Researcher, Africa Check
Lebohang Mojapelo is a young, dynamic researcher who focuses on her goals and achieves what she sets out to do. Currently working at fact-checking site Africa Check as a researcher, sorting fact from fiction, she has tackled complex topics across Africa, including issues impacting countries such as Botswana and Zimbabwe. Her talent and ability to work in a team make her a force to be reckoned with in young South Africa.
“This career wasn’t something I chose,” says Mojapelo. “I didn’t even choose a career. I opted for stories, narratives and storytelling in its many forms and numerous voices. It is this storytelling which inspires me.”
Mojapelo describes Zimbabwean writer Yvonne Vera as someone who ticks the inspiration box perfectly. Vera’s writing moves her, especially in terms of the attention she pays to the lives of the people she writes about, and how she “brings them to life” in an endearing and empathetic way.
“This is what I strive to do one day,” says Mojapelo. “Having been in several jobs in the media, I can now clearly see that this is my end goal. While it is dynamic, I am more of a traditionalist when it comes to media and writing, and I fear we are moving away from that — the ability to write a good story.”
For Mojapelo it is essential that the writer maintains the dignity of the person they are writing about or representing, paying attention to style and tone to create an authentic, considered work of art, no matter what the topic.
When asked about her most defining career moment to date, Mojapelo says: “Being chosen to be the presenter of a pioneering Zimbabwean talk show, and all the people I met and interacted with at that time; it was amazing. Every time I have produced an important fact check about something I am passionate about, and every time I have helped someone to write better, these moments all add up to define me and my career.”