Teenagers: you can be your own role models

 

Mantshadi Khoadi has watched substance abuse erode the potential of her peers, and wants no part of it. The teenager is doing more than dreaming of a better life. She has taken the first step to helping her community recover, using her knowledge of agriculture to grow a communal garden larger than most school fields, showing her fellow teens what they’re capable of achieving.

“There aren’t role models for kids growing up here,” Khoadi explains. Without direction, many people start drinking young. The Grade 11 Agricultural Sciences student realised that despite her age, she had the potential to be the positive influence her community needed. Khoadi’s efforts saw her featured on Future Leaders, a local television show assisting young South Africans on their journey to eradicate substance abuse. Her vision for the youth turned into something tangible when the local municipality allocated four hectares of land to her.

“It’s a great thing for our young people to be involved in community projects to uplift themselves,” she says. By giving the youth control over their own income and sustenance, she’s instilling the belief that they can do more with their lives. Leading from within, Khoadi has been able to plant the seed of change.