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Reasons to be Proud - #R2bP: Third Year Education student and SRC Sports Officer, Thabiso Letselebe was named in the News 24 Top 100 Future Mandelas list.

Leadership. Vision. Creativity. Compassion. Resilience.

These were the five values chosen by News24’s journalists, setting out to find a new generation of leaders to take South Africa forward.

Over 1 300 entries we received to be part of the first 100 young Mandelas series. Thabiso was listed under the category of Resilience.

Thabiso, 26, suffered a slight stroke while in Grade 7, which caused him to lose his speech for a year.

His mother worked as a security guard to put him through school and he also worked to contribute financially to the household.

Thabiso started a football club called MM Angels to help keep youth away from drugs and alcohol.

He worked as a brand manager and later a junior researcher at the University of the Free State where he was a student. There he instigated the review and transformation of the residence cultures.

However, Thabiso dropped out of university because of growing debt. He returned in 2017 to Nelson Mandela University to study education which he partially funded.

He volunteers at the Kimberley Boys High School Land Service club where he works with drug addicts and poor academic learners and was honoured with a gold award in June by the Land Service Movement in the Northern Cape.

“The 100 young people chosen all illustrate a remarkable drive to succeed in their personal lives and to make a difference to the lives of others. They embody the spirit of Madiba and serve as an inspiration to all South Africans.”

View the full list of 100 Young Mandelas