A leg fracture as a teen made Johan Snyders choose prosthetics as a career. Upon graduating he opened a prosthetic rehabilation facility in the Middle East. There he worked with international manufacturers such as Ossur, a leading international prosthetic component manufacturer, who offered him a job.
This took him around the world and allowed him to gain experience manufacturing basic and high end prosthetic solutions.
His role moved towards research and development in socket technology. He was a part of a team that created a new socket manufacturing framework which changed the materials and time frames involved in prosthetics fitment. Seeing the potential of this socket technology in South Africa, he came back to SA and opened Icexpress Prosthetics.
Johan started Jumping Kids Prosthetic Fund to fund high end solutions for amputee children so they could attend mainstream schools, play sports and lead an active lifestyle. PHOTO: Bonzai Photography.
At the age of 12 Michael was electrocuted by high voltage lines, leading to third degree burns to 70% of his body. Both his legs were amputated - one above knee, one below knee. Michael attended King Edward VII School, completed a degree in marketing and PR at UJ before doing a post graduate in business administration at WITS business school. He managed a BMW dealership for a number of years before going into property investment. Meeting Johan in the build-up to London 2012 introduced Mike to Jumping Kids and a competition he won to work for a nonprofit of his choice brought him into the team. He is a trustee, Jumping Kids operations manager and is currently studying Social Entrepreneurship at GIBS in order to develop Jumping Kids into a social enterprise capable of dealing with the issue of childhood amputation in South Africa. PHOTO: Bonzai Photography.
Sihle Tshabalala, co-founder and CEO of Brothers for All/Up for All, is an ex-offender. During his time in prison, he became a key member of the Group of Hope programme (a prisoner-initiated project), and decided to spend his life helping others avoid the mistakes he had made. Since leaving prison, he co-founded Brothers for All and taught himself how to code. He has become a key voice in his community. He teaches Computer Programming/Coding, Entrepreneurship, Digital Marketing and Graphic Design to high school drop outs, teenage moms, unemployed youth, ex-offenders and offenders. He has presented at the Durban AIDS conference, spoken widely on TV and radio and was awarded 2014 LeadSA’s Hero of the month, 2015 LeadSA’s Future Leader, Mail and Guardian 200 Young South Africans and 2015 Spark Changemaker.
Kgomotso Julian Sebitlo (otherwise known as KG) was recently awarded a full scholarship from one of the largest asset management companies in Europe and UK, Schroders. Consequently, he is completing an Honours Degree in Financial Risk Management @ Stellenbosch University and is researching modelling yield curves in emerging markets. KG loves working in teams: he is a front desk supervisor, a tutor for mathematics, economics, statistics and is currently is enrolled for the African Leadership Development Program @ the Frederik Van Zyl Slabbert leadership institute. The young man, who was raised by a single mother in Soweto, aspires to join a start-up, because he believes better quality entrepreneurs are required to propel South Africa and the world forward. His talk will be about the benefits of random brainstorming. His motto: “observe, opportunities disguise themselves.”
Her journey in life has allowed her many great opportunities - running her own award-winning guesthouse at 20, finishing off an MBA at 25. She is passionate about working at Allan Gray, assuming a role that gives her a chance to lend her experience as an entrepreneur to be an intrapreneur. Mosidi has a great passion for social upliftment and is the Co-founder of GrowthShoot Inc as well as the curator of the World Economic Forum Global Shapers Stellenbosch Hub.
With a vision to create multiple agripreneurs, one community and one country at time, she co-founded GrowthShoot - which empowers young farmers to build great businesses. Through the Global Shapers Hub she aims to be a catalyst for social change and community building, through Hub-led projects and collaborative opportunities with other organisations in the Cape winelands region.
Ella Bella is the founder of Generation Earth and the educational officer of the Miss Earth South Africa leadership programme. Generation Earth is a South African-based youth driven environmental group initiating change from grassroots levels by the youth for the benefit of future generations and industries. This outgoing, fun loving young woman has also been a spokesperson and active youth ambassador for the United Nations Environmental Youth Programme for the past seven years. After being named one of the Mail and Guardian’s Most Influential Young People of 2012- 2013, Ella Bella was awarded the Greening the Future Award: The Sudley Adams Memorial Award for Outstanding Reach, Innovation and Sustainability among the Youth of South Africa through Generation Earth. Ella Bella is being recognised for the role she plays among the youth in the sustainability and citizenship sphere, both in Africa and in the world. She was the presenter for SABC 2’s Youth Show “Hug a Tree” where several of the Generation Earth projects and initiatives where featured from April – July.
She was recently honoured by the South African Premier Business Awards this year for the Miss Earth South Africa Programme in the Young Entrepreneurship Category, an Enviropaedia Eco-Logic Award for 2012. She was awarded the Rising Star Award for the Entrepreneur of the Year for 2013 and is a recipient Of the Lyceum Award for Entrepreneurship and Community Development for 2014. Having met some of the world’s most iconic individuals, like Nelson Mandela and Wangari Maathai, members of the royal family; HRH Prince Edward: the Earl of Wessex and HRH Princess Caroline of Monaco and her son HRH Prince Andrea; to celebrities like Will Smith, Pharrell Williams, Lady Gaga, Jamie Fox, Emma Watson, Don Cheadle and Forest Whitaker, Ella Bella says she wants to meet many more influential people as, “this is a platform to share what we as the children of Africa are accomplishing and an opportunity to encourage them to realize their impact on the public and their personal impact on the Earth. We all need to take responsibility and give back to People and Planet.”
This young dynamo is a passionate diehard environmentalist that leaves no stone unturned in the quest to change mind sets and behaviour. She was awarded the Eco-Logic Community Award for the Generation Earth programme last year. Her energy in inspiring people towards living a greener life is infectious. As one of the Al Gore Climate Reality International Leaders, Ella Bella aspires to educate and get the messages of Climate Change out to young people who she believes will be the agents of change in years to come. Her primary objective is to establish Generation Earth Councils across the world and have every young women go through the Miss Earth leadership programme to allow for a platform that allows open dialogue, recognition of challenges and inspirational stories and experience to create change.
Chris is a professional Stand Up Paddler and holds the South African Open Ocean SUP 24-hour Distance World Record. In his popular Inspirational talks, Chris doesn’t just talk about what he does (believe it or not, he’s not one to brag about his achievements). Instead, he talks about why he does it. Because like every successful sportsperson, team-leader, businessperson or entrepreneur, Chris knows that it’s the reasons why we do something that determine how we do it – or whether we do it at all. Chris has become a sought after global speaker. There’s an authenticity to this material that makes people sit up and listen.
Chris is not a full-time professional athlete; he’s a regular working guy. He was running his own small business while he did the tough training.
Chris is living proof that if you truly believe in something and work hard at it, you can achieve anything.
Aileen Hlongoane is the founder and president of Pledge a Pad (PAP) NPC (non-profit company). The PAP team works selflessly and tirelessly to collect, distribute sanitary pad to underprivileged girls. They also conduct workshops to educated young women about personal hygiene, with particular emphasis on the menstrual cycle.
Aileen Tsakane Hlongoane hails from Kwa-Ndebele , Mpumalanga Province.
Aileen, who holds an LLB degree from UP and is an admitted attorney, is currently practicing at Fivaz incorporated attorneys in Centurion. She is passionate about community development, particularly uplifting young girls. She subscribes to the philosophy that: “I am because you are and since you are, therefore I am.”
Zipho Sikhakhane is an international speaker, writer, poet, and business advisor. She has presented to audiences across four continents, including a TEDx Talk delivered in the USA on Africa’s potential. She is passionate about helping individuals and businesses realise their growth potential.
In the last 10 years she has travelled to 30 countries and worked in 10 of them. She has held strategy and management positions at industry leading organisations worldwide. Examples include the world’s top management consulting firm, McKinsey & Co and the world’s biggest Spanish based retail group, Inditex, the parent company of ZARA. She is currently an Executive at a new venture focused on acquiring and scaling businesses in the food sector. She is published as a contributing author in Singapore in a book on inspirational women’s life stories. She is also a weekly Business Columnist for the Sunday Times in South Africa. In 2016, she received the Outstanding Youth Achiever Award.
Awarded the Golden Horn for Best TV Presenter at the 2016 SAFTAs, Katlego Maboe has grown year-on-year into a well-known TV presenter, singer, voice-over artist, MC, model and actor. Trilingual Katlego hosts the SABC3 show Expresso and Strictly Come Dancing. He speaks fluent Afrikaans, English and Setswana. He completed a B.Com degree in Chartered Accountancy at the North West University in 2007. Appointed a HOPE Cape Town Goodwill Ambassador in 2014, Katlego is regularly involved in philanthropic projects that focus on education and health, such as his ongoing community work with HOPE Cape Town and riding the Cape Town. PHOTO: Michael le Grange.