Serving the SANDF with pride.

Pte Kabelo Meshack Tsogang
Article and photos by Pte Moeketsi Dlamini, Regiment De La Rey

Many people might not see the opportunities offered by the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) but not so Pte Kabelo Meshack Tsogang, who is from Mahikeng in the North West Province. After he matriculated in 2005 he went to college for Computer Studies, but owing to financial constraints was not able to pursue his tertiary aspirations. He is outspoken, disciplined and intelligent, a young soldier with a big heart and he attributes his success to the SA Infantry Corps. He was always fascinated by the image and discipline of the military and this prompted him to join the Military Skills Development System (MSDS) in 2007. He completed his Military Basic Training and Infantry Corps courses at Infantry School.  

He took part in combat readiness training in Exercise SEBOKA with 10 SA Infantry Battalion (10 SAI Bn) in 2007 and was later deployed to the Sudan. After the two-year MSDS contract ended he joined the SANDF Reserves at Regiment De la Rey. He was deployed to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) with 8 SAI Bn and soon realised that the SA Army was an agile, balanced, flexible and cohesive force with rapidly deployable capabilities, which made it suitable to engage in conventional and peace support operations as it was led by well trained, educated and visionary leaders capable of dealing successfully with issues that are complex, uncertain and volatile during the execution of their command.  

According to Pte Tsogang young people should achieve basic leadership skills and take our country to new heights. He added that young people should not withhold their potential as individuals and should use the opportunity to be challenged. Pte Tsogang said: “Do not fear to fail or to make mistakes, rather take up the challenge so that you are able to gauge yourself, your weaknesses and your strong points. Being aware of your weaknesses will help you to remedy them and allow you to become a better person for the future.”  

In April 2013 Defence Corporate Communication (DCC) implemented the Youth Employment Strategy as internship programme for graduates. This pilot programme is aimed at empowering interns with working experience in the corporate communication fields, namely media liaison, visits and events, at the DOD Info Centre and at SA Soldier.

This internship programme is an indication that the SANDF is reaching out with its youth development initiative. Pte Tsogang is currently working as an intern journalist at SA Soldier at DCC. He is passionate about his work. His vision and versatility are reflected in his work and he is inspired by role models within the environment: those who earned their success through honest and hard work, not through criminality and corruption.  

However, the energy and ideologies of the past should now be transformed into creating a better life for the youth and we should stop blaming the Government or expecting it to deliver everything for us. Success and wealth logically are an end result of hard work, perseverance and positive thinking. The SANDF is in favour of the further development of young skilled people within the organisation.