Lebang Nong

Through his tutoring and mentorship organisation Katleho Pele Education, founded in 2006, Lebang Nong has coached pupils who have gone on to become some of the top matriculants in Soweto. Last year, a pupil who came into his programme with a Grade 11 Maths mark of 26% matriculated with a mark of 80%. That’s a remarkable achievement, but, for Nong, it’s not just about helping the almost 300 grade eight to grade 12 pupils the organisation tutors to do well at school. He also teaches them interview skills and helps them with university applications. Nong participated in his first social justice campaign — against drugs and alcohol abuse — at the age of nine. Protecting and promoting people’s dreams isn’t easy but the experience he gained by campaigning from such a young age gave him the strength he needed to continue tutoring during the teacher strikes of 2007, despite threats to his safety. — Victoria John