Tiisetso Thekoeng

The Toffee Brand

@thetoffeebrand

Untapped Minds: High School Critical Thinking Challenge. The primary objective of this project is to assess and enhance critical thinking skills among South African high school students. Through a multiple-choice quiz that combines questions on mathematics, general knowledge, and English, I aim to engage students in an activity that promotes problem-solving and innovative thinking. This pilot project also aims to highlight the need for more extracurricular activities in public schools and explore how the South African education system can be improved to foster innovation and creativity. Thank you @IkamvaYouthMahikeng for having me. #accordingtotoffee #studytoksa #Edutok #TikTokSA

♬ original sound - UBUNTU EDITS🇿🇦

What does your company do?

As a content creator and education activist, my journey began with a deep commitment to empowering disadvantaged youth in my community. Initially, I volunteered as a tutor and mentor at a local youth center, providing academic support and guidance to students who needed it most. This grassroots involvement highlighted the significant disparities in educational opportunities and resources available to South African students, particularly those from underserved backgrounds. Recognizing the need to reach a broader audience, I launched The Toffee Brand on TikTok, a social media platform popular among high school students in South Africa. The primary aim of The Toffee Brand is to bridge the educational gap by leveraging the power of social media to connect with and support young people in navigating their academic journeys. Mission and Activities: Educational Content Creation: I create engaging and informative content that helps students manage their academic life. This includes study tips, exam preparation strategies, and subject-specific tutorials designed to make learning accessible and enjoyable. Information Dissemination: I share valuable information about educational opportunities, scholarships, and resources that South African students can utilize to enhance their academic and career prospects. Interactive Support: I actively engage with my audience by responding to messages, direct messages (DMs), and inquiries related to their educational concerns. This personalized interaction ensures that students receive the guidance they need in real-time. Mentorship and Motivation: Beyond academic support, I provide mentorship and motivational content aimed at inspiring students to overcome challenges and pursue their goals with confidence and determination.

What is your biggest success?

While there hasn't been a single defining moment in my journey as an education activist and content creator, my greatest achievement lies in the daily impact I make on the lives of young people. Every "thank you" I receive from students reassures me that I am fulfilling my mandate. Collaborating with reputable brands like Old Mutual and StudyTrust has highlighted that my work is being recognized and valued. Being part of conversations about education in South Africa, especially during significant events like Youth Month in 2023 where I was invited to speak on educational topics, further confirms the difference I'm making. Hearing from students who gain university admission or secure bursaries because of the information I share is incredibly fulfilling. For instance, when the Northwest Department of Health opened applications for the Northwest School of Nursing, my promotion of the opportunity led to a significant increase in applications. Liaising with officials to streamline the application process and answer students' queries underscored the tangible impact of my efforts. These collective experiences and acknowledgments affirm that my work is making a meaningful difference in the lives of South African youth.

What has been your biggest hurdle?

My biggest hurdle has been managing my capacity as I balance my professional career with my passion for education activism. As a graduate working in the health and pharmaceutical industry, I often find myself inundated with messages from young people seeking guidance. Unfortunately, due to my job's demands, I sometimes cannot respond to everyone promptly or engage as extensively as I would like. I dream of establishing a mentorship club for daily interactions with the youth, but my current professional commitments make this challenging. Additionally, while I believe strongly in the value of in-person interactions—where young people feel more comfortable asking questions—my limited time means I can't always be physically present. Despite these constraints, I make every effort to visit local NGOs and schools whenever possible to engage directly with students. This hands-on approach is crucial, as it creates a more personal and impactful connection.