Thando Gumede is a master’s student at the University of Cape Town. She completed her LLB at the University of Witwatersrand and specialises in human rights law and social justice, with a focus on menstrual health and women, children, gender non-conforming and others rights to basic and higher education.
Gumede has dedicated the past three years to creating M-Teto, an app that addresses problems related to gender-based violence at schools. The M-Teto search engine is an educational tool that children can use to learn about all matters related to gender-based violence. It identifies high-risk children, schools and regions, informs children of their rights, has an in-app calling system, a directory and age-appropriate police reviews.
Even though M-Teto is still at its start-up phase, Gumede has received global and local recognition for her innovation, including awards from the Hague Institute for Innovation of Law, the United Kingdom’s Royal Academy of Engineering and the South African Technology Innovation Agency. Doing as much as she does can take its toll on one’s well-being and Gumede is no longer taking chances with her health. Taking it one step at a time also allows her to reflect on her journey, and knows that second chances and fresh starts exist. “It’s okay to fail and start all over again. I would tell [my younger self] not to waste time on feelings of resentment and encourage her to forget about missed opportunities and rather focus on the ones laying at your feet.”