‘Gold-youth helped boost my self-esteem’ – Mabeka Kapelan’ga

 ‘Gold-youth helped boost my self-esteem’ – Mabeka Kapelan’ga

Peer education is a key to bolster young learners’ self-esteem, enhance scholarly achievement, and encourage positive behaviour change. As a method, it has helped young people to desist from bad vices and instills confidence in them to overcome peer pressure. This is the story of Mabeka Kapelan’ga whose life has greatly been impacted through gold Youth Development Agency (gold-youth)’s programme. Mabeka’s journey began as a gold Peer Educator through to him now being part of gold Grads, the programme’s alumni group.

He narrates his story: “In 2018, I was fortunate enough to join the gold Programme as a junior Peer Educator at Chingola Secondary. Before I found gold-youth, I had issues of insecurities around my fellow peers such that my social life and schoolwork was affected. As a young person I wanted to be accepted and feel secure so I surrounded myself with characters that were into drugs and other harmful behaviours. As time passed, I also became an addict, and that was the beginning of the end for me. My confidence plummeted, and I spent most of my time indoors, avoiding human interaction. I had lost any ability to defend myself. I used to put on a brave face for everyone, but deep down I was completely unraveling.  I was fortunate enough to join the gold Programme, being selected following an interview.
The only reason I signed up for the programme was for some light entertainment, but I had no idea that that moment would mark the beginning of a major turning point in my life. Following my commitment to the programme’s skills training sessions, outreaches, and other activities, I found that my perspective began to shift. Our Facilitators gave talks on a wide range of subjects, including leadership, ethics, drug usage, and gangster culture. These themes were reflective of the problems most young people encounter on a daily basis.  The lesson titled “My self-esteem and vision” was the highlight of my training as a Peer Educator. I listened carefully, and what I discovered was all I required to launch my personal transformation. In the wake of that realization, I no longer have any self-dislike. My academic performance also improved as a result of my new-found confidence in public speaking.

During sessions, I was given an opportunity to perform presentations and offer lectures to my peers, and this really boosted my self-esteem, helping me overcome my low self-view and quit hanging out with drug abusers and gang members. Thanks to the programme, my improved demeanor was recognized by my peers, and I was selected to serve as a school prefect. Due to my growing leadership abilities, I was given the opportunity to speak on behalf of my fellow students.

After four years as a gold Peer Educator, I was also given the opportunity to train in microbusiness, at which I excelled. As a result, I have been granted a position as a Junior Facilitator Intern for the year 2023. I appreciate all the support I’ve received from gold-youth and hope that many other young people in my generation will have the chance to join this wonderful, youth-centred organization.

gold Youth Development Agency is a non-profit organization implementing a youth peer education model that has shown positive results in Africa’s impoverished communities in social behaviour change, improved education and employment opportunities.

Visit www.goldyouth.org for more information.

Facebook: @goldyouth.org

Instagram: @goldyouthdevelopment

Twitter: @gold_youth

Alice Nachilembe


Alice Nachilembe is a Journalist who yearns for a better country with leaders being accountable to their mandate without oppressing the governed.