“I want to create a model that’ll support schools in rural and township areas” - Founder of Dream in Colour Foundation, Shumani Nembudani

Image: Getty Images
Image: Getty Images

How was it growing up?

I was raised by loving parents who encouraged us to dream big. I was in boarding school from primary school. I remember selling sweets during break time to make pocket money. I decided during my final year in high school that I wanted to be an entrepreneur and at that point I figured the best way to go about this journey was through the CA route. I was accepted at Wits University where I studied a Bachelor of Accounting Sciences, and then went on to complete my Honours through Unisa.

Why did you start the NGO?

Throughout the years, my father had taken me under his wing and shown me how to run a successful business, managing his company accounts solidified what I would soon discover about myself. Entrepreneurship was my path.

After years of studying and working in the corporate environment at Deloitte SA, the longing for something more took hold and would not let go. Dream in Colour Foundation (DCF) was birthed out of the desire to make a tangible difference. It was based on a a desire to give back to the children in my community and cause a ripple effect of South African high school students being brave to want more. I have been privileged. I attended great private schools and I was exposed to so much. I have always been a little bit different from my peers and that is what I wanted to impart and share with the younger versions of me. DCF is a foundation where kids can be sharpened – where we help them do better at school; produce grades they are proud of and seek careers that they have always dreamt of.

What drives you?

Dreams, impact, change and freedom – that’s what drives me.  The children I mentor and tutor know so little and their dreams are like sprouting greens. I want to give them with opportunities to think and see the world different.

Why take the leap and leave corporate?

The corporate route was almost expected of me. There is a promise of stability and career growth. This is what many desire; to be able to make a better life for themselves and their families. Our parents sacrificed so much for us to have it better, I stand and look outside my gate in Shayandima and see mothers and fathers who got above and beyond for their children. The corporate route was merely a transition for me. I am giving myself the opportunity to forge something more for myself and my community.

What are you hoping to achieve with DCF?

I am hoping to create a model that will supplement the public schooling education system in rural and township areas. The model will create a need for all schools to have proper running libraries and resource centres, which should contribute immensely to the illiteracy rates in SA.

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