Forte Secondary School’s finest: Lerato Lebelo

Lerato Lebelo. Picture: Supplied

Lerato Lebelo. Picture: Supplied

Published Jan 19, 2024


Meet 18-year-old Lerato Lebelo, who describes herself as a “young aspiring female economist who grew up in Dobsonville and later moved to Mofolo”.

Lerato, who is one of the matric class of 2023’s high achievers from Forte Secondary School in Dobsonville, Soweto, is one of the school’s high achievers.

She says, through her pioneering spirit, she was able to navigate a difficult and challenging academic year and in spite of these challenges she faced, she managed to stay on course and well enough to be eligible to study economics and econometrics at the University of Johannesburg.

Lerato hopes her choice of study will, in time, equip her with the right skills that will bring about solutions to the country’s ailing economy, which has been devastated by the Covid pandemic and the Eskom power cuts.

“I have a pioneering spirit, a natural born leader, highly focused, versatile, creative and achievement oriented. I am a good debater and I am able to do pretty much anything I put my mind to,” Lerato says of herself.

The driven and highly ambitious Soweto learner credits her parents and teachers for being supportive and encouraging.

“My parents are co-parenting and they always make sure that they do what is best for my interest. With that said, I am from a well-mannered, supportive, disciplined, strict and loving family… When I got to Grade 12, I realised that I really loved economics as a subject even though English was also one of my favourite subjects.

“What really made a difference are the excellent and diligent teachers at Forte, who have created an environment in which every subject became my favourite. How?… All my teachers, especially Grade 12 teachers, ensured that I had a deep understanding of what I was learning about, which made everything more simple. This was also made possible by my school principal, Mr Mudavhi, who played a good leadership role throughout the year. One word that I always use to describe my parents, Forte’s teachers and stuff, is the word ‘the best’,” she says.

When it comes to overcoming challenges in her matric year, she reveals that time management and emotional well-being were some of the biggest challenges for her.

“One of the greatest challenges I faced during my matric year was time management and emotional instability. In matric, a lot of work is given to you in all your subjects. I was doing eight, so you have to balance your social life, your well-being and your education. I overcame that challenge by staying spiritually intact (praying and making time to attend my spiritual institution) and making the right choices. I chose to prioritise education.

“As time went by, I was really overwhelmed by all the work which caused emotional instability, but my parents and teachers gave me the support that I needed to stay on track. Most importantly, I stayed confident,” she adds.

“The biggest lesson I have learnt in 2023 was that setting parameters for myself is of paramount importance. This is because without boundaries you are unable to stay disciplined, unable to reach your goals and avoid distractions,“ she says.

The Star

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