Zibusiso Mkhwanazi is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, a digital entrepreneur and the founder and CEO of Avatar, a South African Digital Marketing Agency that has branches in over 26 African countries.
This highly enterprising African is also the founder of the Mkhwanazi Academy for Christian Entrepreneurship (MACE); a non-profit organisation that runs as a Christian business forum and offers a comprehensive business programme to disadvantaged young entrepreneurs between 18 and 35 years of age in line with basic religious values.
He says his vision is to “create a new breed of ethical entrepreneurs in the country.”
Zibusiso was 18 years old when he and his friend Neo Mothlabane came up with a multi-million dollar idea, they didn’t know much, but they knew enough to invest all of their savings in a dream that meant the whole world to them. The duo formed a unique partnership for while Zibusiso was well versed in the use of computer, his friend was proficient in accounting.
Purpose drove them, their future encouraged them, optimism aided them and ultimately faith positioned them. With just a capital of R2000,00, they founded Csonke Holdings in 2000.
And as the saying, “the world makes way for the man that knows where he is going.” Zibusiso’s success in the industry was unparalleled; he enjoyed major breakthroughs which saw him shaking hands with the high and mighty.
Interestingly, that was just his little beginning. 2006 marked a new beginning for the young entrepreneur, it launched him into a new world of business possibilities when his bourgeoning company Csonke.com merged with KrazyBoyz to form KrazyBoyz Holdings, the biggest black-owned new media marketing agency in South Africa.
As a man of many parts, Zibusiso is also a Trustee of the National Economic and Education Trust (NEET), which has provided over 4,000 scholarships to underprivileged ICT students. He is also the Chairman of The Red Quarter Branding Agency and founder of David’s League, a mentorship programme designed to uplift and empower young entrepreneurs from disadvantaged backgrounds in their business pursuits.
The urge to tackle the inadequate black representation in the international digital sector and his self-imposed mandate to revivify the South African technology system compelled him to seek change and kindle the technology fire in the hearts of black youths who he believes have what it take takes to make the system better.
“I identify young people with talent, even matriculants because you don’t need a degree to do what we do. You just need someone who is going to sit you down and take you through it so you get a better understanding of the industry itself. I take in young people and I train them up on SEO, social media and other digital marketing skills. I believe that if agencies had the will to do that, it would make a big change. It would be a huge step forward. But if you had to say to most digital agencies, ‘Show me your interns’ it would still mostly be white people because the will is just not there.”
Zibusiso Mkhwanazi has become a name to be reckoned with in the South African ICT Sector. His Impregnable vision drove him all the way and today South Africa sits amongst high ranking tech countries of the world as a result of his great contributions.
This South African go-getter has garnered several awards and accolades from around the globe for his exceptional and productive contribution to technology in Africa and beyond. In 2007, at age 23, the entrepreneurial mogul walked off with the BBQ Young Business Achiever Award. In the same year, he was named one of 100 Young South Africans. And in 2008, he scooped the Top ICT Individual in Africa and Top ICT Young Entrepreneur in Africa awards. In 2009, he won the Men’s Health Best Man Editor’s Choice Award. He was also the IT Personality finalist for 2009 and 2010 and the Finalist for Best Individual Contribution to SA Digital Marketing in 2011.
The tech enthusiast opines that lack of digital access locks our youths out of the world and leaves them unaware of the developments around them.
“Not having access locks people out of the world. If one looks at how often one interacts with one’s mobile phone or the Internet, that’s what township youths that don’t have access are being locked out of. We live in an information age and if you don’t have access to that information you are at a disadvantage in almost everything you do.”
Zibusiso’s impact is felt not just in Africa but around the world, he went in pursuit of his purpose. He had little, but he didn’t wait for a bank loan or government contribution. He took the challenge and emerged victorious.
Let him be your inspiration; get up and go after your purpose. Take the challenge today.