Boipelo Mogokojane, is a rising star at the SA Jockey Academy in KwaZulu-Natal, where she is completing her Work Rider qualification.
Her childhood in Randfontein was marked by a close-knit family. She attended Randfontein High School in Westrand, Johannesburg, and as a young girl, she harboured dreams that extended beyond the ordinary family path. “I didn’t want to do anything that was ordinary within the family. At some point, I believed I could pursue a career in the football industry,” Boipelo said.
Her journey into professional horse racing began with curiosity. She witnessed the racing events while playing soccer at Turffontein and decided to explore further. Boipelo’s curiosity led her to the SA Jockey Academy, and after a selection camp, she knew she had found her true calling. She said, “I realised how much I find satisfaction in the adrenaline that comes with riding and how it feels to accomplish something as a first-time rider.”
Boipelo, like many individuals, faced challenges on her path. She said, “My biggest challenge would be the mental battle. I would tend to overthink a lot of situations until I slowly learned to let it be and eventually find solace in the midst of the crazy situations.”
Her proudest moments in her career have come from mastering challenging skills. Looking ahead, Boipelo has ambitious dreams for her future. Although she won’t complete her apprenticeship at SAJA, she aspires to become a qualified Work Rider, work internationally, and raise awareness about opportunities for females in the horse racing industry.
Boipelo emphasises the qualities necessary to be a successful rider, saying, “Calmness under pressure, dedication, determination, and passion” are essential. She looks up to jockeys Kabelo Matsunyane and Rachel Venniker as her role models.
She has also given back to her community through her involvement at her church, where she taught youth a dance routine. She is passionate about supporting charities that aim to end poverty.
Reflecting on one of the biggest lessons she has learned in life, Boipelo said, “Things are not always what they seem. Do not judge people based on your first impression or how they look on the outside.”
She acknowledges the challenges facing youth today, including high unemployment rates, limited access to quality education, and economic inequality. To fellow aspiring youth, Boipelo offers words of encouragement: “It is possible, it is achievable, so don’t be discouraged, always push! Never back down, never give up!”
Boipelo is deeply grateful for the support she has received from the Hollywood Foundation. The foundation’s financial support has eased the burden of fees and allowed her to focus on her training. Boipelo is committed to being a good investment for the foundation and looks forward to collaborating to give back to the sport and the community.