Twenty-seven-year-old electrical engineer Keith Katyora knew from an early age that hard work is the magic ingredient that can turn a life around.
As a child, Katyora was continuously exposed to his father’s enthusiasm for African leaders such as Aliko Dangote and Strive Masiyiwa. His father would cut out newspaper articles and give them to him to read.
“My father would remind me that if these people, with all the challenges that stood in their way, could rise from their circumstances and make something of their lives, what is stopping me from working just as hard to overcome my current challenges?”
Born in Middelburg in Mpumalanga, Katyora is currently working towards a masters degree in energy studies at the University of Johannesburg, and his research topic explores the different scenarios that could feed into the unbundling of Eskom, as well as how the entire security value chain of energy supply can be improved.
In addition, he was the youngest member of the stakeholder team formulating input into the Ten Year National Science, Technology and Innovation plan being developed by the department of science and technology.
As chair of the Consulting Engineers of South Africa’s young professionals forum, he is currently drafting its 2019 energy manifesto, which was formulated from last year’s Big Energy debate, which focused on the perspective of young professionals. The debate was the first of its kind in terms of offering a space for young people to express their views about the energy future of the country.
Personally, Katyora wants to enable as many young promising people as possible to study at university. This is part of his overarching commitment to redefining the African narrative. He currently mentors university students and young professionals – reflecting that the most important thing is to ensure that those that come after him are well adjusted to the world of work, and can be engaged citizens who are capable of passing it forward. – Nomonde Ndwalaza