I would love you to meet Mmathapelo. She was 7 years old when I meet her, very ambitious and highly motivated. Mmathapelo is a farm girl from the Rustenburg region in South Africa. Mmathapelo lives with her parents in the servants quarters and she is one of three children, her brothers dropped out of school when they were 17 and 16 years old respectively to also work on the farm their parents work in. Today Mmathapelo is 15 years old and she told me her dream which gave me goosebumps.

I meet Mmathapelo when I was in high school, we used to visit her farm school to help her class with home work and spend time with them. Mmathapelo and I cliqued and we kept in touch ever since. I got to know her, and found out about her life at home. When she narrated her story I literally fell into tears. When she was 10 years old she told me that her parents were drunkards, and that most of the time she goes to bed with an empty stomach. I found out that most of the time she only eats once a day when she was at school because of the feeding scheme.  

Mmathapelo wants to be an astronaut, ever since she was a little girl she dreamt about going to the moon, she told me that she read a book about astronauts when she was in grade 2, and since then all she thinks about is travelling in space. She is a very bright girl and when she told me about her dream I was not shocked at all. What shocked me is what her family said when she told them about her dreams. 

Mmathapelo’s family doesn’t know any other life besides the life they live in the farm. They asked her to drop out of school and come work at the farm because they need extra money. As she told me this story she broke into tears and told me that she can never leave school because she wants to travel to the stars. 

I then approached the principal of the farm school and told her about Mmathapelo’s situation, the principal was shocked to hear this and told me that she was not aware of the little girls situation. The principal called child welfare and amazingly Mmathapelo was adopted by a loving family. 

Everyone knew that Mmathapelo was brilliant, she changed schools and started attending a private school in town, where she continued to excel, unexpected from a farm girl who grew up with little resources. She was brilliant because when we visited her school we used to bring books with us to give them and she used these books, and asked questions the next time we came.  

Today Mmathapelo is in high school and doing extremely well in mathematics and physical science. She is facing an amazing future and her dreams are in her hands. She intends on studying astronomy with the hope of traveling to space one day.  

She is a strong and brave young girl who always insists in visiting her biological family. She says that she is going to succeed with the optimism that she will inspire her family to dream and work on being themselves rather than working on the dream of a farmer which doesn’t care about them. Hearing this from her was so motivating, I took the advice for myself. 

The lessons from this story is that we are born into situations which we didn’t create, however our dreams can forge a path which we can follow. If we work on our dreams we can be in control and live outside the circumstances which are not ours to deal with. 

We are destined to be great, we should surround ourselves with people who will bring positivity into our lives so that we can achieve. If it means leaving your loved ones to do so then be it. 

Fear is an imaginary monster we create ourselves, mastering our minds is important to becoming fearless individuals, we all can be fearless as Mmathapelo and achieve against the ultimate odds. 

Who would have thought a poverty stricken farm girl in Africa with drunk parents would ever travel in space reaching for the stars? Mmathapelo did because she dreamt and she believes.  

I believe that Mmathapelo will be an astronaut because she believes it. “Dreams are extremely important. You cant do it unless you can imagine it.” – George Lucas 

                  Based on true events.

Botlhale Mos


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