Share Their Story

Celiwe Mabaso, 32

Community operations manager
Energy Infrastructure Management Services

Celiwe Mabaso does the important work of identifying community needs, then designing and implementing socioeconomic and enterprise development programmes to address them, with the aim of creating thriving local economies. Mabaso’s proudest moment was when the first group of matriculants graduated from a programme she had put together, and were awarded bursaries by the organisation she works for. Mabaso believes in dreaming big. “You can be anything you put your mind to being – you are the author of your own destiny,” she says. “Life is like summiting a mountain – it gets harder as it gets steeper, but the rewards are always worth it.” Mabaso hopes that through her work, she can influence the way young people from disadvantaged communities see themselves. “I want to see the next batch of disruptors from Vryburg, Mmakau and all these places that no one has really taken note of,” she says.

You can’t buy time: it’s so valuable and important to spend your time doing the things you love.

Author - Fatima Moosa
Hope Dhlamini, 24

Hope Dhlamini, 24

Chief executive officer and public relations officer
COVID P.U.N.C.H Community Project

It all started with what Hope Dhlamini — a 24-year-old chief executive and public relations officer from Soweto — thought would be a small campaign. She and her peers wanted to improve the lives of vulnerable people living in charity homes and homeless shelters, and the love and support that their COVID P.U.N.C.H Community Project received from Johannesburg communities left her awestruck. Majoring in public relations and community management at the University of Johannesburg, Dhlamini believes that “humanity is key. I want to restructure the image of South Africa that is associated with poverty, hunger and unhealthy living conditions by providing essential needs for the most vulnerable in my community in the informal settlements,” she says. Motivated by the success of her Seed For Life community garden, Dhlamini has made it her priority to believe in herself and make a difference in society.

Stop listening to negative thoughts and do away with the “what would people say” syndrome.

Lineo Leteba |
Murunwa Netshidongololwe, 23

Murunwa Netshidongololwe, 23

Patient access trainee

A strong believer in paying it forward, Murunwa Netshidongololwe’s day job is at multinational pharmaceutical company Novartis, and she’s an outreach leader at the Purple Sisterhood in her spare time. She also helps university science students find jobs, gives them insight on how the working world works, and translates children’s books from English to Tshivenda. Netshidongololwe’s work ensures that medicine is affordable for all, that hospitals and medical aid professionals have access to the drugs they need, and oversees clinical trials so that drugs are developed efficiently. It was not the role she initially applied for, but it’s a job that perfectly aligns with her purpose. “I want to see South Africans stand [together]. I am in this world to help bring change in people’s lives, thus it would be so good to see more of those who are fortunate helping those who are not,” she says.

Never forget that while innovating, you are building for people. Technology comes second.

Lineo Leteba |