2021

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2021

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Nonhlanhla Mtshali, 28

Nonhlanhla Mtshali, 28

Technically, Nonhlanhla Mtshali is a manager of legal services with Postbank, but she’s becoming more influential as an attorney who blogs about legal issues for the layman. Her blogs across social media platforms help ordinary people understand some trending legal...

Leana de Beer, 35

Leana de Beer, 35

Started as a response to #FeesMustFall, Feenix is a public benefit organisation that gives students a platform to formalise their fundraising efforts, connecting them with communities that are willing to fund their education. Since 2017, Feenix has supported more than...

Nelisiwe Mzili, 26

Nelisiwe Mzili, 26

Nelisiwe Mzili, a paramedic and first responder to car accidents and other emergencies, says that she’s driven to excel by the honour and the responsibility that she has been given to care for other human beings. The necessary and difficult work undertaken by Mzili...

Nicholas Pereira, 32

Nicholas Pereira, 32

Nicholas Pereira is a physiotherapist based in KwaZulu-Natal and the founder of Enhanced Physiotherapy, which he runs out of three locations: Hilton, Maritzburg College and Maritzburg United Football Club. Together with his partners, he teaches his philosophy of...

Moses Seletiša, 35

Moses Seletiša, 35

Moses Seletiša doubly contemplates his acceptance of an invitation from then-president Kgalema Motlanthe to perform at the official launch of his foundation as both his proudest moment and biggest mistake. It is ill-advised for an artist, he opines, to declare one’s...

Mmakgotso Maphoto, 23

Mmakgotso Maphoto, 23

Mmakgotso Maphoto is studying towards a degree in communication and information science, but she’s already making moves with Leruo Magazine. Hiring two young people from her community to assist her with the magazine is something she is very proud of, and launching the...

Nadia Fisher, 35

Nadia Fisher, 35

Nadia Fisher, known as Nardstar*, is a street artist based in Cape Town who works throughout the country and across the world. “Every time I am invited to paint abroad I am surprised,” she says. Fisher has taken several international residencies and earned a Mbokodo...

Munozovepi Gwata, 24

Munozovepi Gwata, 24

Munozovepi Gwata’s goal is to achieve equitable and sustainable financial economic inclusion in South Africa. She founded Kukura Capital, a platform and community that uses financial literacy to empower people so they can make informed financial decisions. “Financial...

Nicole Davy, 27

Nicole Davy, 27

Nicole Davy is a singer, songwriter and activist who is reconnecting with her Cape Town roots through her music. “In my latest EP, We Are Gold, I connect with my musical identity rooted in the ghoema and yaadt sounds of Cape Town,” Davy says. Recently, she...

Nabeelah Kolia, 30

Nabeelah Kolia, 30

Nabeelah Kolia’s proudest moment was when she became a fellow of the Actuarial Society of South Africa. “It felt like all the countless hours of studying and 16 board exams had culminated in that very moment,” she says. From winning awards to becoming the newly...

Ziyaad Plaatjes, 35

Ziyaad Plaatjes, 35

Promoting other companies is iloveza.com cofounder Ziyaad Plaatjes’s mission. He describes his business as a proudly South African online media, marketing and advertising company focusing on local businesses, entrepreneurs, brands and events. He fills iloveza.com with...

Nandisa Mpanza, 27

Nandisa Mpanza, 27

Nandisa Mpanza is a business owner and founder. Now the chief executive of her own company, Rock, she’s a farmer first and foremost. “I take part in the planning, researching, marketing and running of the business,” Mpanza says. Mpanza completed her degree in...

Amogelang Kgaladi, 28

Amogelang Kgaladi, 28

One look at Amogelang Kgaladi’s qualifications, starting with a BSc in actuarial and financial mathematics (cum laude) from the University of Pretoria and culminating in a master of business administration from the University of the Witwatersrand, and it all adds up....

Natania Botha, 33

Natania Botha, 33

Natania Botha is dedicated to empowering and uplifting people in rural and township areas, as well as protecting and advocating for natural spaces. Her work at Indalo Inclusive South Africa focuses on advocating for green, inclusive and responsible entrepreneurship in...

Nasrin Olla, 31

Nasrin Olla, 31

Nasrin Olla is a visiting scholar at Brown University. Before arriving at Brown, Olla completed her master’s and PhD at Cornell University. In 2020, she was awarded Cornell’s Guilford Prize for the best dissertation of the year. “One writes a dissertation in relative...

Mohube Tebeila, 30

Mohube Tebeila, 30

Mohube Tebeila grew up in a small village in Limpopo, far away from server banks, fibre optic cables, or any of the ideas and technologies informing her current work. Today she is a driving force in digital transformation and the application of artificial intelligence...

Nomacala Mpeta, 29

Nomacala Mpeta, 29

Nomacala Mpeta is a learning theory and strategy game- changer, programme developer and designer, insurer of quality, monitor and trainer, among other things. Her pride comes from seeing young people who didn’t have many opportunities presented to them graduate from...

Minah Mkhavele, 35

Minah Mkhavele, 35

Minah Mkhavele is a social worker who is finalising her master’s in child protection. Working with children is something Mkhavele has a great interest in. One of her proudest moments was when she reached out to six rural communities to provide them with sanitary...

Gauta Matlou, 30

Gauta Matlou, 30

Postdoctoral researcher Gauta Matlou is building a legacy based on innovation in pharmaceuticals and improving the wellbeing of cancer patients. At the University of Johannesburg, where he is currently undertaking a research fellowship, Matlou’s research involves the...

Mzwakhe Xulu, 27

Mzwakhe Xulu, 27

Mzwakhe Xulu is the cofounder of Calibrating Minds Society, a non-profit organisation that advances academic excellence high schools in Empangeni in KwaZulu-Natal. As the organisation’s chairperson, Xulu oversees tutoring, career expo and interschool debating...

Mnothowandile Cele, 30

Mnothowandile Cele, 30

Mnothowandile Cele is a provincial deputy chairperson from Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth) who wants young South Africans to know that knowledge and education are power. Her work has earned her many awards, and focuses on bringing awareness to gender-based issues...

Nasreen Jajbhay, 32

Nasreen Jajbhay, 32

Nasreen Jajbhay is a Johannesburg-based attorney whose law firm, Jajbhay Attorneys, provides holistic employment law services, while Jajbhay herself also works part-time as a commissioner and panellist at the Bargaining Council. The impetus to start her own firm was...

Nomsa Tshingowe, 30

Nomsa Tshingowe, 30

Nomsa Tshingowe, founder of Cancer 0 Thirty 5 Foundation, had just completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Venda when she was diagnosed with stage three osteosarcoma cancer. She underwent 18 cycles of chemotherapy and two surgeries, then researched the...

Nelisile Thanjekwayo, 29

Nelisile Thanjekwayo, 29

Nelisile Thanjekwayo is a woman determined to build herself and her community. She has managed to strike a balance between corporate success that empowers her and social work that inspires her. In her professional capacity, she is the global commercial lead at Shell...

Mhlengi Ngcobo, 26

Mhlengi Ngcobo, 26

Mhlengi Ngcobo has built his love for coffee into a business that empowers. At Stellenbosch University, where he studied civil engineering and completed a small business management certificate, Ngcobo began developing the concept for CoffeeMM. He hopes to use the...

Merle Mansfield, 33

Merle Mansfield, 33

Merle Mansfield started her schooling career with over 300 fellow grade eights, but matriculated in a class of just 53. “At the time, this was not significant to anyone, including me,” she says. Now Mansfield is committed to tackling the normalisation of dropping out...

Michelle Nkamankeng, 12

Michelle Nkamankeng, 12

Michelle Nkamankeng is a truly astounding young girl. She published her first book at the age of seven, making her the youngest published author in South Africa and Africa, and one of the youngest 10 published authors globally. Now, at the age of 12, she has three...

Melody Musoni, 33

Melody Musoni, 33

Melody Musoni is a PhD student at university and a legal consultant at Phukubje Pierce Masithela Attorneys. Her area of focus is the intersection between technological advancement and the law, while her thesis focuses on addressing cloud computing law and...

Mgqugquzeli Jiyane, 31

Mgqugquzeli Jiyane, 31

Mgqugquzeli Jiyane wants to see young people in the legal field getting more involved in the digital space. He says: “It is such a niche market, and there are so many opportunities.” As a senior legal manager at MTN, he attends to legal matters within various...

Avis Anya Nowbuth, 28

Avis Anya Nowbuth, 28

Medical researcher Avis Anya Nowbuth is inspiring a new generation of health workers to tackle the issue of antimicrobial resistance. After studying medicine in Lusaka, Nowbuth joined the Pan-African Organisation for Health, Education and Research, and her “entire...