21-year-old Naledi Moeti is in her final year of Environmental Management studies at the University of South Africa. During her matric year, Moeti received incredible support from the Dennilton Education Movement, which prompted her to join the organisation in 2019.
“I joined because of the selflessness and support the members of the organisation gave me when I was in matric. I really wanted to be there for others as they were there for me,” she says.
Moeti serves as the finance director and chairperson of the organisation. Having realised the positive impact that Dennilton had on her studies, she wanted to be part of it in order to impart the skills and knowledge she received from her mentors.
“There is always a struggling learner, or a learner who has given up; a future leader who has lost hope in themselves — my job is to remind them of their power and that it can be done,” affirms Moeti.
The Dennilton Education Movement has a clear vision and mission, which is to encourage excellence, hard work and diligence while discouraging things that might hinder the progress of learners.
“We want to guide young people through the right channels of success and make education fashionable,” adds Moeti. The mission of the organisation is to equip the youth through education and to build safe, educated and productive communities.
Striving for gender equality and education is what drives Moeti. One of her dreams for South Africa is the actualisation and implementation of gender equality, especially in poor and rural communities.
For her, teaching a girl how powerful and brilliant she is, is a stepping stone to achieving that. “I want the girl child to love and accept herself for who she is. To know that she does not have to live up to society’s beauty standards and that education is indeed the key to success,” says Moeti.
As part of her commitment to girls, Moeti was part of the 2022 Menstrual Hygiene Campaign, where she had the opportunity to engage with learners from a local high school on the issues they face around period poverty and period stigmatisation.
“Learners in underprivileged rural communities face challenges regarding access to menstrual products, education about menstruation and period-friendly sanitation facilities. This campaign aimed to raise awareness of these issues and more,” Moeti says.
One of her proudest achievements is appearing on the popular South African television drama series, Gomora.
When asked if she would pursue acting or continue to explore environmental management once she completes her studies, Moeti says: “Acting can be a very rewarding career, but it is also extremely competitive and demanding. Don’t get me wrong, I really love acting, but I think it’s always good to have a backup plan.”