When they speak of young African trailblazers, Dalumuzi Mhlanga is definitely one name that falls under the list. Born and bred in Zimbabwe’s city of Bulawayo, Dalumuzi has risen to become one of Africa’s dynamic and sought out young leaders.
Now the Chief of Staff for one of Africa’s largest companies, Econet Global, Dalumuzi’s rise is definitely noteworthy and an inspiration. Having grown without a lot of resources at his disposal, Dalumuzi used his circumstances to propel his life forward and built a career that many can dream of. “I vowed to live life based on what I could contribute to the world and not on what value I perceived to be projected onto me by others,” said Dalumuzi.
Surviving a tough childhood inspired him to start Lead Us Today (LUT), while studying as an undergraduate in the US. LUT is an organisation that is creating a generation of engaged and socially responsible citizens in Zimbabwe by empowering them to view themselves as possessing the agency and responsibility to make a difference in their communities instead of brooding over their material, social or political circumstances. Over 8 years, LUT has trained nearly 10,000 high school students and involved many of them in community development projects which they design and implement – including starting a catering company that provides school meals, recycling projects, and supporting coding training initiatives. “Lead Us Today empowers young people to believe that they can and should make a difference, the responsibility to do so lies in them”, stated Dalumuzi.
A recipient of the Joshua Nkomo Scholarship- a scholarship for highly talented individuals in Zimbabwe- and Higherlife Foundation alumni, Dalumuzi is also a graduate of the prestigious Waterford Kamhlaba United World College. He went on to further his studies and holds the following:
• Master of Science African Studies from University of Oxford
• Master of Business Administration from Said Business School, University of Oxford
• Bachelor of Arts, Social Studies Harvard University
All these qualifications are a clear indication of a young man who works hard for his vision and has the ability to translate it into world-class execution.
At only 28years of age, Dalumuzi is a force to be reckoned with. He has held three positions in only two years at Econet Global- a noteworthy accomplishment. Prior to joining Econet, Dalumuzi held several leadership roles which include but are not limited to:
• Teaching Fellow at Harvard Kennedy University
• Co-Founder and Director of Africa Lead
• Interim Head of Education for Vitol Foundation
In 2011 Dalumuzi was awarded the College Social Innovator Award hosted by Harvard in conjunction with Forbes while in 2012, he was was recognized as one of the “Ten Outstanding Young Person’s of Zimbabwe” an award conferred by Junior Chamber International.
Dalumuzi is also vehemently patriotic and loves expressing his views. He once wrote a letter to the editor of Bulawayo 24 news articulating his love for his city and people. An interesting and compelling read, the letter titled Resolve and Press Forward: A Young Person’s Response which can be found here: https://bulawayo24.com/index-id-opinion-sc-columnist-byo-105440.html.
In the article, he shares about how pivotal the Higherlife Foundation has been to his personal growth, and how he has worked with it to increase access to opportunities for young people. Since his first engagement with the Foundation in 2009, working in the Bulawayo region before his departure to the US, to his current involvement in the Education Committee, Dalumuzi looks forward to building on 10 years of supporting HLF’s mission.
The future is definitely bright with young leaders like Dalumuzi leading and inspiring other young Zimbabweans to do more.