Thabo Skotoyi started a project called Madtasc Programme in 2013 in Khayelitsha. He then became part of the Educo Africa Sihambela Phambili Programme, because he thought it was a platform for networking, and for an opportunity for his organisation to be taken to the next level.
In an interview with one of the Madtasc programmes’s participants, 12-year-old Masithembe shares his experience about how the Madtasc Programme has impacted his life.
What is your name and tell us what is Madtasc?
My name is Masithembe Bozana, I am 12 years old and I go to Isiphiwo Primary School where I am in Grade 7. Madtasc Programme is at my school. This Programme is all about education, teaching children how to overcome the challenges they currently face and it also helps me engage more with my parents through Parent- Child Workshops.
When and why did you join this Programme?
I joined the Madtasc Programmes in 2013.There were 35 learners including myself that were selected. When I joined Madtasc, I had a different character. I was this over-excited boy who liked to tease my peers and who would seek attention from the crowd in a negative way. My happiness came from teasing others and not considering how they would feel about it. I even joined Madtasc to have fun more than to focus on what they came to teach us. My best buddy did exactly the same. We stay in the same area and we would both bunk the programme sometimes.
One day, Thabo Skotoyi called me and spoke with me about my behaviour. He asked me important questions like; “Where do I think my behaviour is taking me?”, and “Would I appreciate the kind of attitude from the other person being done to me?”. He told me that I am experiencing peer pressure and that he is going to help me through it. He also called my friend aside and spoke to him. After that, my behaviour changed in a positive way. I was made the new president of the Madtasc Programme. My friend also improved his attitude towards other people.
What is the highlights and challenge you face in the Programme?
What I love about Madtasc is the fact that our teachers motivate us. The Programme helps us in our Mathematics and English, and our self-confidence of standing in front of a crowd. When my 2 year old sister died from lung failure in February, Thabo knew that there was something wrong and asked me what was bothering me, so I told him about it. He is a great mentor!
There are challenges that the Programme experiences. One is that the Madtasc Programme only operates 1 hour a day 3 times a week. I wish it can be more. This is because there are not enough teachers.
Another challenge is that there is no food provided in the program and this resulted in people leaving. The learners join other Programmes such as Soul Buddies and Dance groups where they receive food. We are currently 21 active members in the programme.
The reason why I am still here is because I get food of the brain and I adapt it in my life. When I head to Secondary School and Tertiary I will still participate in the Madtasc Programmes.
When I reach Grade 10, I also want to start teaching at Madtasc until I finish my tertiary education. I feel that I owe it to the programme, my school and my community.