Umlazi-born Harvard scholar paying it forward with empowering initiative

Mfundo Radebe is a young public speaker and social activist who made his way to the prestigious Harvard University, despite the odds.

Radebe was accepted into Harvard on a full scholarship and is now giving back to South African youth through his uplifting project, The Dlulisa Initiative.

Dlulisa is a youth led civil society initiative that collects resources such as textbooks for less-privileged schools.

It's about giving textbooks and stationery to foundation level children in schools that truly need those resources. Then we see how we can implement monitoring and evaluation.

Mfundo Radebe, Harvard scholar and founder of The Dlulisa Initiative

Radebe says his reality forced him to always push for more and seek out opportunities for himself.

Raised by a single mother, he grew up in the Durban township of Umlazi and was always hungry for knowledge.

Radebe first wrote to the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation when he was 13, and landed his first scholarship.

He then set his sights on Crawford College, where he received the first full compassionate scholarship and became an international public speaker and debating champion.

While there, Mfundo excelled in his academics (matriculating with 8 distinctions in 2015) and secured a scholarship at Harvard to study political science and psychology.

I realised that this was a clean slate and a chance to build anything I wanted... A chance for me to make a big difference.

Mfundo Radebe, Harvard scholar and founder of The Dlulisa Initiative

Radebe reflected on his moving journey and the initiative to help underprivileged learners in South Africa.

Take a listen to his inspiring story:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Umlazi-born Harvard scholar paying it forward with empowering initiative


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