Being a CellCgirl is all about chasing your dreams and challenging those around you to do the same. This week’s chitchat is with a girl who is all about making her dreams a reality through social entrepreneurship and community service. How does she do it? Read on.

Who is Ipeleng Malebo?

“Ipeleng is a very flamboyant, confident young woman,” the Grade 11 learner tells us. She holds herself to a standard of pride and grace, “Ipeleng means ‘to take pride’ so in any situation, I’ve learned to hold my head up high.” She’s also a boarding school scholar, so she’s had to learn to be independent and responsible when it comes to her time and resources, “I can be very strict with myself since I’ve got a lot going on and I’m only in Grade 11,” she explains.

What are you passionate about?

“I’m passionate about people and culinary media,” she tells how she’d like to one day pursue a career in the media space with a focus on food. “I know the culinary media space, like other careers are male-dominated, but I think there’s a gap for girls,” she enthuses. Ipeleng’s plan is to launch her own media empire that focuses mainly on food and culinary experiences. Since she’s Miss Teen Social Entrepreneur, Ipeleng also loves exploring businesses that help people and communities.

What does your title mean and how do you balance this with school?

Miss Teen Social Entrepreneur is a programme for teenagers who are eager to find sustainable ways to help their communities. “When I won the title,” Ipeleng describes the experience, “I was quite shocked. But it also showed me that I could do anything I set my mind to do.” The teen hopes to use the skills she learned from the competition to launch her own career as an entrepreneur and philanthropist. “It’s hard to balance the title with school,” she says, “Grade 11 is tough but I try to stay disciplined and use all my time wisely”.

What do you do to relax?

Between her community service and being a Grade 11 learner, Ipeleng doesn’t have a lot of free time, but she enjoys spending time at the mall with her friends. “I’ve got great friends,” she says, “they’re as goal-driven as me.”

What does it mean to be a CellCgirl?

“To me, CellCgirl is all about girl power,” Ipeleng explains, “It’s about girls taking their power back and saying, ‘I can do that, I can make that happen’”. She also believes that it’s all about having a strong sense of self and letting that drive you, “A CellCgirl can embrace who she really is.” Ipeleng believes that girls shouldn’t be afraid to stand out and she likes that the CellCgirl platform encourages them to do just that. “It’s about being able to relate to each other in spite of our differences,” she says, “When we know that our unique traits make us special, we’re less likely to succumb to pressure from social media. We’re able to stand in our own truth and be proud of our own accomplishments.”

Who inspires you?

All the former Miss SA’s — they’re a group of women who’ve taken what people would call a beauty pageant and turned it into a symbol of success. “They’ve proven girls can be both — beautiful and intelligent.” People like Basetsana Khumalo and Tamaryn Green who have used the platform they’ve been given to create opportunities for other women and have a lasting impact in people’s lives really inspire Ipeleng, “You can really tell that they’ve chosen this path and would make a difference with or without a title.”

What your motto?

“I’ve come this far, why stop now?”

Ipeleng has mastered the skills of self-motivation and self-love, since she’s a firm believer in positive affirmations and anything that inspires her. Young as she is, she hasn’t allowed fear and insecurities stand in the way of what she hopes to achieve — there’s definitely no stopping this young woman!

We’re all about girls who love to learn and to use their time and resources to better themselves and the world around them. Ipeleng does just that and we’re so proud to call her a CellCgirl!

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