Ep98. Choose to Be The Person You Want to Be, with Gugu Malope, Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls


“You need to push yourself because when those doors open,
they fling open and if it’s not a door that’s open, there’s a window you can squeeze into usually.”

- Gugu Malope, Ep98. The Monica Kade Podcast


In Episode 98 of The Monica Kade Podcast we talk to Gugu Malope, our fourth conversation in the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls series. 

My conversation 'Choose to Be The Person You Want to Be' with Gugu was truly eye-opening. It forced me to take a deep look at my life, at the world around me and to remember that no matter where we come from, we have the power to choose.

We can look at where we are and know there is something more for us and we can step toward it, or we can stay put. Our power lies in the way we choose to respond to what is.

Meet Gugu Vivica Malope. She was born in the small town of Middelburg, Mpumalanga but raised by her grandmother in Johannesburg. She is part of the 2014 graduating class, The O'Paragons of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls. 

"Leadership isn’t making people follow you and your ideologies—although that could be  a component—I don’t think that’s what it is. For me, at its core, leadership is leading yourself and then inspiring people around you to almost take what they can from the way you live, to implement it on themselves."

- Gugu Malope, Ep98. The Monica Kade Podcast

Gugu started her journey at OWLAG in 2008 where she was active in the leadership, sports and cultural facets of the school. She played netball, was part of the senior debating team, choir and Marimba ensemble. She continued her studies at the University of the Witwatersrand, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Media Studies. She is currently studying towards her Honours in Media Studies at University of South Africa (UNISA). 

Her career in IT services began in 2018 through the Dimension Data Graduate Accelerate Programme and is now an Enterprise Client Manager at the Dimension Data subsidiary Internet Solutions.  This conversation will change the way you look at your life. You cannot walk away not appreciating what you have. If you do, you haven’t truly listened to her story.


Learn About

  1. What is was like to be raised by her grandmother?
  2. The upbringing and approach to life her grandmother imparted with her.
  3. Her funny story about applying to OWLAG?
  4. What it felt like and what it meant for her and her family to be accepted into OWLAG.
  5. What leadership means to Gugu.
  6. How Gugu fosters leadership in her daily life?
  7. The number one life lesson OWLAG taught her.
  8. What Gugu has learned about herself having achieved so much academically?
  9. Why she loves the possibilities in IT.
  10. Her big vision for her life?
  11. Who is one of her greatest mentors in life so far? What they supported her to realise?
  12. How Gugu yearns to change the world?
  13. Gugu’s one piece of self-acquired wisdom for you about chasing your dream.


Signature Questions

1. Sunset or sunrise, and why?
2. What she’s afraid of?
3. The piece of wisdom she’s been given that she lives by?