Who is Lebogang Maruapula?
Lebogang Maruapula is first and foremost a woman who follows God as intently as she possibly can. I come from Mochudi and married in Tati-Siding, I am a global citizen; I am a student of life. I am a communication enthusiast and professional and an avid International development aficionado.
Tell us more about your role as Regional Ambassador of Girl Rising
As a Regional Ambassador for Girl Rising my job is to promote the Girl Rising movement, do community outreach activities and to advocate for the interests of the girl child. Girl Rising is a movement that supports more opportunity for girls, and increases awareness of inequality faced by girls worldwide based upon their gender. This inequality includes areas such as access to education, nutrition, legal rights, medical care, and protection from discrimination, violence and un-free child marriage. My job is to ensure that there is an education process, and rally other people in awareness of this movement.
GODDESS Foundation in partnership with Girl Rising will be hosting a Screening event on the 11th October which is International Day of the Girl.
You’re co-founder of Goddess Foundation.What is it all about?
Yes I am, along with Two other ladies- Tumie Ramsden and Gao Molosiwa. GODDESS Foundation is an organisation that aims to empower the girl child. We do this through mentorship, activities and being a ‘big sister’ to young women in our community. One of the activities we have been busy with is the GODDESS Sanitary Pad drive, which is a call to action to Batswana to donate sanitary pads so that we donate to young women who cannot afford these very necessary items.
What else do you do?
I own EBAT Media which is a digital media and social media management company. I am also a Communications and Public Relations professional.
What challenges do you face on a day to day basis and how do you overcome them?
Some of the challenges I face personally is ageism. More and More often I get discriminated against because someone believes I’m “too young” to do a certain thing or to play a certain role. I overcome this by going ahead and doing what I want to do anyway. I go ahead and push boundaries in any way I can. I always seek new opportunities that will also prove to myself that I am a force to be reckoned with. I am an avid youth advocate and love to motivate young people that WE can do anything we put our minds to with enough hard work, dedication and passion.
What drives you?
First and most importantly, My Purpose in God drives me. My will and passion to see God working through me and having his name glorified through me. I am also driven by the thought of seeing myself reach the pinnacle of success. I am also driven daily by the belief that I was made to be a positive influence in people’s lives and make a meaningful impact in my community and globally.
Do you have any role models or mentors?
Yes I have role models! My Aunt Unity Dow is one pf my biggest role models, simply because of her tenacity and her go-getter attitude in life with everything she does. She has such amazing resolve! My grandmother is also my role model because she raised 8 children from little to nothing, her stories of how she raised her kids always make me teary-eyed because her strength is out of this world. I have many other role models like Dr. Joyce Banda- the President of Malawi, Oprah who built a name and success for herself from her bare hands and not through an inheritance or a divorce settlement! I am inspired by women who have built themselves from nothing. I have mentors for different parts of my life;Tumie Ramsden is my unofficial mentor- she hasn’t accepted this role officially but she plays that role in my life. I am currently looking for a mentor in my journey towards being in an International Development career, so I’m open to ideas.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Oh my… They often say that while we are busy making plans, God is busy laughing! I don’t know if God would like to take me elsewhere and if he does I will diligently obey. But my vision is to join the UN in the next few years, I also see myself being a Diplomat for Botswana after that. I also see myself as an acclaimed digital media entrepreneur. I am currently also a student so I would like to earn my Phd and become Dr. Maruapula in the next coming years. God willing!
What legacy would you like to leave as a young African?
My legacy will hopefully be left with youth and young women. I often see young people who are so despondent, some are too lazy to go for what they want, some are uninspired and some just have not been told enough that they can do better with their lives. I want to be a positive influence in young people like that. I would like to be remembered as a woman who cared about youth development and women development and who went about doing that in innovative ways. I want to be remembered as a leader, and a philanthropist.
What advice would you like to give to young people in Botswana?
I would like to see more young people using the internet to get new opportunities. I really believe the Internet is a well of wealth when it comes to opportunities- be it sponsorships, scholarships, jobs etc. I believe that young people should go beyond the Botswana borders and seek opportunities wherever the world will host them! Go where you are needed, look for a gap that you can fill and go for it! I would also just like to encourage young people to never give up and keep pushing until they can’t be ignored any longer!
How can people contact you?
For business- firstname.lastname@example.org
For personal – email@example.com or
Twitter – @MrsMapSocialyt