Lindelwa Mini Photo: Supplied
In celebration of Women’s Month, the Leap Science and Maths Schools are honouring the 63% of schoolgirls and their leadership of women, who strive to provide quality education to students from high-need communities for academic excellence.

Leap is a network of low-fee schools in the Western Cape, Limpopo and Gauteng. The Leap model addresses a larger need to empower women through education within their communities.

Lindelwa Mini, a principal at a Leap Science and Maths School, is a role model, leader and inspiration to her Langa community. She is passionate about developing opportunities for success for herself and her pupils.

“You can excel academically, but if you don’t know who you are and what you stand for you will not succeed. I believe education is being the better version of yourself,” she said.

For Mini, being a woman in her community means setting an example of hard work and perseverance.

“I am a role model to the kids from Langa township, whom I lead. When they see a successful young black woman, they know it’s possible for them as well,” she said.

Through professional and personal sacrifices, the women have embodied the Leap ethos and undertaken a journey of personal success, well beyond their humble beginnings.

At the Leap Science and Maths Schools, Mini is able to express her ambitions for her community through her work as a teacher, administrator, employer and social activist. Within her various roles, Mini remains passionate about finding holistic solutions to the needs of her community.

Another inspirational woman leader at Leap is Patricia Mudiayi, recipient of the 2015 Mkhaya Migrants Award, administered by the Department of Home Affairs, for her contribution to unity.

The DRC national heads Kwesu, a non-profit organisation that assists migrant women to develop social and financial skills. As a young, pregnant immigrant alone in a new country Mudiayi, with a chemical engineering degree, could only find work as a tutor.

Faced with limited options, she realised she was not living the life she dreamt of in South Africa, and that she would have to work even harder to succeed.

She supplemented her tutor's income by working as a curios trader in Greenmarket Square and built a life for herself.

Her passion for teaching and education grew. This led to Mudiayi being welcomed into the Leap Science & Maths Schools family where she verified her qualifications to pursue teaching before becoming a full-time teacher and later a principal.