South Africa’s top youth entrepreneurs

By Drum Digital
16 June 2016

DRUM looks at South Africa’s top youth entrepreneurs who fly the flag high for the country and remind us how far we have come.

Youth Day is being celebrated across South Africa in commemoration of the youth of 1976 who took to the streets to march against the apartheid government regeime and plans to make Afrikaans the medium of learning.

The event has become a highlight in South Africa’s history with the youth of '76 being seen as pioneers for the freedom that young people enjoy today, as well as the opportunities they have received through their education.

DRUM looks at South Africa’s top youth entrepreneurs who fly the flag high for the country and remind us how far we have come.

Image: Facebook Image: Facebook

Bheki Kunene (27),

Founder, Mind Trix Media

At the age of 27, Kunene has topped the 2015 Forbes list as Africa’s most promising young entrepreneur from South Africa. His claim to success is his business called Mind Trix Media which he built in his home town, Cape Town but is now doing business in Italy, Vietnam, Zimbabwe and Angola.

Mind Trix Media is a creative design company that specialises in web development and design, printing marketing material and developing apps.

The well-known story is that he started his company with R600. Today, he assisted over 14 previously disadvantaged individuals acquire free tertiary tuition in both graphic design and web design.

His background: During his childhood, he was considered to be a “trouble maker” and rejected from attending a private school, he was also involved in a car accident that cracked his skull. Today he is the recipient of the Youth Recognition Award from Stellenbosch University’s Africa Centre in recognition of his commitment to uplifting the youth of his childhood community.

Ludwick Marishane Image: Headboy website

Ludwick Marishane (25)

Founder, Headboy Industries

Marishane is the inventor of DryBath, a gel that can be used to take a bath without water. This product is set to tackle issues of sanitation in poor communities. After inventing Drybath he established his company called Headboy Industries which is a product development company. He has also established the Pioneers@Uni program which helps established private and public organizations to develop value-adding innovation initiatives that they are currently unable to be developed in-house.

His Background: Born in Limpopo, he was too lazy to take a bath and decided to invent something that you can put on your skin that will make you clean without having to take a bath. He has been named The Best Student Entrepreneur in the World at the Global Champion of the Global Student Entrepreneurs Awards in 2011 and Google named him as one of the most intelligent young brains in the universe.

Image: Facebook Image: Facebook

Rapelang Rabana (30)

Founder, Yeigo Communications

Yeigo Communications is a software company based in Cape Town, which she co-founded with Wilter du Toit and Lungisa Matshoda, after completing their studies at the University of Cape Town in 2005.

She later founded Rekindle Learning, which is an online learning and training company which she says “enable knowledge mastery and measurement in corporate and schooling environments”.

Her Background: Her famous story is that at the age of 16 she did not know what she wanted to do with her life and wanted to break free from ‘rules and obligations’ that she did not understand why she had to follow.  Today she has been named a Global Shaper by the World Economic Forum, Forbes 30 under 30 Africa’s Best Young Entrepreneurs, Mail and Guardian's 200 Young South Africans 2013 and made the Oprah Magazine "O Power List".

Lebohang Seloane Image: Twitter

Lebohang Selloane Tshabalala (28)

Founder, Visionary X-Rays

Visionary X-Rays is a business that provides mobile Tuberculosis (TB) screening units to various communities with residents and businesses in the mining and manufacturing industry. The mobile trailer moves across different towns in rural areas, as well as different mines  where people do not have access to quality healthcare services.

She is also the founder of an NGO called Dream Girls Foundation which is a woman empowerment programme where they host seminars, run entrepreneurship education programmes and develop young women’s self-esteem.

Her background: Her family is from rural Free State. She obtained a degree in Diagnostic Radiology from the Central University of Technology in Bloemfontein and worked as a diagnostic radiographer at Botshabelo Hospital in the Free State. She later did her MBA at the Management College of Southern Africa. Herbusiness was spurred on by her desire to provide quality healthcare services in rural communities.

She won R60 000 at the Engen Pitch and Polish competition in 2014 for her business plan, she won a $25 000 grant from the United States African Development Foundation and was named 2015 Innovator of the Year by Forbes Women Africa.

Image: Facebook Image: Facebook

Neftaly Malatji (25)

Founder, Diepsloot Youth Projects.

Diepsloot Youth Projects is a youth organisation which assists youth to find employment equipping them with skills for the workplace. It is an income generating programs that enable young people to engage in business opportunities and has  created employment for  young people.

His Background: Malatji is from the rural area of Molati in Limpopo. At the age of 11, he has worked as a preschool teacher, peer educator, library assistant, HIV/Aids counsellor, drugs awareness and prevention teacher, learning and development advisor and afternoon care coordinator. In 2014 he established Diepsloot Youth Projecsts using cash he had saved from his part-time job.

Sources: The Legacy Project, Destiny Man, Mind Trix Media, Forbes Africa, Headboy Industries, The South African, Media Club South Africa, SME South Africa, Anzisha Prize.

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