- Wisani Maluleke is a period poverty activist originally from Limpopo who has dedicated his life to the raising money for sanitary pads
- The 31-year-old is trying his best to ensure that period poverty in the country becomes a thing of the past
- Maluleke has already walked 410kms to raise money for sanitary pads and plans to climb Mt Kilimanjaro
31-year-old Wisani Climent Maluleke from Limpopo is trying to make period poverty a thing of the past. Maluleke matriculated and moved to Pretoria to further his studies. Unfortunately, an addiction to alcohol smashed those dreams.
Maluleke pushed himself to find another job in order to support his addiction but everything he got blew up in smoke. Eight years after moving to Pretoria, Maluleke returned to Limpopo due to his inability to afford anything.
Two years later he registered the BEE Youth Organisation NPC to help those around him. Maluleke opened up about his past, present and future in an exclusive interview with Briefly.co.za.
Thinking back to a year before he started NPC, Maluleke said:
"In the year 2017, I still continued drinking but it came to a point that I sat down and said to myself that 'this is not the life I want to live anymore'. I then approached the Department of education management in Hlanganani South Circuit and told them that I wanted to volunteer at some of the schools around to conduct a spelling bee competition and they gave me the go-ahead."
Maluleke managed to host a successful spelling bee, even awarding the winners with stationery. However, things changed when he realised one of the competitors could not make it to the spelling bee:
"I discovered that during the spelling bee competition I hosted, one of the girls in the semifinals was not available. After I asked one of the educators why they then told me that her family cannot afford to buy sanitary pads and that might be the reason.
"I concluded that it means there are many girls out there who are missing out on their classes because of a lack of sanitary pads."
Maluleke was not going to sit down and do nothing knowing that there are many girls out there who cannot afford sanitary pads. It was then he decided to become a period poverty activist and make a difference:
"I invited all my social media friends to help me raise funds to buy sanitary pads but people were not responding. I then decided that I have to do something about it to show the public that period poverty is a real threat to our girls' futures by preparing to embark on the charity walk to raise awareness and funds.
"I left Pretoria on 24 February 2020 heading to Limpopo (Collins Chabane Community Centre) outside Elim. It took me seven days to complete a 410km and I managed to raise about R8800 which bought sanitary pads which we are busy donating to schools."
The 31-year-old will now be donating sanitary pads to schools in Tiyani Village and Olifantshoek Village with members of the Department of Education. Maluleke plans to continue his period poverty activism by climbing Mt Kilimanjaro:
"I told myself that I will continue working and doing everything I can to make sure I will be part of the change that everyone wants to see in the country. I am currently preparing to summit Kilimanjaro to raise awareness and more funds to fight this pandemic (period poverty) which will be happening in mid-May during the Menstrual Hygiene Month."
He wants to bring a change to the country and the world as a whole. Maluleke has dedicated his life to fighting period poverty and will not stop until all women in SA have access to sanitary pads.
In other inspiring news, Briefly.co.za previously reported on 23-year-old Marvel M Mthembu who started the organisation Crushing The Barriers (CTB) while still in matric. CTB has tailored projects in the education, arts, sports, media and technology fields.
Marvel says they use these industries to impact the world. Through their education projects, they are able to work through back-to-school campaigns and they also have a virtual learning app.
Marvel spoke passionately about his childhood. From taking risks and exploring to reaching his highest potential, Marvel also managed to coach both the under-11s and under-14s at soccer while he was just 14.
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