How many people get to share their graduation stage with former South African state president, now UNISA chancellor – Thabo Mbeki. This was the dream that Nolo Pebetse Matlaila (Mokgadi) got to live out on her recent graduation day with UNISA. The beautiful and talented Nolo shares with us her inspiring educational journey and how she juggles this and being the latest addition to the drama and scandal filled Maputla family.

What Qualification did you acquire? From which institution?

I have just recently acquired a Bachelors Degree in Health Sciences Specialising in Psychology with UNISA. My previous qualification was a certificate in radio presenting and production with On Cue Communication.

What job aspirations do you have? Are they in line with your qualification?

Job aspirations, I have so many strange ones, lol. My IG bio is actually a slight giveaway. Growing up, I have always wanted to be doctor, but something changed my mind in the last year of matric. Today I am qualified in many fields of work and currently furthering my studies with a diploma in education high learning. I am addicted to self development, I don’t believe in standing still or doing one thing at a time. Our human minds are capable of being utilized both creatively and academically. The journey that I have traveled this far has lead me to the craft of acting. I have always promised myself that whatever I do I want to eventually be one of the best at it. So I am currently polishing my craft as an upcoming thespian.

Why did you feel it was important to complete your degree/diploma? Is there a personal story to it?

Yes there is actually. My main reason was to make my daughter proud. Kids often do as we do and not as we say, so I wanted to be a great example for her. Now despite the fact that my line of work is in the entertainment industry, my parents continuously reminded me that always finish what you have started. This was the case so that one day if I have to advice my children or any other child for that matter to complete or further their education I would be exemplary. I also believe that this degree in psychology will one day gel into my career ventures within this entertainment industry. I love working with people and I love to help people grow.

How important would you say education is in our society today?

With both my parents affectionately known by their students as their best teachers, growing up I was obliged to take education seriously. I always knew I would have to further my studies after high school not necessarily to please my parents to also secure my future independence. Besides, Nelson Mandela said it himself, “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world”.

What advice do you have for young learners who aren’t sure of what they want to study after leaving High School?

I would advice that if you are not sure what you want to study, don’t sit around waiting to figure it out. Find a job and work so you qualify yourself with another skill in the meantime, between time. Until the eureka moments come to you. When I finished high school I also didn’t know what I wanted to study, that led me to taking a gap, where I went to live in The United States of America through a cultural exchange program working as an Au-Pair, which is just a fancy word for a live-in tutor and Nanny.

What advice do you have for young ladies, especially at the back of all the recent crimes against women and children?

Its a sad reality that has become clear that we as women can no longer place too much trust in men. Most especially we young females, we cannot place the security of our future in the hands of another man. By so doing so, we will eventually play into the hands of their mercy and abuse then become inevitable. I encourage all females to also speak out or become whistle blowers on any abuse or malicious act that they can see or experience before its too late. We need to look out for each other. With the recent unfortunate events of violence/ abuse/ brutality/ kidnapping & human trafficking reported, it is up to us to take matters into our own hands in creating our own ideal Utopia.

Catch Nolo doing her thing every Monday – Friday at 18:30 on SABC1.

Also catch up with her on social media, Twitter: @NoloMatlaila and on IG:Pebetsi_m