Masooa and his twin brother, who were raised by their taxi-driver father and stay-at-home mother, are the first and only matriculants in their family. He is also the first family member to attend university and is studying for a BA degree at the University of the Witwatersrand. “My proudest moment was when I was accepted into varsity,” Masooa says. And now he’s helping other matriculants to do the same.
Even before he began his tertiary studies in 2017 Masooa co-founded The Mentees Ark, an organisation that offers mentorship and tutoring to increase the number of learners at public schools to qualify to study at a degree level. Together with the rest of his team, Masooa has so far helped 15 learners get accepted and attend university.
With the advent of the Covid-19 lockdown, The Mentees Ark began offering WhatsApp e-learning lessons for grade 12 learners in subjects such as accounting, mathematics and maths literacy. Each class hosts more than 80 learners.
Another of Masooa’s initiatives is the Take a Kasi Kid to a Graduation Ceremony project, which does exactly what its name says: learners from township schools accompany graduates to their ceremonies, providing them with a first-hand view of one of the milestones of educational achievement.
“I want to see learners break boundaries in their lives through education. I want young learners to see education differently — [as] something that is fun, exciting and very rewarding. I want to see learners having access to funding and quality education,” Masooa says.
He believes in solutions, and his interventions in the educational arena embody this philosophy.