How 17-year-old Gabriella Mogale Makes Shacks Fire-Resistant

The future is bright. Indeed, South Africa has uncovered a superhuman understudy who is prepared to change the nation: Gabriella Mogale has a thought that could spare a huge number of lives…

As reported by Herald Live, the Collegiate High School learner from Welkom knows a thing or two about growing up in tough conditions. She’s been poor all her life, and facing the disadvantages of poverty has made Mogale the person she is today.

The star pupil, who is considering a career in mathematics and science, was watching TV last year when reports of the Knysna Fires started filtering through. She watched as the blaze ripped through settlements, and devastated townships.

How Gabriella Mogale was inspired by the Knysna Fires
Many of us watched on feeling helpless. But that’s what makes Gabriella so exceptional. She was stirred to do something about it.

The disaster coincided with a deadline for her school project. Inspired by what she’d seen on the news, the Grade 12 learner asked what she could do about it and coined this two-part solution.

Fire-resistant shacks
On the inside of a shack, Mogale designed a mixture of recyclable substances that would be painted onto the corrugated iron. This also helps to insulate the structure during colder months.

On the exterior, a cement-based paint solution would be used to make the shacks totally resistant to the spread of fires from elsewhere. The damage wildfires do to these settlements can thus be significantly reduced.

Gabriella told the Herald Live that she’s always had a desire to help others. She was overjoyed with the reception her project has received:

“You never think you would create or do something great until you do it. And having come from a disadvantaged background, I have always wanted to be that person who is going to change the lives of someone who was like me.”

Learning from our learners
Certainly, Mogale’s message is one we can all live by: That niggling issue of self-doubt needs to be ignored. The only way you know you can achieve something is by actually having the guts to do it.

There’s no official word on how and when her solution will be used. But the sooner we can keep our most vulnerable members of society safe, the better.

Written by Mathew

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