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Lebo Ramafoko

Soul City Institute
Executive Director
South Africa

Lebogang Ramafoko is currently the CEO at the Soul City Institute for health and development organization. As the CEO, she is the custodian of strategic direction of the organisation and accountability officer for the programmatic, operational and financial aspects of the organisation.

Lebogang Ramafoko joined the Soul City Institute in 1995 as a young graduate and social activist who was keen to contribute to the rebuilding of a country that was ravaged by the Apartheid legacy. Armed with a degree in Education and a passion for youth, she loved the opportunity thatSoul City offered her to create life skills learning materials for youth in order to build their self-esteem, prevent illnesses like HIV and build the resilience they need to live to their full potential.

Before becoming the CEO at Soul City, Lebo had worked in different capacities in the organisation, giving her practical skills and experience in the actual development of various social and behavior change tools that included television dramas, print booklets specially designed for low literacy end-users, radio dramas, and talkshows. Lebogang also pioneered a world first community reality show, which challenged members of communities to work together to make their communities look better, feel better and work better. This show became one of Soul City’s flagship programs and brought together various partners from government, civil society and business to help 5 communities in South Africa transform themselves. It became a learning experience on the challenges of community development and the concepts and principles used in the show were incorporated in Project Mikondzo, a development project of the Department of Social Development. 

Apart from her work at Soul City, Lebogang became a household name amongst youth through the role she played in a daily youth magazine show as an “Agony Aunt”. In this role, young people would write to her and ask advice on various topics ranging from sexuality, career guidance and dealing with parents. She performed this role on the youth TV show and also added giving advice via email. In 2005, the Nelson Mandela Foundation asked her to continue that role via the 46664 website. She performed this role until 2010 when the Foundation changed strategic direction with the website. Until then, she had offered a lot of advice to youth from all over the world.

Lebogang is an outspoken gender activist and in her work at Soul City has become the voice of issues facing women and young girls. Through a grant that the organization received from the Global Fund for HIV prevention in young women and girls between the ages of 15 to 24 years old, Lebogang will be returning to the television screen as a co-host of an intergenerational talkshow that will support the Rise Young Women’s Clubs. The show will be a platform to raise some of the structural drivers of HIV such as inequality, gender based violence etc.   

Apart from her work, Lebogang is a passionate and proud mother to her two beautiful children who inspire her to work tirelessly to make South Africa a better and more equitable place to live in. 

Tuesday, February 9

08:30 EAT