Wandile Mthiyane has made both the Durban University of Technology (DUT) and South Africa proud after being selected as one of 20 ‘Obama Leaders’ from South Africa, to be part of the prestigious Obama Foundation programme.
The DUT alumnus and part-time lecturer is very excited about the opportunity. He is one of only 20 South Africans selected from 21 000 applications from around the world.
The Obama Foundation Leaders: Africa Programme supports emerging leaders from across the continent through a one-year leadership development and civic engagement programme. This is the second year of the Obama Foundation’s Leaders: Africa programme. It kicks off with a five-day convention featuring President Obama and more than 50 speakers from across Africa.
“I was ecstatic, I have always admired Obama and Nelson Mandela and I had just gotten rejected by the Nelson Mandela fellowship a week before I got accepted into Obama's one."
He added that he is interested in several opportunities that come with the fellowship that will challenge his world view, expand his knowledge on community development and make him a better person, leader and entrepreneur.
The architect is greatly inspired by the creativity of his community and is determined to improve the safety and quality of life across the country. He is also the founder of Ubuntu Design Group, an architectural design and micro-mortgage organisation. Its mission is providing entrepreneurial low-income families within the gap housing market who currently do not qualify for an RDP or a bank mortgage/bond, with a lower interest rate than a typical bank.
“Our target is to build 50 homes a year and increase that number by 10 homes every year."
Having grown up in the township of KwaMashu in KZN, he feels indebted to making the most of every opportunity to help his community.
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