South Africa celebrates Women’s month under the theme ‘Realizing Women’s Rights for an Equal Future’ in period of hardships of the Covid-19 Pandemic. What a relevant theme to resonate woman empowerment and feminism doctrines.
Monareng shares with us on how she overcame setbacks in her life, to become an inspirational woman who dedicates her whole-life in making the goodwill for the indigenous society firmly.
Born and raised in Welkom, Free State, Monareng however has basic pedigrees from Mpumalanga where her family originates from at Mkhuhlu, Calcutta.
“My family comes from Mpumalanga in Mkhuhlu at Calcutta. I am Mopulane “Pedi”. Mopulane they speak Sepedi and Tsonga like Mahlubi, my father is Mopulane and my mom Shangaane I’m a mix veg. (She chuckles comely).”
Qza Monareng is a mother of one, navigating a wide range of projects, running a well-dedicated Non-Profit Organization, Botjha ke Palesa Youth Organisation, an organisation that makes great strides within Lejweleputswa District.
With her touch, “Qza” commits in breaking down barriers and stereotypes.
Detailing on her family structure, Monareng explains: “Hmmm we are 2 girls at home and I’m the last born. I grew up with both parents by my side who taught me to be a hard worker, respectful, stand for what I believe in, love and be honest.”
She says her upbringing was coupled with happiness and exhilaration. “Although I always wanted to play with the boys more than girls even today I enjoy boys’ friendship more than girls.
It would be difficult sometimes in life as I was teased by many people in my community because of my body but I’m glad they made me who I am today,” she explains.
Speaking vividly about her music journey, Monareng says she realised she had a golden voice from her tender age. “Ke hotse monate ke ithatela hobina since the age of 13 years I was singing for Thabong Adult choir conducted by Mme Mosele then, went to United Reform Church UYC under the late Mr Thabo Chaka.”
She says despite her supportive family that played a prominent role in shaping her life around, she extends her appreciation to these key mentors in her life:
Mrs Mpho mogaesho (Arts and Culture)
Sergeant Tselane-( Thabong police station)
Mrs Monica Letoane (Matjhabeng Municipality)
Mrs Monimang Mohapi, Miss Dipuo Maputle, Mr Mosedi (Free State Department of
Mr Malema, Mr Sello Mokhothu, Mrs Kele Nkonoane, Miss Nthabiseng
Koenane, Mrs Makoko and Miss Kholiwe (District Office’s Department of Social
Mr Sinde Nhlapo-( Sindelani trading owner)
Mr Oupa Khoabane-( former Free State MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development)
Quick snack in one-on-one session with Queen Monareng, she opens up about her personal life, music taste and her role as founder of Botjha ke Palesa Youth Organisation
Q: What’s your current relationship status?
A: Lol I am in a serious relationship with Mr S, but we agreed we don’t promote for media publicity.
Q: What you like to do on your spare time?
A: Socialising with friends or being with my family going for getaway vacations, play with the kids or listen to music.
Q: What’s your favourite music?
A: Lol heee music ne, Soul, RnB, Afro pop, Gospel and house, it depend on the mood for that day.
Q: Could you briefly tell us more about Botjha Ke Palesa Youth Organisation?
A: Botjha ke Palesa ne, I’ll try to keep it short ne (She giggles).
I became pregnant at an early age while still in high school, I concealed it till God blessed me with a handsome named baby boy “Thatohatsi”. I was so young to have a child, and this brought shame in my family as they expected me to focus on school work but I was pregnant.
This was the worst year of my life man I thought loved me and whom I thought whatever he was saying will happen I only realised later that he sold me a dream nothing he said was true to me. I felt lonely, depressed and the rest will be history for now.
In 2013 I saw high stats of teenage pregnancy and I wanted to do something but did know where to start.
In 2014 Ausi Tholoana Moletsane from Lesedi FM did a topic on teenage pregnancy and she chose me to be part of the topic. After the interview on Lesedi FM my former classmate, a friend Thabang Majoro gave me a call to he was listening to the interview and I should come visit him at his office in social development. I went there and he spoke about the interview, he suggested that I open an NPO to do programs around my area then he referred me to Mme Towa to help me register.
Me and my sister Jeanock Monareng we gathered information together like have board members and management then she asked me what will be the organization name.
I kept quiet for a second and all the pain I caused for my parents during pregnancy came back as a reflection and as I was a flower in my parents face that they did want anyone to break it, their little baby girl was now a mother, a young girl who had so many dreams but she had to cut some to take care of the baby than boom “BOTJHA KE PALESA” let me put it in Sesotho “botjha ke palesa e hlokolosi,o se letlelle mang kapa mang ho a amoha botjha ba hao. Kgaba ka botjha ba hao!”
I was inspired by the situation I went through and wanted to make a change in young women out there.
Q: When was the organization founded?
A: BKP was register on 04 August 2014 lol of course I am the founder and it started with 5 management which are Queen Monareng, Jeanock Monareng, Motsheao Mokotla, Monnapule Mosala and Lebohang Molatedi with only 10 members by that time 6 board members which where the late Mr Jamie Radebe, Mr Shadrack Mabadi, Mr Sethunya Fothoane, Mrs Montshiuwa, Inspector Stephen Thakeng and Mrs Hlahane.
Q: Tell us more about the milestones of the project?
A: Our main focus was teenage pregnancy, substance abuse, gangsterism and counselling youth due to environmental situation behaviour and challenges they approach daily basis.
Q: What are some of the most important learnings from your journey?
A: Well number one is not easy to trust anyone especially with proposal and don’t do things just for the sake of money especially in NPO sector but for the love of developing your community.
You will find rejection, cry and move on it’s still part of the journey. Some doors you will knock and get no answer, some they will answer but destroy whatever you putting on the table but never give up push until you sit on the same table, same meetings with them.
Q: What are you looking forward to?
A: We felt we have been doing programs for too long now trying to link youth with different stakeholders to empower them to start their business due to lake of jobs so we have also started to look for internships, learnership, jobs for them where we have partner with some few government and private sector.
The rest of our plans lol let’s just say we don’t kiss and tell we just do by surprise and God’s grace.
Q: What advice would you give to people like you?
Well it’s simple follow your heart, never give up in everything you do no matter how small it may seem to other people but it will take you far in life. You might have a baby at a young age with someone who’s not ready to be a dad or who mistreat you, it will hurt you yes I know and you will hate him yes its normal but don’t let it to be forever.
Take it as a nightmare that you will wake up of it and be happy with the people you love and care. Always forgive those who hurt you because there’s no medicine like forgiving a person who has hurt you because if you forgive you will be happy, succeed in life and learn to find love and love again.
Firstly forgive yourself for being angry, look in the mirror and shout yourself if you have to, cry as many times as you want to, drop out of school but return to fulfill your dreams because education is the key to success no one will take that away from you.
They might reap you your girls time, your young opportunity but with education you will never go wrong, no one and I mean no one can take that away from you.
You fall but you will rise again. Never and I mean never let yourself be the memory stick that enters any laptop because you will get the virus that no one will help you heal from it so be a flower, a special rose that everyone want to have and see it grow inside their yard. Love yourself, be respectful, respect others, work hard, forgive and forget the past and focus on the future.