Thato Kgatlhanye saw a need for proper school bags in rural areas and built a business from it.
At the age of just 18, Kgatlhanye founded Rethaka Repurpose Schoolbags, a company that uses plastic bags to make schoolbags for poor kids.
Briefly.co.za learned every schoolbag is also equipped with a solar charger, which is used to power a light at night, since most of the underprivileged children live in areas without electricity.
Her inspiration came when she saw a child walking to school with his books in a plastic bag. Kgatlhanye thought every child needs at least a schoolbag, and her idea was born.
In the early stages of Rethaka Repurpose Schoolbags, the young entrepreneur managed to win $50k (R740 000) seed money to grow her business with.
Fast forward a couple of years and Kgatlhanye is a successful business owner who won awards for bettering the lives of poor children.
In March this year, Kgatlhanye received the Ubuntu Award for Youth Diplomacy, which was handed to her by South African head of state Cyril Ramaphosa.
"Last night I was blessed to have been bestowed with the @dircoza Ubuntu Award for Youth Diplomacy by the President of the Republic of South Africa, President Cyril Ramaphosa alongside the @dircoza Minister, Dr. Lindiwe Sisulu," she wrote on Instagram about the award ceremony.
Take a look at a video of Kgatlhanye's work below:
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