3 of the (many) inspiring South Africans in our midst
What does a businesswoman, a rocket scientist, and an insurance innovator have in common? Well, each has achieved in their field to the point where it is pretty darn inspiring, and we thought that in light of the Olympics taking place right now… let’s keep the inspiration flowing.
After all, we may not all be Olympic-level athletes, but each of us has a calling. All it takes is the courage to stand up and push forward into the unknown. You don’t even need to have everything figured out before you start your journey.
You just need to start, and to inspire you to get going we’ve got 3 amazing “home grown” stories.
Business savvy, Rapelang Rabana
Rapelang Rabana is a game-changing entrepreneur and a force to be reckoned with. Almost 10 years ago Rapelang decided to take a risk and start her own business, Yeigo Communications. She has since gone on to found the hugely successful Rekindle Learning, a learning and development company that provides mobile and computer learning solutions which enables knowledge mastery and measurement in corporate and schooling environments.
Impressive right? Ok yes, it is. But hold on to your hats because we’re not done yet.
Not only has she made the cover of Forbes Africa, she’s also been named Entrepreneur for the World. Of course, she didn’t know she would become an inspiration for women everywhere. In fact, just last year the World Entrepreneurship Forum named her 1 of 15 women who are changing the world in 2015 for her efforts to advocate women in business.
It’s no wonder that Rapelang has become a symbol of her generation of up and coming aspiring entrepreneurs.
Her advice: “The ability to drive yourself to your full potential starts internally with personal master.”
Rocket man, Siya Xuza
What started with a child’s curiosity turned into a journey that ended with Siya Xuza having a planet named after him, Siyaxuza, which you can find in the main asteroid belt, near Jupiter, if you’re looking that is…
Well, what else would you do for a boy from Mthatha who began his career in his mother’s kitchen, developing a cheaper and safer rocket fuel? After all, this “science project” earned him a (take a deep breath)… gold medal at the National Science Expo, the Dr DerekGray Memorial award, an invitation to the International Youth Science Fair in Sweden, and 2 grand awards at the Intel International Science & Engineering Fair in the US, the world’s biggest student science event.
From there, he was elected as a fellow of the African Leadership Network, became a fellow of the Kairos Society, and was invited to the United Nations and the New York Stock Exchange in recognition for being 1 of the world’s emerging business leaders and to offer strategies for solving the world’s energy crisis. Now, Siya is working to transform homes into power plants, which capture the energy of the sun during the day and store some of it in fuel cells for use at night.
His advice: “Do what you love and the world will love what you do… I did not achieve this because I am smart, but because I never give up.”
Ground breaking innovator, Gideon Galloway
Gideon Galloway was the youngest board member of an established insurance organisation, when at the height of his career, he saw first-hand that the insurance industry was falling short from what its purpose was. Its greed, unwillingness to change, and reluctance to improve for the greater good of the changing consumer needs gave him a bad taste in his mouth and a burning desire to do better.
He knew that the time had come to make a difference and show people that buying insurance is a responsible decision, 1 that will save them from financial pain when bad things happen, like car accidents or break-ins.
So Gideon left the security of his corporate job and pursued his dream of launching an insurance company that gave consumers the fair and logical insurance choice that they deserved. And so King Price was launched and with it, the 1st ever offer for consumers to buy insurance that decreased their monthly car insurance premiums every month as the value of their car depreciates.
With over 100,000 happy clients and 1000s more joining our royal family every month, it makes sense that we were voted Best Short-Term Insurer and Best Newcomer at the South African Service Awards and were recognised at the Sunday Times People Choice Awards.
His advice: “It takes a dream, a team, and commitment to enduring when you know that what you’re doing is right.”
At the end of the day, it’s all about being real, working hard, and remembering that who you are is uniquely perfect for your specific calling that will add something that no 1 else can to the world. And that’s pretty inspiring, right?