My name is Malaika Motsoai, I am a student at the University of the Witwatersrand currently doing a BSc (Hons) Geophysics and I hold a BSc Maths and Physics degree. I have been involved with various school councils such as the Wits Physics School Council where we strived for the educational success of students. I work with a non-profit organization called the Faculty of Best Advisory (FBA) which aims at bridging the gap between high school and university by empowering students, I am a First Year Experience Ambassador, where we form as a safety net for first years in university and try assist them transition into university and I am a Fellow at the ASRI Future Leaders Program 2020/2021.
The ASRI Future Leaders Programme is an amazing opportunity, which equipped me with communication skills that will enable me to transfer information and knowledge more effectively. The curriculum that was taught at the program has enabled me to have the confidence to be able to take part in important conversations that effect South Africa and be able to bring positive change. Throughout the program I saw myself growing mentally and developing various perspectives on issues affecting South Africa, I now see myself as part of the solution that will help grow South Africa and I have developed the confidence to lead in spaces that require my skillset. One of the most significant relationships that I have formed through the program is with people from various races and religions from mine. The diversity in the program enabled me to form relationships with people I had never thought I would meet and learn from. My colleagues are founders and members of esteemed and impactful organizations, and I believe that having a network of such influential people will be beneficial. I have collaborated in think tanks and even taken part in programs my colleagues formed, which has allowed me to understand more about what they do and think about possible collaborations in the future.
With the network and the skillset the program has provided me with, I believe I am a catalyst that can propel South Africa to a state where its majority would like it to be. I would like to pass what I have learnt from this program to other South Africans, as I believe that what I have gained is fundamental for anyone who’d like to be part of creating a better South Africa.