The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls (OWLAG) connected with podcast host Monica Kade who was interested in the good works OWLAG was doing and wanted to feature some of the alumnae on her popular podcast series based out of Australia. Monica is a well-known and respected author who has interviewed change-makers including Gabrielle Bernstein, Kate Northrup, Danielle La Porte, Christine Hassler, Lisa Messenger, J Lewis Howes, P Sears, Guy Kawasaki, and many more.
Her vision for the series was to interview five of our amazing OWLAG alumnae and share their individual stories as they reflected on their journey at the Academy, their upbringing, insights into their motivation and challenges they experienced along the way. The young women also talk about what they are currently doing and how they are living the values of Ubuntu in the lives and fields of work.
We posted the first podcast interview in May with Avukile Zoya, whose story is a powerful illustration of how having access to quality education and a tight-knit and empowering social circle further ignites the flame of our hearts desires. Avukile is passionate about women’s rights and lives her passion through the incredible work she does at the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) in Pretoria to bring healthcare to women who need it most. Listen to her podcast here
The second podcast featured Andronica Klaas, who spoke about overcoming roadblocks in the process of living out your dreams and how these should not be were you stop but where you break the barriers. The young powerhouse is now working in the U.S. at Bank of America and serves as a mentor for women in technology. As a member of the employee engagement committee and a volunteer for the Ignite with the Tech program, she reviews resumes for potential student employees while providing them with mock interviews. Listen to her podcast here
Masego Mothei was the third feature and she spoke about the power of focus influencing your destiny. And she sure didn’t let distractions get in the way of her destiny! Masego pursued a degree in BA Languages and Culture at Stellenbosch University, South Africa after graduating from OWLAG and also graduated Cum Laude with distinction majoring in Chinese Studies and Applied English Language Studies. Masego also won the National Chinese Bridge Competition in 2017, which tests the Chinese proficiency of university students in the entire country. Listen to her podcast here
Our fourth feature is our OWLAG Head of School Gugu Malope as she unpacked what she believed it meant to be a leader and to live a life of impact. "Leadership isn’t making people follow you and your ideologies—although that could be a component—I don’t think that’s what it is. For me, at its core, leadership is leading yourself and then inspiring people around you to almost take what they can from the way you live, to implement it on themselves." Listen to her podcast here
The fifth and final episode to close off the series was with our first OWLAG alumnae to receive her medical degree, Dr Boitumelo Theepe. She spoke about growing up in Soweto with her grandmother and siblings and how her passion for healthcare started at a young age. Growing up, she would accompany her grandmother to the local clinic and would wait in line for hours to see a doctor to provide basic medical assistance. These were the moments in which she wished she could help the ordinary South Africans received quality primary healthcare. Today she works at one of the biggest hospitals in the Western Cape and does just that. Listen to her podcast here
We are so grateful to Monica Kade, who has shared our young girls’ stories so beautifully to the whole world. We appreciate the time and attention she spent on each of these special interviews. We are also all very proud of our OWLAG girls who have become successful young women in their different fields and paths in life. We are honoured to have been part of their journey and will always be here to share and support their success.