Passionate youth activist Fedelia Mashomoshomo is an ambitious young lady with a big heart and an impressive resume.
The 27-year-old Mochudi native is the founder and President of Game Changers Botswana, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) dedicated to sharing life skills and providing mentorship to students across all levels of education.
Registered in 2015 with the Ministry Of Home Affairs, the initiative is determined to see vocational training introduced in Secondary Schools across the country.
Mashomoshomo is a life coach, private tutor and business consultant, who believes a certain level of discipline and character are essential traits required to succeed in life.
A qualified accountant, the ‘Game Changer’ is also the managing director of ‘Classroom’ – a company that provides mentorship and coaching.
This week, The Voice’s Onneile Setlalekgosi sat down with Mashomoshomo to find out a bit more about Game Changers and its fabulous founder.
Q. Why did you feel the need to start Game Changers?
A. I came to realise that a lot of students go to school and they do not have people to rely on, such as mentors.
So many kids are suffering! As much as knowledge is everywhere, not everybody knows how to access it and use it to the fullest potential to benefit from it.
Q. How did the organisation begin?
A. Everything starts on a piece of paper, before it becomes a reality.
Initially when the Game Changers idea began, I had intentions of donating to schools, but I realised that poverty is in the mind.
I sat down and brainstormed a bit.
I realised that poverty is all in the mind and simply giving people things cripples their minds.
If you do not touch the mind-set of a human being, you are not changing anything about their lives.
So that is what Game Changers is all about – we are trying to solve the problem the scholars have with themselves.
Q. Am I correct in saying this started off as a relatively small initiative?
A. We started as ten members, but the charitable organisation has been lovely and the team has increased to 30 – including some former mentees who grew into mentors.
Q. How have students responded to your efforts?
A. Motivational speaking is basically about sharing your experiences and being as relevant as possible.
The reaction is amazing, we advise students, groom and try to change their mind-set, because when you are hungry for change, you become that change.
We go deeper in the life of an individual.
Q. Game Changers recently addressed students in Molepolole – how did the school visits come about?
A. We started the school visits in Kgatleng district.
From there we went to Moshupa village, mentoring primary and secondary school students.
In Moshupa, we toured around ten schools – ever since then, we receive invites and are sometimes even paid for our work!
Q. What do you hope to achieve through Game Changers?
A. Game Changers is a mentorship organisation, I believe the Botswana education is biased; not everyone learns within the walls.
Our education system needs to be changed, as not all students can be good in theory.
My wish is to break the education system itself as it is too focused on academics.
Q. The Game Changers team is primarily made up of young achievers. Was it a conscious decision to use youth or is that just a happy coincidence?
A. The reason I brought young people into the organisation is because I want it to be them motivating other young people.
This way, scholars are able to understand and realise they also have a responsibility in life.
Q. What advice would you give aspiring leaders and motivational speakers?
A. They should deliver their brand. They should always remember that what they speak is who they are.
They should have integrity. For me, motivational speaking is the ability to influence from experience.
We need to start embracing our personal brands.
Leadership is not something taught; leaders are readers and learners.
Q. What is the most valuable thing a leader can offer?
A. The best thing one can give as a leader is love.
Leaders should remember that, as they ought to be credible – that’s their currency!
Q. As the Game Changers’ President, what would you say were your personal strengths and weaknesses?
A. My strength is the ability to learn and to humble myself.
My strengths also come from the fact that I trust my brand.
I lead by example and am the change that I want to be.
My other strength is giving – I give beyond my means.
I am very hard on myself, that’s the only weakness I have.
Q. Do you have any role models?
A. I do not have celebrities that I can say I follow. I am my own goal.
I allow people to know truly who I am.
I have mentors in everything I do – I have a life coach, business mentor and financial mentors.
Q. What is the highlight of your career?
A. I think everything started with obedience and listening to inner thoughts.
One Sunday, during a church service in Mochudi, I saw need in someone’s eyes.
I decided to adopt that young man.
He told me his story and I took three months to bring him home to stay with him.
I was not earning much and I was still trying to find myself.
So I convinced my parents that I wanted to adopt the young man – he is now the mentee for Game changers charitable organisation.
Interestingly I assisted him to advance his educational level.
He registered Form Five, I financially helped him and he has now made it to varsity and is currently doing Bachelor of Social Sciences (BSC).
He calls me ‘Mother.’
Q. Thank God it’s Friday – have you got anything exciting planned for the weekend?
A. I will be in Gaborone, with the Game Changers team, bidding farewell to two of our members who will be flying abroad for schooling.