24 year old Ndumiso Hadebe is a Business speaker, Mentor and Economist. Asaman sits down with him.
What would you say makes and keeps you happy?
What makes and keeps me happy is first the love and fellowship I have with my Creator. I derive a lot of pleasure from my relationship with Him. I also love and enjoy being and seeing people happy, I have a heart for people and so I have gratification when people around me are happy.
Tell us a bit about what you do in your professional capacity
I work as a researcher in the enterprise development sector, so I do a lot of work in relation to the development of smaller business and their contribution in local economies.
I also work as a consultant and speaker through a new consulting business I have recently started, Master Frontiers Advisory. I work with clients in government, banking and civil society sectors in providing them insights on frontier and emerging economies and how they can navigate the work they do in these changing times with a bias towards our young population.
Are you fulfilled in regards to what you do on a daily basis or is there something else that you would like to explore?
I am one person who has always been deliberate about pursuing purpose and doing what I love.
I believe in the story of a rising Africa and the economic potential that it can unlock. I believe it is my duty to tell this story far and wide. My life both inside and outside of my work reflects the same theme.
So I am fulfilled by the work that I do on a daily basis, I would not be doing anything else at this point.
What is your honest opinion on the general moral state of young men today and do you feel it can be made better?
I think that we live in a world that is changing so quickly, from a young age we have access to all sorts of information and influences.
To a point where we are essentially forced to grow up quicker than previous generations and of course this had an influence on the moral state of young men. We are prone to being gullible to material things, seek instant gratification and a loss of a sense of self and self knowing.
I once came a across a quote saying :” All of these selfies but is there self knowledge?” . So I guess as young men, in the midst of change, it is important that we do not loose sight of who we are and a destined to be become.
Where did you grow up and who raised you? What are the important lessons you received growing up?
I was born and in my formative years raised in Sebokeng, a township in the Vaal area, south of Johannesburg.
I was raised by a Mbokodo, a loving, strong and powerful woman who raised 3 boys (my brothers and I ) and taught us about the love of God and invested in our education as a tool to give us and to create a better life for ourselves and our people.
So the important lessons I learned and received growing up were exactly that, the knowledge of the love God has for us as His children and the value of education in the development of people and living out the fullness of life.
Do you feel fathers today are stepping up to what you feel their role should be?
Well, the reality is that many of us have been raised by single mothers. On One Day Leader , a youth leadership programme on SABC 1, we all were raised by single mothers.
This speaks to the fact that we need more father figure role models. Perhaps some of our young men have no knowledge of what manhood is about or themselves because there aren’t enough men to model. With that being said, there are a number of other men who are stepping up and mentoring young men. I am a product of such a father figure relationship.
Would you like to be a father, and what would you impart to your children?
Haha I do look forward to being a father one day. My hope is to impart one lesson to them, a love and respect for God, themselves and their fellow man. Everything else will fall in to place.
What else do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I love music! In my next life, I would want to be a musician, but a vocalist particularly. I enjoy reading and running as well. That is where I feed my creative space.
You mentioned that you are not a ‘fan’ of titles, could you share why not?
I believe in the perspective of leading without a title, because we are human and fall short at times, it is easy to be consumed by titles that we hold. But what I have come to learn, particularly after winning One Day Leader and being a Future Leaders mentor is that titles say very little about how well our lives are lead.
There are a lot of people who are doing amazing work around the world but they doing it from confines of a township, rural area with limited resources. So my view is that if we all were to share this perspective, we would make a huge difference in the lives of people and not think because I have a specific title, “I have arrived” . Our body of work is never complete.
I was impressed with Ndumiso when we first met, but more so now and here is why. Nothing is put on. You can almost literally see the passion in his eyes. Yet he walks with such humility. His cheerful heart beams through his young face, and leaves behind an ora of goodness.
At 24 many are yet to discover their purpose. He may still have a while to go, but it is refreshing to see a man of his age so passionate and driven with an actual cause.
‘There is a difference between being a male and a man. Being a male is biological but manhood is about character’
Photography by Aaron & Hur