TK & Maja: Leading their peers!

Names: Tsakane Ngoepe & Maja Morukhuladi
School: Dendron Senior Secondary School (matriculated in 2010)
Community Issue: Education
Hometown: Bochum, Limpopo

TK and Maja

Tsakane Ngoepe (“TK”) and Maja Morukhuladi attended Dendron Senior Secondary School, situated about 60kms outside of Polokwane in the Limpopo province.  They noted that the dropout rate of students in Grade 11, at their school, was quite high and wanted to turn this around. Harnessing the resource most readily available to them, their peers, they developed the ‘Each One, Teach One’ project for their grade. Initially they had big ideas of the kind of change they wanted to create beyond their the schoo, however, they eventually decided that they were more passionate about developing and empowering their fellow Bochum peers.

Their project identified Grade 11 students in each subject who were excelling, and partnered them with Grade 11 learners who were struggling. Coaching and tutoring occurred during study periods in school hours, during weekend and evening sessions. In just a short period of time, the pair took the pass rate in grade 11 from 76% to 97%, at the end of 2009. The project has outlived them both – still running after 5 years, and now with an added summer school component for the Grade 11 coaches to be mentored by university students.

Their legacy at Dendron is obvious when talking to Mr Moloko Matsapola, the Principal, who says, ”These two students have revolutionised the whole school.” Even today, Dendron students cite TK and Maja as role models for their own learning and their desire to join enke: Make Your Mark so they to can start their own social action projects.

School support was the greatest influence on their success. Not wanting to be labelled as someone who needed help initially prevented some students from coming forward to attend tutoring sessions. Having the “muscle of the school” convincing learners the extra lessons were important gave the project real legs. That, and the dynamic partnership and complimentary skills of TK and Maja together.

Today, TK and Maja are studying at the University of Cape Town and Wits University respectively, while still running the summer camp at Dendron. Both of them have continued building the enke dream by returning as Igniters and Presenter since 2012.  On why she keeps coming back to enke, Tsakane says, “taking part in enke helped me in many ways…and I want to keep giving back to young people”. And to those that want to make an impact in their community, she says “Fail forward. It doesn’t always work out the first time, but you must go back to the drawing board and keep trying, learning and making it better.”

We want to reach 1000 more young people like TK & Maja by the end of 2015.  You can help us support more projects like this by contributing to our crowdfunding campaign here: http://igg.me/at/enkeMYM/x/828715

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