- An ambitious woman, Gail Motloung from the Vaal area, has just witnessed her dream coming true after being accepted to join this year’s Nelson Mandela Fellowship in the United States
- Because of the ravaging pandemic, the Mandela Fellowship will be held virtually and Motloung joins 49 South Africans on the list
- The 28-year-old lady speaks to Briefly News about her journey, resilience and how will this golden opportunity will impact her life
An ambitious woman, Gail Motloung, is really an inspiration to the South African youth as she is set to join this year’s Nelson Mandela Fellowship Programme to be held in the United States of America. Motloung is currently based in the Vaal area and says she is super excited to get such a rare opportunity.
Speaking exclusively to Briefly News, the 28-year-old speaks about her previous attempts to make it to the prestigious programme. She says her first attempt was in 2017 and tried again in 2018 but her efforts were all in vain.
However, because of her resilience, she will now form part of the list of 49 fellows from Mzansi. In March 2020, she received a congratulatory message that she has been selected to participate in the Nelson Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders.
Gail Motloung expresses delight as she also looks at her journey to stardom
The confident woman also reveals why she had to work harder to eventually make it to the programme. Motloung told Briefly News:
“I feel so honoured and words are not enough to express my gratitude as this was my third attempt. My first application was in 2017, I never made it through, not even to the semi-finals. I tried again in 2018 and still no luck.
"In 2019, I almost gave up on applying when I was told how highly competitive this programme is and those who made it through are those who have achieved and obtained masters and PhDs. I decided to apply again regardless, I refused to give up on my dream to be Mandela Washington Fellow - I had nothing to lose.
“On my third attempt, I made it through. In February 2020, I went for the interview which would determine whether I make it through on not. I gave that interview my all. I waited for the verdict which was set for March.
"I remember that day like it was yesterday. I was going through the toughest season in my life and had forgotten about this. Something just said, ‘check your emails’, I checked and the first email that captured my attention was the congratulatory email from MWF and IREX.
"All the thoughts in my head came to a standstill and I experienced pure joy. I just took a moment to recall all the hard work, the sleepless nights that I had put in to get there. I felt so happy. I made it through, and it still feels like a dream to this day. I never thought one day I will be getting training from a University, overseas.”
Because of the raging coronavirus pandemic, the programme will be conducted virtually but Motloung remains confident this might change next year. She added:
“The program will be conducted virtually due to Covid-19 restrictions. However, should things get better next year, we will travel. I think my life has been impacted greatly since I got accepted and there has been a sudden positive change of mindset and perspective towards life.
"I run a publishing company and I’m the founder of an NPO and through the online courses, we did since last year and up to now. They helped and contributed a lot towards my growth as a person and gave a clear understanding of my vision for both the publication and the organisation. This is only the beginning of greater things and I am paving the way for those who are coming after me."
Gail Motloung discusses the importance of family and faith in a prayer
“My family has been supportive since day one and when I win or anyone of us wins, we all win. We are tight like that. My family is proud and happy. I have made my parents and siblings very proud. The best advice and gift any parent could give to their children is to teach them how to pray.
"I am grateful for that advice. I carry that with me and that is what sustained me even when I went through the worst in my life. Prayer doesn’t change anything; it changes everything as my mom would say.”
Motloung also shares a message to the youth and her peers, saying progressive steps will definitely change their lives. Continued the bubbly woman:
“My advice to the youth out there is, free yourself from everything that is holding you back. Let go and strive towards taking progressive steps and manufacturing a better you. You can, so you should. Whenever you feel like giving up, give up on the idea of giving up. Let positive vibes be embedded in your life, always."
The young businesswoman has been nominated for three awards in the month of June including the Global African Authors Awards, for the book she produced and co-authored in 2020.
The full list of the 2021 fellows: Gail Motloung, Maribe Mamabolo, Odwa Ndesi, Sbusisiwe Buska Sithebe, Mthokozisi Nhleko, Zuko Manlekazi, Margaret Jeptha, Tebello Motshwane, Sam Varney, Seshoka Muila, Keith Nontshokweni, Ayanda Melansi, Nozipho Nkosi, Siyabulela Jentile, Thando Hlophe, Edward Matiwane, Thokozile Zambane, Nontu Mgabhi, Jeshika Ramchund, Mike Skhosana, Thula Ngcobo, Lindelwa Ndaba, Nwabisa Plaatjie, Lindiwe Ngcobo, Xolelwa Lusithi, Moeketsi Baas, Olehile Boitumelo Mokgele, Kwezi Sogoni, Thokozile Nhlumayo, Tshegofatso Phala, Nazley Sharif, Mpho Tjope, Luthando Kaka, Blake Dyason, Thokozile Nhlumayo, Frank Karigambe, Linda Mncube, Siyabulela Sokomani, Tumi Ramongalo, Andiswa Makha, Chipo Zhou and Khanyisa Mapipa.
Dream come true as pretty lady bags Mandela Rhodes Foundation scholarship
In a story related to education, Briefly News published an article that a 24-year-old Afe Babalola University graduate, Keshinro Phebe Oluwatunmise, has won the Mandela Rhodes Foundation Scholarship.
Briefly News exclusively gathered that the Fellowship offers Phebe Masters in Development Finances at the University of Stellenbosch Business School in South Africa.
Speaking exclusively with a Briefly News reporter on the development, Phebe explained that the news about the fellowship application was broadcast to her by a friend and she applied.
Keshinro further explained that the application process was in 4 stages and she excellently scaled through.
While explaining the rationale behind the Fellowship, the lawyer and chartered accountant said it is hinged on leadership, entrepreneurship, reconciliation and education.
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