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DUT Inspires Young Leader to Aim High

DUT Inspires Young Leader to Aim High

It was the Durban University of Technology that set the foundation for what One Day Leader candidate Sakhile Mngadi is yet to achieve through his fierce debating and leadership skills.

The third-year DUT Architecture student made it to the top six of the South African reality show, One Day Leader which is aired on SABC 1. It (the show) aims to identify and equip young leaders with innovative ways of addressing social issues while exposing them to the kinds of challenges that leaders are faced with.

Mngadi said it was through his engagement with the DUT Debating Union, which he co-founded, that his eyes were opened to the many possibilities awaiting him in the world. He added that DUT has enabled him to reach many milestones, some of which he had previously never imagined.

“Joining DUT really opened my eyes to how I could make a difference. It has enabled me to recognise that I could do anything I put my mind to and it gave me the confidence to do so,” he said.

The 23-year-old discovered his passion for leadership and debating back when he was a pupil at Pearson High School in Port Elizabeth. He said by Grade 11, he was already the president of four societies and the school’s Captain of the Chess and Debating team.

Mngadi said he had moved to PE from Durban in 2007 with his father who had found a better job there. Prior to the move, he was raised by his great grandmother in Umlazi, Durban, and attended Yellowwood Park Primary School where he excelled in speech and drama. 

“My home life was very humble. We lived in a four room house with my older brother, younger cousin, uncle and great grandmother. My grandmother was married and lived a few houses away from ours,” he added.

The future leader said among the many goals he has set for himself, is to become a member of the South African Parliament. He said he is particularly moved by leaders such as Mmusi Maimane, Democratic Alliance leader, who inspire with their actions rather than their words. This, he said, is the kind of leader he hopes to become one day.

“I believe in an open opportunity society where it is not where you come from that determines how far you make it in life and Mmusi Maimane encapsulates this,” said Mngadi.

          Bongani Gema

Pictured: Sakhile Mngadi at the One Day Leader studio. 

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