Skeem Saam actor Cornet Mamabolo has learnt that education in rural areas is poor and there is a need for improvements from government and private companies.
Mamabolo, who plays the role of Thibos on the popular SABC1 youth soapie, built a community library in his village, Maripathekong, in GaMolepo, Limpopo.
The 28-year-old actor and his team from the Cornet Mamabolo Foundation recently opened the library.
“There are improvements and interventions from government and private companies, but what we found is that there’s a gap in education in rural areas,” he said.
He said they found that there is a big gap between learners in rural schools and their peers in township and city institutions. “There’s a lack of resources in rural schools, such as technical and human resources. You’ll find that the schools don’t have libraries and science labs. There is hope, but the situation is not where one would like it to be,” he said.
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In an interview with Mentorfeed, he credits his job as an actor with inspiring him to start a foundation as travelling with the show exposed him to different communities in which learners were struggling to access quality education.
“Being on TV, you get the opportunity to be invited to different communities and you’re exposed to so much. Because of that your approach to life changes,” he was quoted as saying.
Despite being on TV, Mamabolo and his friends began going to schools, prisons and communities to engage with the youth on their pressing needs.
“We found that there’s a big gap between learners in rural schools and the learners in township schools and city schools. There’s a lack of resources in rural schools such as technical resources and human resources. You’ll find that the schools don’t have libraries and science labs,” he said.
According to Mentorfeed, these community drives led to the idea of putting a team together that would form a foundation and by 2016, they had registered the Cornet Mamabolo Foundation.
The library is at Boshega Primary School. “I took advantage of my social media platforms firstly and I told people we needed books and then approached companies to get resources,” he said.
He said his next step was to make the library a fully-fledged one with a librarian and other staff members, before moving on to future projects in other marginalised communities across the country. Mamabolo is also focused on his other business, Digni Financial Services, which provides insurance products that work best for the urban market.
People who want to help develop quality education in marginalised communities can get involved through his foundation.
“People can get hold of us directly and then we can see how we can create partnerships with the foundation,” he said.