William Thapelo Mashaba, Drama Director, Bokamoso Youth Centre
Born in Winterveldt in 1985, Thapelo is an accomplished musician who dreams of owning his own recording studio. He is the music and drama director of the Bokamoso Youth Centre. He says the most challenging aspect of the position is working as a group to choose which songs they will perform because limited time means they must leave out so many songs they love.
Thapelo graduated from the Centre’s program after joining LoveLife at the suggestion of a friend. After graduation he trained in child care through a post high school program funded by the South African government.
His mentor was a social worker. He completed the child care program in 2004 and became a youth mentor and facilitator for the Bokamoso Youth Centre in 2005. Also, in 2005 he worked in acting and directing with another local workshop. In 2006 and 2007, Thapelo came to D.C. with the Bokamoso tours staying with the Davis family and Petersen families. In 2011, he became the Centre’s drama and music director.
Thapelo and his wife are the proud parents of two young children. With his earnings, Thapelo has purchased property in Winterveldt and dreams of providing better housing for others. He loves history and poetry, as well as music, and reads extensively. Often, Thapelo journeys to the nearby community of Soshanguve to participate in their radio station’s “open mike” performance opportunities broadcasting on Saturday afternoons. His family has known many tragedies including the death of his father who was killed while riding in a taxi when his driver was shot. Thapelo has an older brother and two older sisters.