Miss Semakaleng Sma Mothapo
- Countess Global, 3rd Runner up, Miss Trans Global 2020
When you combine civic leadership and entrepreneurship, you get Semakaleng Mothapo, commonly known as “Sma”.
Sma is a born and bred South African woman from the tourism town called Bela-Bela in Limpopo, she was shaped by the context of a divided and unequal society; the on-going struggle for social justice and inclusion; the journey towards body reconciliation, soul, spirit, gender identity and sexuality.
She has a BA(Hon) Degree in Social Work from the University of South Africa ,and a short courses in Small Business Development from Small Enterprise Development Agency and National Youth Development Agency .
She is a model and a 2018 Mandela Washington fellow from the University of Nevada school of business at the United States of America. She is the 2019 Victory Triangle Political Leadership fellow and the 2020 Isibindi Changer Maker Fellow. Her career has straddled both small business and civil society. She joined the social services profession in 2009 and has worked in various projects such as HIV/AIDS, poverty alleviation, Skills development to Gender & Sexual diversity programmes.
She ventured into entrepreneurship in 2015 with a focus on property and township tourism as a way of contributing towards the economy of South Africa and mitigating the prevalence of youth unemployment in South Africa with more emphasis on young men and women regardless of their sexualities and gender identities.
She is the founder & Director of an enterprise called M Court based in Bela-Bela, which provides high quality tourism venues and activities in townships and villages while promoting remote areas as a tourist destination. At the moment the enterprise is a township tour operator in Bela-Bela, who’s main goal is to give domestic and international tourists authentic township experiences. Where they give guided township historic tours using a combination of a custom made white leather seats donkey cart ride, public taxi ride and a walking tour.
She is also the founder and director of a non-profit organisation under the flagship of her brand. The goal of the non-profit organisation is to improve the livelihoods of young people living in Bela-Bela Township.
She is currently authoring her first memoir titled “Behind the Power Suit” and runs her own online talk show titled Dine with Sma, which was developed for the purpose of interrogating statements and answering questions about gender and sexual diversity.
She has been featured in National and International newspapers such as the SOWETAN, made television appearances on TV3 in Ghana and the SABC2 show Dare to Change.
She believes that a person exist because of others and that all human have a vital part to play in this ever-changing universe. She believes that the struggle for freedom and liberation cannot be completed until all human have experienced true freedom, for as long as there are those who remain in bondage, we can never be truly free. The struggle for inclusiveness and affirmation with regards to human sexuality in all its diversity; the ability to identify with the gender one is comfortable with despite one’s embodiment; and the freedom to be in love with the human one loves are not divorced from the other intersections that make us human in this complex world.
Sma is a transgender woman, willing to die for her rights to exist, she remains committed to being an advocate for economic, political & social change, equal access and social inclusion for all human beings.