Kholekile Mnisi believes that there is no limit on what dreams can achieve: “There was a time when people from our backgrounds could not dream beyond our confinements, but I managed to break through. Being one of the few young South Africans working in diplomacy and knowing the impact I have had on my family, my community and people of similar backgrounds, cements the foundation for me to say that I am gifted to gift others.”
As digital content officer at the Africa Centre for Disease Control, Mnisi is in a strong position to direct conversations and draw focus to some of the most important issues affecting the continent. He’s worked in marketing and communications, in government and diplomacy, and as a writer and activist. He explains: “I have made strategic career moves, with the sole purpose to impact communities through the passion I have for the work that I do.”
The turning point for Mnisi was in 2018, when he left the private sector and moved to Ethiopia to work for the African Union Commission. “My contribution to the continent by leaving the private sector and volunteering my skills to better the continent in a foreign land is one of the many big moments I look at and feel not entitled, but humbled.
“I knew my destiny was to touch and impact the world and that became true when I sat alongside heads of state, experts, billionaires and politicians to fight for youth inclusion and visibility, and voice out why diversity is imperative to achieving a just and fair socioeconomic landscape for all.”
Asked what he’d tell his younger self given the chance, Mnisi says: “Poverty does not mean no prosperity, struggle does not mean no success and scars can be forged into stars.”