“Your passions are the biggest drivers of your success”, according to social entrepreneur, educationist and ambassador for change, Ntsako Mhlanga. The 21-year-old’s contributions to the education sector has changed many lives for the better, and she’s using every opportunity to raise the quality of schooling in the hope that these foundational improvements can lead to a more promising future for young South Africans.
Mhlanga was selected to represent the learners of South Africa by the Human Rights Commission and presented a report for the national investigative hearing into the effect of protests on the right to a basic education, which marked the beginning of her advocacy in earnest. As a result of this report, learners in Limpopo received 20 mobile classrooms to assist learning after protests.
She also collaborated with the department of basic education on a documentary called Schools That Work, which involved traveling to 111 top schools to identify the recipes for their success. The documentary and learning resources were offered to schools that were struggling with academic performance.
In early 2019, Mhlanga was invited by the basic education department to attend the State of Nation address for her efforts, and to represent the learners in Parliament. She’s currently an ambassador for School Aid, a charity in the United Kingdom and South Africa that distributes educational and extracurricular resources to schools in developing countries. Five libraries have been built in the past year. Mhlanga is also the Play Your Part ambassador for Brand South Africa, helping amplify the feel-good stories across the country.