Bonang Matheba poses at the London Gala earlier this year. Picture: Supplied

Her own goal for 2030 is to take 300 South African girls to school.

Now after the UN General Assembly that Bonang Matheba moderated, she is sure her goal is achievable.

Matheba, as part of the Global Citizen campaign, was the lead moderator at the Assembly themed “12 Years to Break Barriers and Leave No Girl Behind” that took place earlier this week with panelists that included the France President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister(PM) Justin Trudeau, British PM Theresa May and Norwegian PM Erna Solberg.

Bonang Matheba lead the UN General Assembly discussion on girls education in New York. Picture:Supplied

The aim of the discussion on Girls and Empowerment was to cover ways of achieving quality education for all girls globally by 2030.

“When Fees Must Fall was happening, it had a very personal impact on me. I had family members who were struggling financially to put their children through school or university. I couldn’t go and be part of the marches so that’s when I started my own bursaries for young girls. It has been such an important cause for me.”

Matheba said as she gets older, she has started to value certain things and puts more of her time and effort on things that will result in a better future.

“I’m passionate about the African girl child. I have seen the difference education can make. It is impactful and builds wealth. It changes family and how people feel about themselves- their confidence, their self esteem and how they operate within the world.”

What stood out the most for her at the UN Assembly was how passionate the world leaders were.

“I had personal conversations with them and they were genuinely interested, it wasn’t for show. So much can be done from just starting a small conversation.”

One of the delegates that truly inspired her was Jamaican Davinia James who started the Pennies 4 Girls project and has taken over 300 girls to school.

“She collects change all over the world and sends children to school. That interaction changed  my life. I only have 10 girls but I feel invigorated coming back home to stand in front of CEOs to ask them for funding, mentorship and support.”

Bonang Matheba was the cover star of GQ Magazine.She says the world still has a long way to go to afford women equal rights in the workplace. Picture: Supplied. 

Her global citizenship has allowed her to embrace so much more and want to be part of any project that involves girls and education.

“We have a long way to go in our country. Women struggle to get to their workplaces in peace. It is a complex global issue. I observe how women are treated and have seen and heard so many stories, it is a sensitive situation. Education can can solve some of those issues. Educate a woman and you are empowering her. She has a voice, a space to prevent poverty that the African girl child faces everyday.”

The solution, she said, is to educate the girl child and prepare her for the world that was not built to support her.

“It is unfortunately, a world that is not in her favour, a world that was created to make sure she is second best. So we need to help her prepare for a word like that because helping her prepare is easier than trying to change the world.”

Matheba will also speak at a special Global Citizen function before attending the Global Citizen Festival in New York tomorrow (September 29).

@mane_mpi