On 17 January 2013 at 18h57, the first live TV ad in South African history was aired across SABC1, 2, 3, e.tv, M-Net, kykNET, Mzansi Magic, Vuzu and SuperSport. It disrupted normal programming for three minutes and featured a remarkable teenager named Kelly Baloyi, who delivered a speech to the entire nation.

View the ad here:

Biography – Kelly Baloyi

Kelly Sandra Baloyi was born in Nkowankowa, Limpopo on 15 February 1995. She is the daughter of Nstako Happy Baloyi, a Soweto-born, Shangaan man, and Sandra Baloyi, a coloured woman who was born in Cape Town.

She was enrolled in Simonsberg Primary in Kraaifontein, where from a young age her leadership skills where noticed. It was in grade 5 that she was first confronted with her race and identity, when her peers laughed at her because her father was black. When Kelly asked her father, “What am I?”, he simply told her that she could be whatever she wanted to be. At the end of her primary school years, she was elected Deputy Head Girl. Kelly commenced her secondary education at Monument Park High School, where she helped set up a ‘Culture Club’, which entailed public speaking, debate, prose and poetry. Kelly never held back when it came to voicing her opinion and was elected for three consecutive years to the representative council of learners, to speak on behalf of her peers. Her passion for change, voice and politics landed her on the Cape Town Junior City Council, where she was elected chairperson of her subcouncil.

But this was not enough for a determined person like Kelly, she felt that she could do more. In November 2011, she started selling curry bunnies to raise funds for the Stand Out Youth Campaign that she founded. They hold outreaches that accommodate over 200 young people at a time and help empower the youth of her community.

Her leadership, resilience and personality helped her become the first black head girl in the history of her school. Kelly believes in action and voice, and is inspired by those who fought for, and with the people to bring about positive change.

In 2014 she plans to enroll as a law student at the University of Cape Town, and hopes to be a role model for positive change in South Africa.