Young Minds

Top 30 Inspirational Young People In South Africa 2014

Karabo Mathang


A 26 year old lady from Orlando East, Soweto became the first women in South African woman to be a SAFA Accredited Agent. Karabo took the decision of being an accredited SAFA AGENT after a business partner suggested she consider the career. She decided to challenge this and successfully it resulted into her becoming a Managing Director of their company called PManagement, representing players and coaches of which most are South Africans. The business also offers services such as Facilitation of Sports athlete contracts, Securing Endorsement Deals for our Clients, Marketing and PR Services, sports Event Management i.e. Coaching Clinics & Government Sport Services amongst other things.

Adii Pienaar


Adii successfully turned his one-man web design business into WooThemes, a multimillion dollar company. Not being based in a mainstream tech hub (WooThemes was born on the “edge of the world” in Cape Town, South Africa), Adii helped overcome the geographical odds to grow the “Woo”-brand into a brand that is recognized worldwide (with more than a million users). In the past he also managed to successfully rename himself as “Adii Rockstar” and he now claims that was an exercise in branding.


Tasmi Quazi


When she was in matric Tasmi received an award for social service and chose to study architecture at university with the aim of working on projects focusing on community-based and sustainable practices of design. As research officer at Asiye eTafuleni, Quazi has played a significant role in various similar projects. She has managed the Imagine Durban Inner-City Cardboard Recycling project, which, since 2010, has helped to increase the income of informal recyclers through several new interventions. For Quazi, it’s an ongoing labour of love.


Offering Tlaka

Offering Tlaka

Offering Tlaka comes from Johannesburg was only 14years old when he started making his mark having trained for two years then was placed 14th on the double mini competing against 43 other countries, today Offering earned himself all the honouree and is also titled South Africa’s number one gymnast making it big representing not only himself but the University of Pretoria (TUKS Sports) he is also a student at the University of Pretoria.

Rupert Bryant


Rupert Bryant is the chief operating officer (COO) and a director at Web Africa, one of South Africa’s most successful Internet Service Providers (ISPs). His involvement in the company started at the age of 16 when Matthew Tagg needed a partner for his new venture, and Rupert was a perfect choice. Rupert was running his own web development company from the age of 14, and when Web Africa started as a hosting provider it was a logical choice for Matthew to join forces with Rupert to build his new web hosting company. They started Web Africa with virtually no capital, and over the last decade have grown it into a company which generates well in excess of R130-million annually and employs 130 people.

Sizwe Nzima


After completing his six-month intensive entrepreneurship course at the Raymond Ackerman Academy, the 22-year-old founded Iyeza Express, a business that collects chronic medication from public health facilities and delivers it by bicycle to the doorsteps of clients, most of whom are too busy or too sick to collect it themselves. Since the inception of the business last year the number of clients has grown to more than 120. Nzima employs three people and has been provided with seed funding by the South African Breweries Innovation Awards.

Mamatsabu Maphike

Mamatsabu Maphike

This chartered accountant left her career as a development banker and co-founded Motheo Chartered Accountants, a firm of young accountants dedicated to building a foundation for sustainability and economic development within South Africa. Under her directorship the business has grown to include offices in North West, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. Maphike works with several charity organisations, including women’s lobby group New Faces New Voices and the Isibani Education Fund, and is a mentor at Business Partners and at the Goldman Sachs-Gibs 10 000 Women Certificate Programme.

Thandekile Shabane


Thandekile Shabane had hoped to become a pilot or train driver but was unable to pursue her dream due to her family’s financial situation. The 26-year-old South Coast resident was eventually hired as a driver by a construction company and now wwowrks for Durban Transport, as one of just fifteen female bus drivers, is the one of the country’s best and safest bus drivers. Shabane will fly to Poland in August to compete in an international bus drivers’ competition, having already aced the regional, provincial and national tournaments and will be vying for the top spot in the women’s section of the bus driving leg of the tournament.


Nonjabulo Gule

Nonjabulo Gule

A 29 year old Scientist based in Stellenbosch Cape Town, is originally from Swaziland is guided by curiosity to uncover answers to pressing developmental problems. Gule’s PhD research in Polymer Chemistry tackled the human rights issue of how to provide clean, cheap drinking water to those most in need. Her research, which has been patented, is of consequence to the one-billion-plus people who die every year from water-related ailments. Gule produced a point-of-use filtration system using nano-sized fibres that not only destroy bacteria but also prevent bugs from attaching themselves to the surface of the fibres


Mohau Modisakeng


A 28 year old lives and work in Cape Town and Johannesburg, Mohau grew up in the informal settlement in Soweto, graduated from the Michaelis School of Fine Art in Cape Town and works mostly as a sculptor with recourse to performance, video and photography as the concept requires. In the triptych Untitled, the artist himself embodies that need for confrontation to resolve differences. He has exhibited at VOLTA NY, New York, Saatchi Gallery in London and in several other local and international venues. Much of his work focuses on violence, particularly within an African context.

Thapelo “Tips” Seemise


Thapelo Seemise also known as Tips (Thru Inspiration People Succeed) is a seasoned stage performer– trained as a Contemporary Dance choreographer, a comedian, singer and drummer in church and community choir. He worked at the 2002 world summit as a presidential tour guide and later in 2006 graduated as a Dancer and Choreographer from SA’s top contemporary dance school JOHANNESBURG DANCE FOUNDATION, while working as a dancer and comedian part-time. Thapelo made his mark when he was introduced as “Shampoo” in a comedy movie/series called Taxi Ride, he then came up with a show called “Last born does the Loeries” and he now.

Irma Titus


In her 27 years Irma Titus, a community activist on the Cape Flats, has defeated death on a number of occasions. Irma was diagnosed with kidney failure when she was four years old and her body rejected three transplanted organs before it accepted a kidney in 2002. Her experience of the fragility of life fuels her drive to change her environment for the better. Her intimate experiences with the public healthcare system prompted Titus to form Zeal4Life, an organisation that aims to rally support services for young working-class people living with chronic illnesses. Her participation in the African Canadian Eco-Leadership Programme in 2005 afforded her the opportunity of a six-month internship with a Canadian community newspaper. With her passion for media confirmed, she completed a National Diploma in Journalism at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. She continues to facilitate a twice-weekly after-school arts and culture programme at Protea Primary School, one of the schools that had been marked for closure.


Lebang Nong


Through his tutoring and mentorship organisation Katleho Pele Education, founded in 2006, Lebang Nong has coached pupils who have gone on to become some of the top matriculants in Soweto. Last year, a pupil who came into his programme with a Grade 11 Maths mark of 26% matriculated with a mark of 80%. That’s a remarkable achievement, but, for Nong, it’s not just about helping the almost 300 grade eight to grade 12 pupils the organisation tutors to do well at school. He also teaches them interview skills and helps them with university applications. Nong participated in his first social justice campaign — against drugs and alcohol abuse — at the age of nine. Protecting and promoting people’s dreams isn’t easy but the experience he gained by campaigning from such a young age gave him the strength he needed to continue tutoring during the teacher strikes of 2007, despite threats to his safety.

Mokovhe Morris Masutha


Mukovhe is the 24-year-old Founder and CEO of Thusanani Foundation. He holds BA in Economic Geography and a BSc Honours in Development Planning and Environmental Management from the University of the Witwatersrand. Mukovhe recently completed his MSc in Small Enterprise Development and Local Economic Development at the University of Johannesburg.Despite his academic background in Sustainable Development, Mukovhe has a passion for Educational Development, particularly improving the quality of education and the conditions of teaching and learning in rural areas. In 2010 Mukovhe was elected Chairperson of the South African Students Congress and President of the Students Representative Council at the University of the Witwatersrand.
Other than volunteering at Thusanani Foundation, Mukovhe serves on the board of Indus Earth SA, sustainable development community based organisation that provides renewable energy solutions to socio-economically marginalized communities. He also seats annually on Wits University’s Council for Readmissions Committee as an Alumni. Mukovhe feels morally obligated the South African government and the people of South Africa for educating him for free, hence Thusanani Foundation.




Dean Benjamin


At the age of 23 he is the president of Siyaya, a social entrepreneurship organization in the Cape Town township of Khayelitsha. Siyaya is a volunteer-based initiative that trains Khayelitsha residents in business management skills, sources capital for them to start their own businesses and then consults with them. Dean is an Ambassador of Dell Innovation Lab, which brings together 17 outstanding entrepreneurs from around the globe to work on their projects. His passion lies in creating something that will lead to new businesses that nurture the future citizens of our country.

Karabo Mphofela

Karabo MP

From a developing township of Hammanskraal the young Karabo Mphofela started his career as at Engen Garage, he didn’t take his struggles and his background as a negative magnitude that’ll shatter his dreams but he went out there to seek opportunities, today Karabo is one of the founders of an NGO called Khula Youth Network and titled the General secretary of the organization that helps the youth in the area in all aspects of life from health to education, Khula youth Network has grown in the area and it is climbing leathers into exposing itself nationwide, their latest projects has been hosting Talk shows in the City of Tshwane libraries. Karabo is also an Activator at Activate Change Drivers and a social Entrepreneur in all a Philanthropist.


Elizabeth Nosizwe Vale


The 25 year old became president of the Student HIV/Aids Resistance Campaign, co-founded the Gender Action Campaign, the Students in Solidarity with Abahlali base Mjondolo campaign and the My Body, My Choice campaign at Rhodes University. She then received her BA Hons with distinction and went on to do a master’s degree in Sociology in 2012, when she was awarded a Mandela-Rhodes Scholarship. Today Vale researches the ethnography of medication-taking practices among HIV-positive teenagers in the Eastern Cape as part of a PhD in Evidence-based Social Intervention at Oxford University.


Mmabatho Mokiti



Mmabatho Mokiti 29 years old from Boksburg believes we need more inventions by Africans for Africans and she is making this happen one maths and science pupil at a time. Her company, Mathemaniacs, offers one-on-one maths, science and accounting tutoring as well as teacher training to school and university students the company has numerous awards. Makoti is also the director of Dad Fund a non-profit organisation that provides bursaries for prospective university students.


Happy Khambule


With his “we” attitude Happy is a British Council Global Change maker and International Climate Champion. Khambule a climate-change activist with a law degree, dreamt in early childhood of being president. Now he not only aspires to shape South Africa’s environmental policies but also to effect real change within communities, working with schools and the youth to create awareness of climate change. Although he has big ambitions he doesn’t allow them to overshadow his passions. The work he does as Gauteng co-ordinator of Project 90 x 2030 allows him to strike the right balance between the two.

Mixo Ngoveni


Mixo is the founder of Geekulcha, a Tech Startup Inntiative that connects IT students on a national scale to the neccessary resources and people they need to be interfacing with. He lives and breathes I.T. He loves playing around with mobile devices and promoting Mobile Development and blogging technology as a Business venture and how it impacts humanity at large. Geekulcha also develops mobile applications and provides training for those who are interested. Some things of the things they are working on and promoting are Mobile Development, Robotics,Hackathons and Tech Events, Business Startups/Enterpreneurship, Local Meet-Ups, Pitching Dens and more…


Sven Ruygrok


Sven a Johannesburg born young man, had already successfully auditioned for Cirque du Soleil and excelled at Men’s Artistic Gymnastics by the time he enrolled at UCT to study acting. However, his success got in the way of academia as he had to defer his degree to take up the role of Rambo in Spud: the Movie, with successful results. His upcoming projects are Outpost 37 (2014) as Frankie, Zulu (2013) as David Epkeen.


Machela Sathekga


Machela Bridgette Sathekga was born in 1987 in Mohodi Ga Manthata, Limpopo. Driven by her belief that “impossible is nothing”, Machela enrolled for an actuarial science degree at the University of Cape Town (UCT), after being awarded the prestigious Oppenheimer Memorial Trust Scholarship. She obtained a bachelor of business science degree in actuarial science with first class honours (average greater than 75%) and in the top 10% of her class she then joined Liberty Corporate as an actuarial specialist in 2011 and later qualified as the first black female actuary at Liberty. She is now the business manager at Liberty Corporate in the chief executive’s office and she has participated actively in activities empowering children and now sponsors students through the Machela Sathekga Scholarship administered by the Fund-A-Dream Foundation.


Alex Fourie


iFix founder Alex Fourie has always been into starting his own businesses. So far he has started 50 “projects”, as he likes to call them, ranging from organising international tours for top SA bands to selling branded Zippo lighters. Though he is a serial entrepreneur, even Fourie admits he was surprised by the growth of iFix, a company that specialises in repairing Apple products.It started when as a student he tried to get his iPod repaired, only to be told it could not be done and that he’d have to get a new one. He refused to buy that and decided to fix it himself. “I ordered a part and watched a YouTube video on how to fix it.”


Tebogo Ditshego


Tebogo Ditshego is a South African Public Relations expert specialising in Media Relations, Investor Relations, Reputation Management, Corporate Communications, Press Release and Opinion Piece writing. His written works are well received in the mainstream media and he has excelled in strategic Public Relations related work. He is also currently the founder of the South African Reading Foundation and its division Readabooksa.

Pippa Tshabalala

Pippa Tshabalala

Pippa has a master’s degree in Animation, Pippa started presenting The Verge South Africa’s first locally produced show about video games. She is brand ambassador for Adidas and writes for NAG, Gamecca, Gadget, Girl Guides, Obrigado and Gearburn. Since The Verge ended she’s been working behind the scenes as an online producer but she can’t wait to get back to presenting.

Baxolise Dlali


Baxolise Dlali a 26years old, started a community based, non-profit organization which advances education and skills development. Masifunde Together is an organization which underlines his educational, skills development focus. The organization offer skills like Basic Computer Literacy, afternoon Tutoring and Study programme for high school learners.


Simamkele Dlakavu


Simamkele started her social activism journey at age 15 through Rotary Interact Club, where the principle of ‘service above self’ was instilled. They initiated and were involved in projects uplifting the Queenstown community. Then she later joined the Lukhanji Junior City Council in which she became its Junior Mayor in 2008/2009, where they rallied for the issues faced by young people in their community. Her passion for the development of young people has found expression through Sakha Ulutsha Lwethu which means “we are building our youth” in IsiXhosa. Sakha Ulutsha Lwethu is a project that she founded in 2011 that aims to increase the number of learners from rural and township schools that can qualify; access and afford to further their studies. As rural and township youth make up the majority of our student population, yet the chances of them furthering their studies are very slim. They do this by running workshops in rural and township schools, providing information for scholarships and university application processes, career guidance as well as encouraging academic excellence and the value of education.


Kim Pilaelo

Kim Pilaelo
Kim had a life that no kid would want to see themselves in, loosing both parent Kim felt so alone but her situation didn’t have so much negative effect on her career journey, taking advantage of Tomorrow Trust to further her studies. On completion of her studies, she was accepted on a graduate programme at Estee Lauder and was accepted by the Bobbi Brown, Lamer, and Jo Malone Marketing Department where she got to learn what marketing is and what it really entails. In 2012 she was with YORK ZUCCHI AND PARTNERS as an entrepreneur in training. In 2013 she received an opportunity to work at Trinergy connect as an Account Executive.


Jessica Dewhurst


Jessica was introduced to Edmund Rice Camps, an organisation that runs weekend and holiday camps for vulnerable children. They work with disadvantaged youth, refugee youth, children infected or affected by HIV/AIDS, as well as kids who have been physically, sexually, or emotionally abused. She started working for the camps as a leader and two years later was able to fill many roles including team leader, camp captain and screen-er. For her voluntary work, Jessica received Cape Town’s Youth Unlimited Award for Excellence both in 2009 and 2010, as well as the 2010 Rotary Young Achievers Award.


Thando Zondi

Thando Zondi

Thando Zondi works as a mining engineer at Thermal Coal’s Kleinkopje colliery, came into the industry as a company bursar, completing her Bsc Honours degree in mining engineering at the University of the Witwatersrand. She started her training at Greenside colliery and obtained her underground blasting ticket and her mine manager’s certificate of competency. While at Greenside, she progressed through the ranks, from miner to shift overseer and acting mine captain. In 2008, she participated in the company’s graduate mobility programme, which gave her an opportunity to gain experience at Dawson mine in Australia. Here she worked as a truck and shovel engineer and gained valuable exposure to the planning process. Today she is a dragline mine overseer responsible for two mining pits at Kleinkopje.

Related Articles

Back to top button
You cannot copy content of this page

Adblock Detected

Please turn off your ad blocker first to read this article