Service above self for Kea

“Helping others gives me an adrenaline rush. I love giving, it is part of something bigger than myself.”

Kea Mokoka (16)

Kea Mokoka (16), a Grade 11 student at the Mountain Cambridge School is the president of Rotary’s Interact Club for high school students and was one of the founders of the school’s club in 2021.

“I was looking for a project for the President’s Award which is the South African version of the Duke of Edinburgh Award. I needed somewhere to do community service. Teacher Terri Gil told me about Rotary’s Interact Club and suggested I join. And that was it. We founded the club and I loved it from the start. It makes me feel good to give, even small things like helping a child with homework or walking the dogs at HAWS. Little things can mean a lot,” she says.

The club’s community service includes the annual Rotary plant sale, House Lesedi for abandoned babies, HAWS and other outreaches like Free on a Tree where they collect clothing for those in need. “We also have a big Polio Drive in October. Then there is also our environmental service where we pick up litter and do our part to look after the environment.”

She said her involvement in Rotary and appointment as president was a pleasant surprise to her parents. “For me it was very humbling to be chosen as president, showing that my peers believe in my leadership ability. The club is currently 65 strong which is fantastic in a small school like ours. I am working towards growing the club until the whole school is involved. That would be ideal. I want to thank my fellow board members for helping me. We are an amazing team and a beautiful force that will continue to spread a culture of giving back.”

Kea is a hard-working student, drum majorette and an accomplished piano player. She plans to study either aesthetic medicine or medical law. “I know it is two very different careers, but I can see myself in both. I still have a year to decide,” she says.

Her parents were surprised by her appointment as president. “However, my parents’ motto towards their children is to do things for ourselves and not for them. We are being encouraged to be our true selves.”

She will stay involved with Rotary after leaving school. “I have found a platform from where I can do my part to help others. I firmly believe in giving back.”