Malebo Sephodi

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Malebo Sephodi deeply believes in being a voice for and working directly with the community around her. The South African activist, researcher and author—in 2017, she published her first book, Miss Behave—has carved a place for herself by addressing several socio-economic issues and fighting for the dignity of human rights.

Growing up in Johannesburg, Sephodi was a witness to her mother’s activism. Her mother fought for students to receive free and quality education, women's reproductive rights and anything else she fiercely believed in—no matter the cost. She also pushed Sephodi and her siblings to work within the community from as young as 10 years old. They were taught that if they had the means, they should always share with their neighbors. Because of this, the 34-year-old has always found fulfilment in community activism that addresses issues at home in South Africa and across the continent.

If all goes according to plan, Sephodi hopes to one day run an institution, perhaps a school, that contributes to the betterment of society. She feels that teaching is one way to use the knowledge she has acquired through her life experiences and the formal education she received from Wits University.

Sephodi’s short-term goals include working on a project that will involve disciplines across STEM and the humanities, writing her second book, and actively prioritizing self-care. To reference feminist writer Audre Lorde, self-care is really not an indulgence, but an act of resistance. Sephodi is a strong believer in taking care of one’s self to be in a better position to serve the community fully.

LiteratureTeneille Craig