People expected Athambile Masola, 28, to become a top-earning lawyer, accountant or politician. She became a high school teacher at St Mary’s in Johannesburg.

It was her most difficult decision, but her dream is to make a positive impact on young lives that are full of potential. Masola is an idealist who wants to change the world.

While she was studying at university, she began writing about things she believed people didn’t have the courage to write themselves. She wrote for the Mandela Rhodes Scholar blog while doing her master’s and was then invited to start her own Thought Leader blog on the Mail & Guardian’s website.

Many of her pieces were republished in the print edition. It didn’t take long before she was invited to write for the Bokamoso Leadership Forum and FeministsSA.

Her topics are often controversial, intended to make people see things from different perspectives. Race and gender feature significantly because of her own personal encounters with racism and sexism.

Growing up poor in a rough neighbourhood in Gauteng helped to form her strong, caring character and she has deep convictions about what is really important in life.

So in her writing, she likes to pose questions to make people think beyond traditional parameters. Questions, she believes, are sometimes more important than answers.

Twitter: @athambile