When Danisa Nkanyani began studying at the University of Pretoria, she did so with a scholarship propelling her towards a degree in mining engineering. Working as a mining engineer at Glencore, Nkanyani is involved in the earliest stage of the mining value chain, where she oversees the extraction of coal while upholding correct and safe mining procedures. While Nkanyani’s trajectory is on the up, she admits there were times that she let depression and anxiety get the better of her. She’s philosophical about it now. “Trust the process. It always works out for your good,” she says. Throughout, the Holy Spirit has been her biggest inspiration – her faith gets her out of bed every day. “I want people to feel empowered to do what has always seemed impossible; to understand that failure is part of the process and you can only win if you are doing something,” she says.
Zithande Mbala’s inquisitive nature led him from a career in accounting to the world of invention. Not one to shy away from dreaming big, his first venture, iWipe, looks to innovate an everyday product: toilet paper. Mbala describes iWipe as “smart toilet paper”. It looks like ordinary toilet paper, but can get wet without disintegrating, thanks to its delayed evaporation technology. Once wet, iWipe can be used as a wet wipe that, unlike regular wet wipes, is flushable. One of his proudest moments was seeing iWipe stocked in stores such as Pick n Pay, where it is sold with a free water dispenser. Mbala hopes his invention helps South African parents. “Poor mothers pay at least R40 for one pack of baby wipes, while a single roll of iWipe does the same job.”