Masechaba Vilakazi (34)

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2019 Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans

Civil Society

Masechaba Vilakazi (34)

Masechaba Vilakazi (34)

Head of Corporate Citizenship, Samsung South Africa

I am inspired by people who rise above adversity and use their challenges to do, and be, better in this world.

Thirty-four-year-old Masechaba Vilakazi is head of corporate citizenship, public affairs and government relations at Samsung South Africa. She is responsible for the policy formation, strategy design and implementation of far-reaching social development programmes across Africa. She has launched new projects that enable learners from disadvantaged communities and for families with special needs. Her work focuses on providing people with access to innovation, information and learning tools that allow for the education of future generations.

“I am inspired by people who rise above adversity and use their challenges to do, and be, better in this world,” she says.

“In my current role I am responsible for conceptualising, developing and implementing innovative programmes designed to tackle business and social problems. I currently lead a team of social innovators at Samsung and together we identify projects in communities in Africa that are most in need of a meaningful contribution.”

For Vilakazi, giving back is fundamental to her choice of career and her passion. She aims to make the world a better place by giving power back to the people in less privileged communities.

“I plan to continue to champion my social development work by launching transformative projects to enable communities to thrive in their own economies,” she says.

“I am always helped along the way by my mother, Vuyiswa Dlengezele, as she has always believed in me and reminds me not to give up. She reminds me that every dark season comes to an end and the sun does shine again.”

Vilakazi says to young South Africans looking to strive for success in their own dreams: “Never give up and always be your own hero. South Africa is alive with beautiful possibilities and the youth of this country should never give up.” —Tamsin Oxford 

Twitter: @Mack_BirlT