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Hero #2 - Environmental Graduate pays it forward

Updated: Jul 7, 2022

29 JUNE 2022, PHILIPPI, Cape Town

Amanda Msolo promotes biodiversity by planting plant species that are indigenous to South Africa and specifically the Cape Flats bio. In the near future, Amanda hopes to address the unemployment of young graduates by starting her landscaping firm dedicated to job creation for graduates to obtain experience in a tough economic climate.

“My parents were pressuring me to go out and find a job as if it is something you just go out and do and come back with a salary, but that is not how it works. Competition is fierce and there are so many people applying for one position. I found myself in a very dark place of having to find a job. Every opportunity requires experience. None of the jobs I had like working at Shoprite or bartending helped and did not apply where it mattered" - says Amanda

Amanda Msolo is the second of the unsung heroes to be featured in the #BeMyHero#ChangeTheFuture campaign which launched on Youth Day 2022.

She has directly supported more than 120 high school learners to date at Sophumelela Secondary and Zisukhanyo Secondary in Samora Machel, a low-income urban and semi-urban area in Cape Town's Cape Flats region currently supported by the SAEP after-school program called Hope Scholars.

YES! I want to help a hero like Amanda change the future!

Amanda creates a support base for high school learners with Academic Support, Life Skills, and Psychosocial support while establishing referral pathways to mentors and coaches. "The most powerful thing you can do for a high school learner is to help them with their self-awareness and self-confidence” - says Amanda.

"SAEP gave me a platform to discover me, I didn't know who I was. Today I have a better idea of self and what I what to achieve” - she added.

Amanda had her first engagement with SAEP as a beneficiary of the Bridging Year Programme. She did not become a hero because she graduated in Landscape Architecture in 2020 and now shares her knowledge to inspire high school learners. She became a hero because of her passion, perseverance and ability to persist despite her challenges.

She was born in Makhaza, Khayelitsha in Cape Town, and attended grade 8 to grade 10 at Harry Gwala High School in Makhaza. Amanda met a boy in 2012, however, her parents were not in support of her relationship and In 2013 decided to send her to boarding school in the Eastern Cape where she completed grades 11 and 12 and matriculated in 2015.

Initially, Amanda enrolled at a College to study Human Resources and dropped out after completing only one year of the three-year qualification. She later applied to Cape Town University of Technology (CPUT) for landscape architecture, nature conservation, and biomedical sciences. She was accepted for the first two options and elected to proceed with a National Diploma in Landscape architecture which she completed in 2020.

Amanda graduated online due to COVID restrictions, a point she still feels sensitive about today. After graduation, she applied for the WESSA Groen Sebenza internship program and was successfully awarded a 1-year internship.

Amanda continues to host regular environmental excursions to expose learners to the natural environment.

“I Feel I love helping people. Helping people makes me feel productive, I want other kids to have the opportunities that I didn’t have. If I knew why I was doing science in high school I would have been more clear on what to study after school. So today I am helping learners realise who they are and what they want to do and not to waste time moving from course to course like I did” she concluded.

YES! I want to help a hero like Amanda change the future!

Hero #1 Story

YES! I want to help a hero like Amanda change the future!


Campaign or Hero-related queries:

Mr Shane Everts, Head of Communications and Fundraising, South African Education Project (SAEP) 082 537 8721,

Technical Education-related queries:

Mr Donavan Fullard, Chief Executive Officer, South African Education Project (SAEP)


A multi-cohort program promoting access and better education outcomes among children and young adolescents in Philippi.

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