Junior Achievement South Africa is proud to announce that TWO of our successful alumni have been included in this years Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans edition.
This is the eighth year that Mail & Guardian have searched for 200 young, inspiring South Africans to feature. “Half-a-dozen researchers independently scour the country for three months searching for interesting young people doing amazing things. We also take our readers’ nominations—more than 1 200 came through this year—and sift through them for the best of the bunch. Our editorial staff and our most reliable sources send in their recommendations. Then we whittle down our long list into a short list and ultimately into a final list of young people who then are profiled by a team of writers and presented across our platforms. Each year we find 200 young people, aged 35 and under, who were born here or have made South Africa their home, and who are full of talent, dreams and drive,” noted Tanya Pampalone, Executive Editor, 200 Young South Africans.
You may have seen Ntuthuko’s story in various publications last year. He was selected as one of our Faces of JASA 2012. Ntuthuko completed his JASA programme in 1997 and the programme sparked his interest in entrepreneurship, which eventually lead to him starting his own panel beating shop. Ntuthuko is still a loyal follower of JASA and he is always first in line to give back to the organisation by offering to share his story and provide field trips to his workshop to learners and learners currently on JASA programmes.
Happy Khambule is also a strong supporter of Junior Achievement South Africa. After completing the Mini Enterprise Programme in 2006, Happy went on to complete the Banks in Action and Success Skills programmes in 2007 and JA Titan in 2008. Happy went on to be elected as Financial Manager of the JASA Youth Council in 2008. Since then, Happy has always been willing to assist JASA with mentoring and events. Most recently Happy gave up five days from his busy schedule to mentor a group of five learners during the Investec Junior Innovators Competition. Happy is another one of Junior Achievement South Africa’s most promising alumni.
If you need to catch a flight from OR Tambo airport and your car has a dent, or a cracked windscreen, Scratch Mobile will fix it for you while you are away. Scratch Mobile is the brainchild of 32-year-old Ntuthuko Shezi, whose passion for business stemmed from a desire to change his family’s financial situation. He grew up in rural Ndwedwe in KwaZulu-Natal, with a single mother, a teacher who sold sweets, fish and vetkoek for extra money at the school she worked at, and Shezi would often help her. His grandparents kept cows for milk and grew their own fruit and vegetables. The family had no electricity. These difficulties have led to Shezi’s dream of being a future Ndwedwe ward councillor. When he left his job in management consulting he fortuitously recognised a gap in the panel-beating industry. Even through he did not have a clue about panel beating, his degree in engineering from the University of Cape Town made it easier for him to demystify in his head a subject many see as rocket science. His history in management alerted him to the fact that the industry was known for offering little compassion and care to customers and he wanted to change this and give customers who needed their cars fixed an option that was convenient for them and put their needs first. Scratch Mobile, which does panel beating, spray painting and auto glass repairs and replacements, is the first known business of its kind in the world and Shezi is looking to expand, as its success has been exceptional. The business fixes between 170 and 200 cars every month and has a turnover of a few million a year. His aim is to be a game-changer, not just to do things the way they have been done for a long time. — Ilham Rawoot
Happy Khambule loves being part of a collective. It’s his “we” attitude that makes him a British Council Global Changemaker and International Climate Champion. Khambule, a climate-change activist with a law degree, dreamt in early childhood of being president. Now he not only aspires to shape South Africa’s environmental policies but also to effect real change within communities, working with schools and the youth to create awareness of climate change. Although he has big ambitions he doesn’t allow them to overshadow his passions. The work he does as Gauteng co-ordinator of Project 90 x 2030 allows him to strike the right balance between the two. The project challenges society to change the way it lives in order to preserve the environment. The aim is to reduce our carbon footprint by 90% by the year 2030. Khambule’s philosophy is that “every generation equips the next generation with knowledge”. It is his job to get schools in the province to change their attitude towards the environment by setting up green clubs and educating pupils about sustainable behaviours. In light of his involvement with Ashoka Youth Ventures, a global project that gets young people thinking about how to address social issues, it is only natural that the work he does focuses so strongly on change. But getting people to change has its own challenges. To keep the youth interested and involved in climate change Khambule and his team continually have to think of more innovative and exciting campaigns using social media and whatever other tools are available. His mom has always told him to enjoy whatever it is that he does. Khambule takes that advice further. He loves what he does — working with people and making change happen. “When you see change happen and it has come about from a collective effort that is perfect.” — Caroline Cowan