Reekelitsoe Molapo

Roles at NAAEE:

30 Under 30

Co-Founder & Director
Conservation Music Lesotho

Lesotho

Rex (she/her) is an environmental activist confronting environmental and humanitarian disasters through the catalytic power of music.

How are you using education to build more sustainable and equitable communities?

OMOE follow-up survey with young girls in Malealea. Photo credit: Conservation Music I use education to build more sustainable and equitable communities by incorporating the education for sustainable development (ESD) approach in my organization’s programs. I also believe in the catalytic power of music to transform minds, educate, and inspire action, as it crosses all boundaries, cultures, and ideas. I am a firm believer in employing creative and innovative approaches to solving the world’s current problems and that is what I have been doing for the past few years, promoting environmental education through music. My environmental education work, through Conservation Music Lesotho, involves projects with communities, schools, artists, government ministries, youth, and children especially from rural and peri-urban areas. This is done through eco-concerts, musical workshops, impact media production and classroom resources. Past key projects I have done with my team include Our Music, Our Environment which was sponsored by National Geographic, and enviro school tours that were supported by the US Embassy Maseru. Overall, through various activities, my organization has impacted about 8,000 people, inclusive of students and community members, engaged with 10 schools from different districts, has had a 70% learning ratio from its educational programs, collaborated with more than 20 artists and creatives, worked with three key international development partners, and received five international recognitions.

Tell us about your journey to where you are today.

An EE session with pupils from a local primary school. Photo credit: Retšepile Rammoko Growing up as a child, I remember that most of my learning came about through music. My recollections date back to my childhood, from learning the alphabet in school, to learning about my tradition and culture as an African child through song. Today, those songs are still very fresh in my memory. I have no doubts about the power of music and the impact it has on the human brain and have since learned more about the scientific research that backs this up. As I grew older, I fell more in love with music and pursued it in various ways in my life. However, after a series of negative experiences within the music industry, I left that life behind. Years later, after attending a conservation music event in my hometown, I realized that my voice could be used for something bigger⁠—something meaningful. As I realized this, I learned more about the importance of a livable climate, and healthy planet. Eventually, in 2017 I co-founded Conservation Music Lesotho, an organization that produces and promotes musical media that educates listeners and viewers on environmental issues, with an emphasis on youth and children from rural developing communities.

A LITTLE MORE ABOUT ME

What advice would you give to the next generation of leaders?

Invest in yourself and adopt a continuous learning mindset.

What’s something that can always make you laugh?

Funny videos and memes.

What’s a passion project of yours outside of your work?

My green start-up company, Alternatives Co.

What song or artist has uplifted you lately?

Celebration by Joeboy

What’s one of the key skills to develop as a leader?

Emotional intelligence