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Social entrepreneur and motivational speaker, Lehlohonolo ‘Conquer’ Thoabala.

Fostering conversations around mental health


Social entrepreneur and a motivational speaker, Lehlohonolo Thoabala (25) says he viewed failing matric as the beginning of a new chapter instead of the end to an old one.
As the founder of ‘The Motivational Drive,’ which he started in 2015, Mahlogonolo has currently partnered with Metropolitan, as a motivator and influencer within the campaign, which fosters conversations around mental strength.
The campaign encourages South Africans to talk about their experiences linked to the pandemic through its campaign, called the ‘Three Word Stories,’ providing easy-to-use steps that will help consumers navigate the new normal.
“With this campaign, together with Metropolitan, we hope to help people know and understand that they are not alone through this pandemic, and what they are feeling is normal,” he said. Starting out as a speaker, Mahlogonolo’s first big project was embarking on a motivational tour.
“I decided to come back home from Johannesburg, and went to schools in Seshego and Polokwane, to motivate both primary and high schools about life,” he said.
Mahlogonolo has been to more than 20 schools, with over 10 000 learners.
“We also hosted a career expo for Gr 11 and 12’s in all the high schools in Seshego, and invited various higher learning institutions to bring information to them on various career paths involved and how to also enrol,” he said.
Another project was ‘The Sanitary Towels Drive,’ where they collected from individuals and organisations to hand over to the destitute girls within his community.
Mahlogonolo grew up in a taxi business within his family at home, and was officially an entrepreneur in 2015 when his first company was registered, though he’d like to believe he’s had the entrepreneurship spirit from a very young age, as he started selling sweets in Gr 3.
“This always got me in trouble at school because there was a tuck shop,” he said.
He was working at an engineering company in 2015 and he started hosting seminars, and in the same year, people started inviting him to speak at their seminars and workshops.
Mahlogonolo has published an inspirational audio CD which you can buy at R150. Facebook page: The Motivational Drive.

Story: Anne Molope