Mapela Motshabi-Custodio (Tsogo 1997)

Mapela Motshabi-Custodio (Tsogo 1997)

Alumni Profile of Mapela Yvonne Motshabi-Custodio

I started at Tsogo High School in 1995 in Standard 8 (Grade 10) and matriculated in 1997. Earlier, I attended Rakale Primary School in Zone 3, Ga-Rankuwa. Further on, I attended Technikon Pretoria (Now Tshwane University of Technology), and received my National Diploma in Food Service Management. Then I studied further and received my Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Averett University, in Virginia, USA. I also have taken and still taking numerous professional development classes. I am also registered as a non-degree student at theUniversity of New Mexico taking graduate level classes while awaiting admission into a graduate degree program.

Currently, I am working full time as a grants coördinator at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, New Mexico, managing the department’s faculty grants. I also am a group fitness instructor, part time and an up and coming personal trainer. I did philanthropy work with an organization called NetCruisers, established in Zone 4, Ga-Rankuwa at Dr. Allan Soundy’s medical practice. The organization focused on providing support to local schools in Ga-Rankuwa, encouraging parent engagement in schools and providing meals, and all needed support to children from disadvantaged homes, to strengthen and improve the quality of schools in the area.My husband and I also did philanthropy work at the Marine Corps base in the Virginia  offering Salsa classes to military couples, giving them a chance to do something recreational and offering them an opportunity to bond and spend quality time together. Military marriages can be stressful and have a high rate of failing and this was our way of trying to contribute to the success of these couples’ relationship by providing an atmosphere where they can get together, spend quality time with each other and rediscover themselves as couples.

My pride inspires me to do all that I have done in my life so far and drives me to keep doing.  I have pride in myself, my family and my country.  When our parents grew up they did not have all the opportunities that we have and I believe that we have to do all we can to take advantage of the opportunities we have and embrace them.

My parents and my two sisters are my role models, I always look up to them and am very grateful that I have them in my life, they played a very important role in instilling great values in me, thus helping me be who I am today . My husband is also a great driving force in my life and I really value his presence in my life. I also admire a few courageous leaders (people who helped shape our country to be what it is today) and public figures such as Nelson Mandela, he is a true inspiration and I believe that if we all followed his philosophy in life, the world would be a much better place than it is today.

To Alumni

As alumni, I think it is very good to take time and look at what we have accomplished by being students at such a prestigious school and we need to show our appreciation by giving back and being active in the alumni society and our communities. I know that we are not all in a position to do so, but please if you have the time and are close enough to be involved in the society please do so. And no matter where you are and what you do, please never forget where you come from. To the founders of the Alumni Society and the online Alumni Directory, I applaud you for doing such a great job, it is much appreciated.

To current Students

Always respect your elders (all elders, not just your parents and family). Embrace and be proud of your culture and your country. Education is the best gift that you can ever give yourself, and learning doesn’t stop after you matriculate from high school or after you get your degree. Always be open-minded, it will take you far in this world.You are fortunate enough to have all the opportunities and resources that are available to you, always take advantage of them. Do not be afraid to be different and never let peer pressure get the hold of you. Always be honest with yourself and do not be afraid to find your voice, or be afraid to seek help when needed<

I have a lot of great memories, but I will just name a few. One of my fondest memories is the memory of Mrs Letebele, she was my inspiration, I loved her nurturing nature, and all she wanted was the best from us. Another memory is the time when some of my classmates and I did a drama in Mr. Matlhola’s class that was fun and hilarious.

Being a stellar scholar and graduating with honors has been one of my greatest personal achievements. Finally following my passion as a health and fitness expect and being recognized as one of the best Fitness instructors in the fitness industry in Albuquerque,  New Mexico.

A picture of me teaching a Zumba Fitness class at the Johnson Center Fitness and Recreational Center.

Connect with me

– Mapela Custodio on Facebook:

More Alumni Profiles

If you have an alumnus you would like to nominate please email us at or go to the Nomination Page.