Shaka Sisulu

Shaka Sisulu is the perfect example of how much good you can do when you use your privilege for the benefit of society. In continuing the legacy of the great Sisulu family, 32-year-old Sisulu is an Archbishop Tutu Leadership Fellow, sits on the advisory council of the Public Sector Excellence Awards and the boards of both LoveLife and the Foundation for a Safer South Africa. Plus, he’s “The Big Cheese” — the incredible guy behind Cheesekids for Humanity.

In 2007, after building houses through Habitat for Humanity, Sisulu and his friends found themselves wanting to do more. In formalising their growing volunteer “movement”, Sisulu created Cheesekids as a fun, accessible political platform for youth to give back. With the tagline “Love, peace and mo’ cheese”, Cheesekids enables like-minded, privileged youth (those who have “cheese”) to pay it forward to those less fortunate through a range of programmes, from painting classrooms, building houses and cleaning gardens to spending time with children who “need love”. And Sisulu’s approach — making community service “cool” — is working: of Cheesekids’ 8500 member volunteers, half come back to help. And they bring friends.

Putting his postgraduate diplomas in management and business administration from the Gordon Institute of Business Science and his experience as a business incubator to good use, Sisulu is making even “mo’ cheese”. By providing a platform for corporate social responsibility programmes, he’s turning Cheesekids into a sustainable model and an incubator for projects members wish to activate.

Sisulu also hosts regular late-night talk shows on 702, writes columns for Destiny Man and has just published his first book, Becoming. In it, he suggests what he would like to see happen in South Africa and how we can achieve the great things it is known for; the things his family fought for.

— Lu Larche