Kelebogile Rose Mathabela was born in Bloemfontein and resides in Bochabela.She was raised by her grandparents together with her aunts she later moved to Potchefstroom Klipdrift Military Base to live with her parents and siblings she came back to Bloemfontein a few years later and she’s been in Bloemfontein ever since.
Kele regards being raised by her grandparents as the best thing that has ever happened to her because of the woman she’s grown up to be. Growing up, having to move from one city to another was a challenge she faced, she has always been pressured to be a good example as she is the first born and the first grandchild, “that alone taught me to work hard and that the rewards can come in any way when one works with patience and determination” she added
Kele is part of the Psychology Student Association (PSA), a student association for psychology students at the University of the Free State which engages in community outreach projects in the Bloemfontein area. The PSA currently runs with seven various community partners, these partners include schools for children with neurodevelopmental disorders, physical disabilities and behavioural problems, old age homes and orphanages and so forth.The association consists of an executive committee (including project leaders) and its members, “the association has made an impact on many individuals and continues to increase the prospect of making a better community for everyone in the Bloemfontein region” she added.
Kele draws her inspiration from three important women in her life which are her mother, aunt and grandmother as well as her grandfather who played a big role as a father figure in her life. “They support her in everything she does, they believe in her and her capabilities and they motivate her to reach her full potential all the time.”
Asked what inspired her to join the organisation, she said that she has always been interested in various extracurricular activities on campus and in her previous residence she had volunteered in a “Mentor Me” programme under the Psychology department to mentor a first-year psychology student, she also joined the PSA. She describes joining the organization as an “amazing and eye-opening experience” which inspired her to continue making a difference in the lives of many individuals in various communities. “I have been dedicated to this organisation for three years now and also volunteering in several community service projects such as Literacy and Youth Violation Programmes, the boys at risk in schools and the boys behind bars programmes launching in June under “The Prophetezz Foundation”.
Asked if there any challenges she has faced throughout her journey as a PSA member she answered, “there are many challenges in any organisation, I would say conflict is the main challenge I face in our organisation”. She explained that conflict is everywhere especially in a workplace or an organisation. It is a situation where disagreements and opposition occurs due to a number of reasons such as values, attitudes and so forth but in her case it is due to personality clashes and differences in leadership styles “however we managed to overcome the challenge because conflict can have disastrous consequences if not resolved or dealt with accordingly” she added.
Kele has always loved working with kids “I’ve always loved kids but not as much as I do now” she said, before being appointed as the vice chairperson of the association she was a project leader for one of their community outreach programmes and engaged with children from the ages of 0 to 12 years who were victims of abuse and were neglected “this humbled me so much to a point where I felt that having both parents and even a single parent is an actual privileged because some of these kids literally have no one”.
When asked about her aspirations she explained that her aspirations change a lot due to the expansion of her interests, she however has two life time goals one which she explains as her “life goal” is to own a practice as a professional neuropsychologist ,specializing in neurodevelopmental disorders in childhood such as Autism spectrum disorder , ADHD, specific learning disorders etc. Her long-term goal would be to “serve humanity”’ starting a venture in helping learners in less-privileged schools in terms of education, social and personal aspects which is why she and her partner are currently working on an NPO to achieve this goal.
What makes Kele a girl that rocks is her love for helping others, her humility and selflessness and just trying to make the world a better place for the less privileged.