Katlego Thindisa

Chief education specialist, Red Pencil Group

In Tswana, “Katlego” means “successful.” Katlego Thindisa has certainly lived up to his name.

After completing a bachelor of accounting sciences degree via Unisa, the 27-year-old completed a postgraduate diploma in tertiary education cum laude. At just 22, he was appointed the first-ever full-time accounting lecturer at Varsity College Pretoria, where his role over and above lecturing included providing various forms of support to lecturers and students.

In the same year, Thindisa founded Balance House, a non-profit organisation that focuses on the development of young leaders. Over the period of a year, members are taken through various programmes designed to develop them holistically. These include intergenerational programmes that allow them to engage with leaders of different ages, as well as corporate social responsibility initiatives. Funding constraints have brought the organisation’s activities to a halt, and Thindisa and his team are looking at ways of restructuring to regain momentum.

In 2015, Thindisa was appointed chief education specialist for Red Pencil Group, a company that is well known within South Africa’s education sector. Some of his various roles include researching ways of improving the education system in the country; doing advisory work on various provincial and national platforms on how to improve education; and leading a team of subject specialists within the company in developing various resources – like interactive systems, calculators, maths and science kits, teaching and learning material and methodologies – which can be introduced into the education system. Thindisa has also been involved in training educators at Association for Mathematics Education of South Africa national and provincial conferences, as well as in training over 20 000 learners in multiple provinces on the use of calculators for maths, science and accounting. As Red Pencil’s Group chief education specialist, he also sits in on different meetings and boards of the department of basic education, and was recently part of the minister’s task team visit to various schools in Limpopo.

Thindisa continues to lecture commerce modules at various institutions. He is clearly passionate about education. “I believe that education is a language that is understood by individuals of all ages, and therefore acts as the main force behind all decisions and actions made by people,” he says. “Therefore, if I am to positively impact education in South Africa, then I can positively impact the economy of South Africa and its people.”

— Fatima Asmal

Instagram: @kat_jt