KNOW YOUR LEADER   Gaolatlhe Kgabo: ANC Regional Secretary Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati

The African National Congress (ANC) in Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati region has produced the youngest Regional Secretary in the country. 
The 29-year-old Gaolatlhe Kgabo was elected regional secretary during the ANC’s regional conference held at the Christian All Seasons Resort in Christiana two weeks ago.
Kgabo, who regards himself as a Marxist-Leninist scholar with a scientific approach to life in general, believes that the world is constantly changing and people need to adapt to those changes as “agents of transformation”. He said he is also a human rights activist who vehemently opposes the abuse of women and children.
“I have a conviction that all challenges facing us as the people of South Africa and the world are systematic and structural. I am a political activist who is practical and dedicated to change. I started my political activism at the age of 15 when I joined a gallant revolutionary student movement, Congress of South African Students (Cosas) back in 2004,” Kgabo told Mogolodi this week. 
“I was a learner at Lerona Secondary School at Utlwanang township in Christiana. I decided to join school politics after we encountered unequal skewed curriculum and lack of necessary tools of trade to simplify teaching and learning processes. The Lerona School was the only secondary in our area,” he said.
Kgabo added that overcrowding was a challenge as learners were cooped up like sardines in classrooms. He said the school had no computer laboratory, library or sports facilities and teached untransformed curriculum.
“The situation really triggered my consciousness knowing that access to quality education is a privilege. During my primary school days, I had an opportunity to attend a multiracial school in Bloemhof, whereby we were between 30 and 40 in a class with a curriculum that involved both theory and practice, and a computer lab.
“The situation made me curious as to what informs this unequal society. I began to be critical about the situation because being quiet results in the reproduction of poverty and inequality. I am a political activist who has received the necessary ideological training from intellectuals like Mphato Morapedi Melamu,” said Kgabo.
The young politician joined the Young Communist League of South Africa (YCLSA) in 2009 and established the first YCLSA structure in Christiana. He was then elected YCLSA district secretary in J Nkosi district, the current Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati region, in 2012.
“I was later elected YCLSA provincial chairman in Bokone Bophirima until 2016. I joined the ANC Youth League and ANC in 2007 where I was later appointed ANC Branch task team member in 2009.
“I was also elected ANC branch chairman in 2010 until 2014 at Johnny Pitso Branch in Christiana. I was elected ANC sub-regional chairman in Lekwa-Teemane and now I am serving as a councillor in Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati District municipality since 2016,” he said.
Kgabo is a Member of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) responsible for Engineering and Technical Services in that municipality. He was also elected SACP District Executive Committee member in 2016. 
He said he believes that the ANC should have long allowed a breath of fresh air and accepted that the world’s population is getting younger.
“I am grateful for being elected ANC regional secretary in Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati region. The ANC should reflect the society that it seeks to build. I believe in science, so the old is bound to die and the youth must take over. It is not a coincidence that I am the youngest regional secretary. In fact, I believe that this is a sign that the ANC is starting to get younger. It is imperative to change the landscape of politics in our country,” he said. 
Kgabo was raised by a truck driver father and a housekeeper mother. 
“I grew up on a farm in the Free State province and I could see what my parents were subjected to,” Kgabo said.
He said most of black people experienced the inhumane oppressive apartheid system for years. A father of a four-year-old daughter, Kgabo said young people need to take education seriously.
“I believe that we need to be vibrant, militant and eager to learn more as young people. I enjoy reading and I grew up playing cricket. I am also extremely adventurous and I believe that we can change the world and our livelihood using education as a tool.
“Education broadens your understanding of life. We need to understand how the world operates to sharpen our approach”.
He passed Grade 12 in 2006, but says he could not pursue tertiary education studies at the time due to the family’s financial constraints.
He is, however, now a first-year BA Degree in Public Administration student at North West University (NWU).
Kgabo said he wants to complete his Masters Degree before turns 35. He also plans to have a non-profit organisation to address several issues that affect ordinary people in their daily lives.