After failing to get funding for school, after matric Bongiwe Nhleko used the opportunity to target other unemployed youth in Meadowlands, Soweto, to give them an outlet through sports.
Nhleko, 27, founded the Soweto Touch Organisation and is also a coordinator for the Youth Empowerment through Sport (YES) initiative, working closely with the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation.
In 2008, when she matriculated from school, she, like many others, had set her sights on pursuing further education. But when she realised that the finances were not in her favour, she decided to create an opportunity where other youngsters in similar positions could work on their self-confidence and life skills.
She soon began coaching a rugby team, but was especially focused on getting more females involved. This was her way of trying to curb potential teenage pregnancies, as well as teaching the girls agency and independence.
Bearing the financial strain of being the sole breadwinner from a young age, Nhleko still inspires those she works with through her coaching and leadership. Through her work, she was also given an opportunity to travel to the UK to coach a high school team in Muirfield.
Find Nhleko on Twitter.
Nominated in category: Leadership