May, 2024.

Soutpan Solar Power proudly celebrated the graduation of Thakgatsho Thamaga, a 21-year-old local from Lebowakgomo, who recently earned her Bachelor of Commerce in Finance from the University of Johannesburg. As the first graduate of the solar plant’s bursary programme since its launch in 2021, Thakgatsho exemplifies the drive and determination that the programme aims to foster.

Having applied to over ten bursaries during her final year of high school, Thakgatsho’s acceptance into the programme marked a turning point. Her graduation is not just a personal achievement but a beacon of hope and inspiration for her community. Thakgatsho’s journey has been one of overcoming significant challenges, including battling mental health issues during her studies, which she bravely navigated with resilience and a focus on her goals.

“Thakgatsho’s ambitions reach far beyond her academic success; she is profoundly dedicated to her community and is determined to set up an NGO focused on uplifting local youth and aiding those in financial need. It’s young individuals like Thakgatsho who inspire us to continue our support for our communities and the future leaders of our nation,” remarked Harrisinah Theka, Economic Development Specialist at Soutpan Solar Power.

Her immediate plans include furthering her education through a bridging course in Chartered Accountancy, while simultaneously seeking employment to gain practical experience in her field. Being determined to blend her career with community engagement, she is aiming to actively participate in youth empowerment initiatives.

Reflecting on the role of South African youth in shaping the future, Thakgatsho emphasizes the importance of engagement and community involvement. Her advice to young individuals facing financial obstacles is poignant and personal: “Never give up. When one door closes, another will open. It’s crucial to keep pushing, despite the setbacks.”