Meet the social innovators taking part in this year’s Amaphiko Academy in South Africa.
Randy Mampuru, Kidz Hub
This Johannesburg-based NPO pays special attention to kids’s personal and academic-development needs. They’re pairing university students with primary school learners in an effort to pass on knowledge and skills.
Ntlahla Nkukwana, I AM SELFMADE
This investor and social entrepreneur runs finance workshops and consultations educating people about get rich quick schemes and promoting financial literacy. He’s also the author of How 2 Take Less Money And Make More With It.
Alison Harris, Sk8 for Gr8
The Sk8 for Gr8 concept is simple: she pairs up talented graphic designers and artists with kids to collaborate on skateboard design. The idea is to open up the students’ creativity, to put them in touch with skills they didn’t know they had, and to make them aware of the opportunities in art and design.
Buhle Sithela, Khayelitsha Bin Project
Every week Sithela and his friends clean bins in their area for a fee. The funds are then used to host cinema evenings in community venues, such as churches, in the area. The inspiration to do this stems from his love of film and the absence of cinemas in townships.
Renshia Manuel, GrowBox
Once a school librarian, Renshia started growing vegetables at her own home when she lost her job and needed to feed her children. Out of this desperate need was born the idea for GrowBox, vegetable boxes that are made from recycled pallets, which allow people who don’t have space to grow their own food to plant vegetable gardens.
Neo Hutiri, Technovera
An electrical engineer, based in Johannesburg, his automated locker system allows people with chronic conditions to collect their repeat medication in just a few minutes as opposed to waiting several hours in long queues. It literally works with the click of a button.
Murendeni Mafumo, Kusini Water
The impressive scientist, former Yale University Mandela Washington fellow and the brains behind a system that creates drinkable water out of rain and ground water using a low-cost membrane made out of macadamia nuts. The system is entirely designed and built in South Africa, and no, you did not read incorrectly, the key ingredient of the system is crushed nuts.
Nozipho Zulu, ZuluGal Retro
A project that uses arts and crafts to reduce unemployment and poverty among young people with disabilities and their caregivers. Beneficiaries are trained to produce marketable, handcrafted fashion accessories using up-cycled chip wrapper bags, plastic and beads.
Nhlanhla Ndlovu, HUSTLENOMICS
A qualified bricklayer with a business focused on up-skilling and creating opportunities for youth. Nhlanhla aids in the replacement of shacks with formal housing through an affordable finance plan. This young entrepreneur lives in Soweto and has his sights set on changing his neighbourhood, one house at a time.
Thato Mafokoane, Khof & Khuk
A native of Nellmapius, just outside Mamelodi, Thato is a volunteer, Sunday school teacher and youth leader and the founder of Khof & Khuk bakery. He wants to empower youth in his neighbourhood by providing opportunities they’ve never had before and help them build purpose-driven lives.
Shivad Singh, Presto Academy
Realising that the leap from matric to university can be monumental for first-year students, Shivad wondered whether textbooks could be more easily understood and engaging? He didn’t stop at thinking either, he and his fellow Presto co-founders started writing and creating study guides written and designed by South Africa’s top-achieving students.
Bathabile Mpofu, Nkazimulo Applied Sciences
The developer of a mini-science kit, called ChemStart, for high school learners that come from schools that don’t have the lab tools that she knows are necessary for ambitious learners to be adequately exposed to chemistry. She wants to help all future scientists start their journey on level a footing.
Palesa Mahlatji, Yakhi’iphupha
When translated Yakhi’iphupha means “building a dream,” which is exactly what its founder intends to do. She spends her time running programmes to up-skill learners and unemployed youth in Mdantsane. She believes that being an architect of your own reality starts with you, but it doesn’t end there.
Whitney Jacobs, Employ ME South Africa
Sometimes people will have to cancel job interviews because they don’t have enough money to get from point A to point B. Missed opportunities, due to logistical challenges, shouldn’t be a problem in 2017. Whitney’s online platform aims to take the hassle out of commuting and has the potential to change the recruitment landscape entirely.
Moses Kebalepile, Kebalepile
A doctoral candidate in inhalation technology from the University of Pretoria, Moses grew up with siblings suffering from asthma. Moses has invented a hand-held device that allows users to predict whether an asthma attack is imminent. The device has the power to remove much of the stress and anxiety associated with asthma.
Jabulani Dlamini, Sidingulwazi Holdings
Jabulani’s vision is to create employment opportunities in his community and to find innovative ways to reduce poverty. He’s already converted several illegal dumping sites into communal gardens.