Nathaniel Japhta (31)

2018 Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans

Business & Entrepreneurship

Nathaniel Japhta (31)

Entrepreneur, mentor and advocate for social change

There have been a number of experiences that defined Nathaniel Japhta’s upbringing and his outlook on life. He came from humble beginnings and was the first in his family to go to university and earn an accounting qualification. Despite being a smart and hardworking young man, he admits that he would not have gotten as far as he did have it not been for the people around him, who spoke potential into his life.

“I am really close with my mom, and my dad was something of a silent motivator to me because he was a rugby player who was not allowed to play rugby for his country of birth during apartheid. Despite this, he was disciplined and focused, and I brought that into my personal life.”

Today, Japhta uses the transformative power of sports and education to harness the growth and potential of young kids in the Western Cape. He founded Pro 226 Africa, an organisation active on the Cape Flats that tackles social and education problems by linking corporate individuals and university students to under-performing schools.

It also links young people to decisionmakers in the corporate world, training and upskilling young people to develop skills that will allow them to compete in the job market, find future study opportunities and develop national and international collaborations through sports diplomacy. Japhta’s dream is to build a big arena for basketball and netball in Cape Town. — Nomonde Ndwalaza