College of Human Sciences

Dynamic Unisan among SA's most influential

Lefatshe Moagi

Lefatshe Moagi, a Unisa Political Sciences lecturer, has been listed among Avance Media’s 2018 Top 100 Most Influential Young South Africans under the Personal Development and Academic category.

When Moagi received the news, she was surprised but also shocked. "I was presenting as a guest lecturer at a conference at the College of William and Mary in the USA when my cousin messaged me regarding the nomination - I doubted if it was me, until I saw the media release with my photo. I smiled with joy!"

Fuel SA patriotism

The Most Influential Young South Africans initiative is an annual award and ranking scheme for young South African achievers between the age of 15 to 40 years committed to make their mark nationally and internationally. The latest list features 50 females and 50 males who extend their impact to other young people across South Africa and beyond.

Purpose and fulfilment

Hailing from Mabopane, the young mother is juggling between being an International Relations and Afrikan Feminism lecturer at Unisa and the Thabo Mbeki African Leadership Institute (TMALI), while tackling her PhD studies.

Her research work on feminism, international relations and politics is not only fulfilling her purpose but elevates her to be noticed in high places. "I was nominated through my activism on women development and empowerment as a young woman in academia," she says.

She has co-authored a book entitled South Africa: Twenty years into democracy—The march to the 2014 elections. On community level, she is a key organiser in Unisa’s election observer mission, which trains and deploy 100 predominantly young people as election observers throughout Gauteng for the general election.

The 34-year-old describes this honour as a credible benefit that can motivate other youths out there in South Africa. "Africa, you can reach your dreams through perseverance, hard work and dedication."

Winning in a hostile environment

"I faced so many battles in 2018 as a young female academic from the pressures of being bullied and harassed by people who are targeting young talent to destroy and demoralise them so as not to achieve their goals within the university. Yet, I managed to pull out through the support of my family and the shadow of God."

She is planning to enhance her academic skills, especially in research and publication. "I am happy to say that research and publication is one of my strongest skills as a young female black academic. Another is to mentor young women in all social spaces to be empowered despite all odds. They must be developed and skilled with education. I want to lead by example to particular people who assume that they will never reach their goals; I know I will reach my goals to eventually become a professor at the University of South Africa."

* By Lesego Ravhudzulo, Journalist, Department of Institutional Advancement

Publish date: 2019/05/09

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