Lesego Kgosinyane

Humanitarian and chess enthusiast

When Lesego Kgosinyane was a little girl in grade two, growing up in Mapetla, a small township in Gauteng, her mother contracted Tuberculosis and passed away. At first Kgosinyane – who is now 16 – found it difficult not having a mum to talk to. But she soon adjusted and began to talk to her granny instead.

When she finished her primary schooling, her family moved to a village called Phaposane in North West Province, where she started high school. Thanks to her academic performance — coupled with her circumstances — Raise The Children (RTC) a non-profit organisation aimed at empowering orphans, gave her a scholarship to pursue her secondary schooling at a better-resourced school.

Kgosinyane is now in grade ten at Tiger Kloof Secondary, where she obtains 60% and upwards in all subjects. She also excels in chess, and is the best in her school. Often in the school dormitory, her friends mention their mothers, she says, but this doesn’t bother her, as she has learned to adjust to her fate

Twice a week Kgosinyane helps out at a soup kitchen, which her school runs for the disadvantaged, where the learners at Tiger Kloof donate non-perishable items that are distributed to the deserving.

When she finishes her schooling Kgosinyane would like to become a veterinarian. “I love animals and in my village animals are used as a mode of transport — I want to become a vet, because I have seen that when they become sick, they don’t have a doctor to go to.” She also has another dream: “Someday I’d like to open an orphanage and sponsor people like me who are disadvantaged — I want to give back to my community.” — Fatima Asmal

Photo: Kate Shortt