“Everything that I do and have become it is all thanks to the almighty God and MES. This organisation has changed my life in a big way. Today, I am able to help the others because of the help and assistance I got from MES.” said Tebogo. The inspired Tebogo also added that, “MES is known for its model of prevention and intake, intervention and sustainable exit, the organisation made it their priority to help me so I am also making it my priority to help others.”
A positive role model
In her own words, Tebogo’s mentor and MES National Fundraising and Marketing Executive Manager Leona Pienaar described Tebogo as an influencer who still has a lot to offer to the children of the inner city. “I have known Tebza for many years. He is dedicated and committed to his dreams and has been such a positive role-model to other inner city children. He gives me hope for the future of South Africa. With servant leaders like Tebza, we can conquer many obstacles. I believe he will touch many lives in years to come.” Said Leona. Tebogo is now a first year Strategic Brand Communications student and is looking forward to completing his course.
JOY! Magazine (January 2019)