Radio host off to the US for leadership programme
DURBAN - Ukhozi FM personality Nomfundo Mkhize will be off air for a few weeks but it’s for a good cause. The 27-year-old has been selected for the Mandela Washington Fellowship’s Young African Leaders Initiative.
This year, the fellowship is set to provide hundreds of outstanding young sub-Saharan African leaders with professional development, focusing on leadership and skills development in business; and civic leadership as well as public management.
About 100 fellows are expected to participate in the six-week programme, which starts next month.
Mkhize said although she would miss her show while she was away, the knowledge she would acquire from the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, in the US, would benefit her and she would pass that on to her listeners when she returned.
Mkhize, who hosts a youth in business and a religious show on Sundays, aimed at motivating and empowering listeners, said she was looking forward to the programme.
“The scholarship will cover classes about leadership, community development and entrepreneurship.
"The scholarship provides a platform for growth in my career and, as a young entrepreneur, all the knowledge I will acquire in the US will also be shared with my listeners,” Mkhize said.
She said she had been selected from among the 45 applicants from South Africa.
“What I also like about this programme is that it provides an opportunity to network and build good relationships - the participants are people who are all successful in their own right," she said.
"Beyond the academic component, we will do some charity work in organisations there because, in the end, this programme is about development in your country."
Although the programme is officially six weeks long Mkhize, who has worked for the Zulu station for nine years, will stay in the US to work at media houses there.
Mkhize, who holds an LLB from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, is also an aspirant entrepreneur, with an interest in shipping.
She said her studies had sparked her interest in the maritime sector.
“I studied law and one of the modules we did was about maritime law. That is how I became exposed to it.
"I realised the maritime industry had huge economic drive, and not a lot of black youths knew about this industry, and that is how we co-founded the Youth Chamber of Shipping in Africa.
"We basically provide awareness about the shipping industry to secure Interest. We also lobby government on behalf of clients,” she said.
The organisation is in talks with authorities in Cameroon .