South Africa, 2020
Thabani Mtsi—descendant of “uJojo, uZikhali, uTiyeka ubutsolo beentonga uQocwa”, is primarily a student of life and believes that the highest calling for each one is to use their God-given gifts and abilities to serve others. He is mandated to inspire, empower and edify those in his sphere of influence by putting to use his skills, talents and knowledge. His mantra—“Express not to impress but to impart”—drives him to sharpen and effectively employ his physical, intellectual and spiritual faculties to fulfill this purpose. His life mission, through co-creation, is to unearth Africa’s moral and intellectual novelties which revolve around ubuntu and selfless service. His ability to lead has been displayed in his service as a Cluster Convener, a member on the Institutional Transformation Committee, as Community Engagement and Learning Officer at TEDxStellenbosch and as Rotaract Vice President. His passion for community engagement gained him a Rector’s Award for Service and his sagacity earned him another one for Leadership. Thabani is a jack of all trades. He is a poet, radio DJ, a Master of Ceremonies, a singer, a writer and a speaker. These creative avenues enhance his civil engineering—allowing him to employ human-centred design and collaborative methods to problem solving. His undergraduate research project was named the best in South Africa by the South African Institute of Civil Engineering for 2018/2019. For his Masters, he is in collaboration with the minibus taxi industry, co-creating solutions to improve the customer experience.