SSP Trustee Itumeleng Kgaboesele is the co-founder and CEO of Sphere Holdings, and holds board positions in a number of companies including Babcock Ntuthuko Engineering, BBD, Pandrol SA, Consol, Pearson South Africa and Old Mutual.
Itumeleng got involved with SSP as a donor and a mentor in 2001 – “When I still worked in investment banking.” He was mentor to Harvard Kennedy School of Government student and SSP Alum Thebe Tsatsimpe (Redhill School, 2006). He sees mentorship as building a relationship over time – with the specific role to offer guidance and support, and share experiences and unblock obstacles when required.
How has SSP impacted on scholars?
He has been on the SSP Board and Development (Fundraising) Committee for 15 years, and says, “We’ve impacted on close to 1,500 scholars. We need to be looking to scale that up 15,000 and then 100,000 – this is the key challenge. Can we produce more future leaders?”
Working with SSP provides him with the platform to give back to scholars who he is confident will have a big impact on society – given their leadership and academic abilities. “If you see the need for a better future, you should also see the need to transform the face of business – we can give the child of a domestic worker in Alex the same opportunities as a child from a wealthy background in Sandton,” he adds.
Why invest in education?
Education is “a powerful lever you can use to transform society, and it starts off with transforming a family, a street, a neighbourhood or a community. It really does open doors to more opportunities, to those who can get access to good quality education”.”
He is passionate about the work that SSP does, and feels fortunate that others supported his own education as a youngster. Now, he would like to make his contribution.
How does Itumeleng see the future of South Africa?
Asked about the future of the country, he answers, “I remain optimistic – I recognise the challenges we have, but there are huge opportunities and lots of good people – if we tap into these energies and provide more opportunities – then there is a lot more we can achieve as a country!”