David Shields, 27years old, GEM Project
27 Year old David Shields is the Co-founder and Director of the GEM Project. GEM (Going the Extra Mile) is a dynamic mobile tool which measures and rewards ‘do-good’ behaviour in low-income communities across South Africa.
The platform uses app based and USSD technology to help inform underprivileged community members of volunteering opportunities nearby. Listed activities include tutoring learners, feeding the homeless, helping abandoned animals, community clean-ups and recycling. In return for their participation, users are rewarded ‘GEMs’, a form of currency which they can spend on data, airtime, pre-paid electricity, groceries and movie tickets.Shields is constantly seeking new ways to “do well by doing good” and in his everyday interactions with the world, he strives to exemplify strong social values with a charismatic charm.
Aphelele Gumede, 28 years old, Hope 4 All
Aphelele Gumede is the Co-founder and Project Manager for her organisation, Hope4all, at 28 years old. The organisation advocates for the empowerment of all that have been previously disadvantaged; children (through ECD initiatives), women (SRHR and GBV), disabled and members of the LGBTIQ community. Gumede’s focus is on health education, especially educating on HIV, through a holist approach in the prevention and management of the virus.
Gumede currently holds a BTech degree in Homoeopathy and will soon be receiving an MTech degree in Homoepathy from the Durban University of Technology. She has long been passionate about helping those affected by HIV and has volunteered with an NGO called Centre of Hope as a peer educator and counsellor. Her passion for the subject led her to working for medical scheme companies as a wellness advisor, and later as a team leader with a focus on HIV, diabetes, cholesterol and BP.In January 2013 she started a bible class for young children in her church, which focused not only on spiritual matters, but also on the social issues in their community. Using drama, visual effects and storytelling, she was able to teach the children about issues such as HIV, sexual reproductive health rights, gender based violence and substance abuse in a way that they could understand. She recently received an award for the Kwazulu Natal Young Achiever Award for 2017, for her incredible work in rural areas.
Nompilo Mkhize, 23 years old, The Power of Pen & Paper (PPP)
At just 23 years old, Nompilo Mkhize is the Founder of Power of Pen & Paper (PPP). The Power of Pen & Paper is a creative writing competition which emphasises the importance and power of two things: the pen and paper. Learners are given topics to choose from and are tasked with writing a one page essay, encouraging them to expand their minds and broaden their thinking capabilities.
Mkhize’s organisation seeks to encourage learners to write down their hopes and goals for the future, as this serves as a reminder to constantly work hard to make those dreams a reality. It also showcases the ability of learners to express their views and feelings on certain issues, as the topics vary from personal aspirations to socio economic issues and solutions.Mkhize is currently finishing her Honours degree in Accounting with Monash South Africa and is employed at PwC.
Kumbewe Liwewe, 22 years old, Lets Grow Together (LGT)
Kumbewe Liwewe is the 22 year old Zambian born Founder of Let’s Grow Together (LGT). Liwewe and his Co-founders help to uplift students from low income households, to lessen their financial strain in their pursuit of a higher education. LGT works to offer these students food and essential items at a lower or similar price to market price by working in cooperation with various other businesses.
Liwewe and his team have gone on to receive an enterprise award from the North West University, a double nomination for the North West University’s Vice-Chancellors Award and several collaboration requests in the last three months.The potential for LGT is massive, as the growth they promote in the community could lead to job creation, while the use of local produce stimulates business in the community.
Terry Mathebula, 29 years old, Hustlenomics Pty (Ltd)
Terry Mathebula is a Soweto born and based social entrepreneur who believes that good impact within the community can equate to success. He is the Co-founder and Director at Hustlenomics, an organisation which helps families in and around the townships by identifying low income homes with backyard shacks that could be removed and replaced to become functional living spaces. Their aim is to provide better homes while creating a sustainable income by also providing employment to the skilled and unskilled youths of the community.Mathebula has lived and worked most of his life in the Soweto area, with the purpose of leaving change and making a difference. He has an Honours degree in Computer and Information Systems, which has helped him to gain experience in project management, customer services learning, customer relations and business processes. Terry's core values are God, family, and work that has purpose.
Vimbai Butawu, 23 years old, Thusanang
23 year old Vimbai Butawu is the Founder of the Thusanang programme. Thusanang is a community outreach programme that focuses on bridging the gap with the method of learning in underprivileged schools. The programme reaches its mission by using fun and educational methods (edutainment) to boost the self-esteem of the learners.
Thusanang’s vision is to combine education and talent together for young learners through sports and culture (creative arts). The aim of Thusanang is to work with young learners and help them to explore their talents outside their everyday in-class activities. The programme volunteers work to help the young learners reach their full potential through helping them explore all their talents, not limited to academics. By participating in activities such as sports and drama, the children may discover and develop talents they may not have known they even had.Butawu is a postgraduate student at Monash South Africa and holds an undergraduate degree in Social Science, with majors in Child and Youth Development and Criminology, as well as a postgraduate degree in Management specialising in Corporate Governance.
Michelle Fok, 26 years old, Jozi Circus
Michelle Fok is the Co-founder of Art of Synergy, an organisation with the vision of creating a platform to promote contemporary circus arts across Africa. Fok has always been interested in the social development of children, and during her tertiary education years she directed a social development project called Monash Saturday School. Fok sought a way to combine her two passions in life; her Honours dissertation was dedicated to researching the positive effects of the circus on HIV-positive children.
Jozi Circus School is a project being developed by Art of Synergy, based on the successes of previous profitable programmes (Adult training programme and Sirkids) that the company runs. Fok now seeks to identify and develop young talents through circus arts in Johannesburg through the programme.
The programme is dedicated to community empowerment and youth development and seeks to make circus arts education accessible to those without funds. The project provides professional youth training for 14-20-year olds.The curriculum of the programme incorporates 6 techniques that are supported by other health services and the classes follow strict health and safety guidelines. Alongside learning physical technique in these disciplines, the school programme also teaches the necessary knowledge to build a successful performer and teacher, including aspects of rigging, costume and professional practice taught by national and international teachers. Graduates of the programme will be offered employment with the Art of Synergy company.
Ramadimetja Makgeru, 23 years old, Changeholic
Ramadimetja ‘Rami’ Makgeru, is the 23 year old Founder of Changeholic, a tutoring company dedicated to assisting those who need academic help in Sekhukhune Limpopo.
Makgeru started business by printing flyers and sending out emails to high schools to offer her services, with little success. Though demotivated, she continued with community work; giving motivational talks at high schools through the Faculty of Best Advisory, donating sanitary pads to school girls in her home village, organising small career guidance events and tutoring for free over school holidays.
Today Makgeru has over 10 stable private tutoring clients and numerous casual ones, helping to create income for part-time tutors and helping learners to reach their potential. She now distributes over 400 workbooks for Accounting, Economics and Mathematics at very low prices to assist those who can't afford private academic support.She is pursuing a psychology degree through UNISA and sees herself growing a sustainable tutoring company that can assist various students to find learning methods suitable for them in the most economical way possible.
Neo Motsatse, 17 years old, Girl Power South Africa
At just 17 years of age, Neo Motsatse is a talented young violinist who is passionate about serving her community. As a teenager and a girl child, Neo went through psychological pressures which inspired her to start her own initiative called Girl Power South Africa (GPSA). Girl Power encourages, motivates and inspires girls globally in their personal and professional lives. GPSA’s focus is on education, health, economic empowerment and advocacy.
Motsatse’s talent has seen her being home-schooled, travelling to Cape Town to hone her technical skills and being featured by different orchestras as a soloist during the Youth Concerto Festival. She has also been invited to perform at various prominent events around Johannesburg.Motsatse captured the hearts of South African audiences when she did her National tour in 2015 which featured five cities; Johannesburg, East London, Port Elizabeth, Cape Town and Bloemfontein. She was also featured at the National Arts Festival 2016 where she performed five concerts in five days and was awarded the Standard Bank Ovation Award.
Kgaugelo Maripane, 29 years old, Business In A Bag (BIAB)
Kgaugelo Maripane is the Co-founder of Business in a Bag (BIAB), a company which sells ‘micro businesses’ in bags. The bag contains training and supporting manuals, a tablet, waterless detergents and advertising material.
Business in a Bag is a re-invention of the Waterless Car Wash Business Model of the BIAB team’s campus venture, Campus Wash Business, were they realised that the model could be ideally applied to job creation for unemployed and low income workers. The BIAB concept addresses high unemployment rate, water conservation and promotes the development of entrepreneurial spirit to its beneficiaries, as they get to run their own business and become masters of their own destiny.Maripane is originally from North West in Potchefstroom and is currently finishing his 3rd year in BCom Accounting and Informatics.