Philani Sangweni

Chief operating officer, Fundi

If he were handed a magic wand to wave, Philani Sangweni (34) says he’d use it to “get the unions, government and the private sector to agree on a plan to upskill the unemployable young people of our country, then get them to work lock step to implement the said plan.”
It is clear that youth development is close to Sangweni’s heart and he works hard to lend a helping hand in the personal and professional development of the young people he crosses paths with.
“I’m part of the partnerships committee at Tirisano Foundation, where we currently work with two schools in Soweto on equipping learners with necessary life skills to enable them to take control of their future. We intend to create and grow partnerships with other organisations in order to scale the impact we have thus far,” he shares.
This hard-working father of two is a believer in the saying that charity begins at home and this is why a big part of his daily motivation stems from the place where he grew up. “I grew in a very close knit community in KwaMashu M Section. Despite it being a highly violent and crime-ridden community, I’ve always had people in the community who, from a very young age, consistently told me that I would achieve something that would make all of them proud. I’m still not sure why they said this to me, but it has certainly been my biggest motivation,” says Philani.
Amid all his commitments with supporting the young people he works with and being a father, Philani still finds time to develop himself academically. He holds a bachelor of accounting qualification from UKZN and a qualification from the Wits Business School executive development programme, and is currently pursuing an executive MBA at Indead. He explains that his position at Fundi (formerly known as Eduloan) sees him “leading a team that is currently piloting a cashless campus solution at schools and certain university campuses, with the intention of helping them raise additional revenue from fees from the transactions that occur in and around their campuses.”
— Simphiwe Rens