Albert Modi

Chief executive, Moses Kotane Institute

Albert Thembinkosi Modi's mother is illiterate. But she instilled a passion for learning in her son. Following a scholarship to study horticulture and crop science at the University of Fort Hare, Modi went on to complete his master's and PhD. The latter qualification was made possible through the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship. Modi believes crop science is one of best ways to develop rural communities and most of his research looked at indigenous agricultural systems and making these commercially viable. An initiative he spearheaded now supplies Woolworths with certified organic wild African potatoes. He recently joined the Moses Kotane Institute as chief executive, in which he aims to address the shortfall of science, engineering and maths leaders. His vision for the institute is to "orchestrate innovative interventions that render efficient and sustainable service delivery�. He believes that the only sustainable way to alleviate poverty is though education. � Hendri Pelser

Lunch spot: Pizza Hut, Pietermaritzburg