Unathi Sonti ‘Evangelist of Business’ – Executive Director of Mjoli Connect (Pty) Ltd
Unathi began as a volunteer, facilitating local community projects. Now with over Fifteen years of training and development experience, he has developed beyond his years. Unathi has been involved in a number of national development programmes as a manager, trainer and coordinator, some of the programmes include: loveLife HIV/AIDS campaign, SABC Careers, Education and Training Faires (SABC CET), South Africa National Council Against Drugs and Alcohol Abuse -Teenagers Against Drugs and Alcohol Abuse (SANCA-TADA Programme) and the “Ke Moja” Programme a drug and crime prevention project administered by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and National Department of Social Development. He has also served as a board member for the South African Development, Research and Training Institute (SADRAT). Unathi has been a Counselor for Anthony Robbins Foundation Discovery Camps. He attended camps in London (Royal Holloway, University of London) and USA (University of California, San Diego), representing South Africa and The Douglas Foundation where he served as the organisational Secretary General. He played a major role in the development of Arts and Culture in the Motherwell community where he served as Secretary General and Coordinator of Motherwell Arts and Culture Organisation (MACO), he pioneered the Motherwell flea market giving Motherwell Crafter an opportunity to showcase their products. Among all the work he has done, he volunteered his time to schools and communities for reading programmes and leadership which were supported by the American Embassy. This program extended to an international students exchange programme hosting students and lectures from San Diego State University (SDSU) during their summer holidays visit to South Africa. He has sound political background where he has served in numerous political structures in the Eastern Cape Province. Unathi has served as the Secretary General for the local black business organisation called NAFCOC (National African Federated Chamber of Commerce and Industry) and also Provincial Treasurer General of NAFCOC Youth Eastern Cape. He played a major role in the development of YCUMSA (Youth Chamber Unity Movement of South Africa) as the Secretary General for Nelson Mandela Bay Region. Unathi has great passion for development hence he established an online group on Facebook for bursaries opportunities called Bursaries Info and also The Wellington Mjoli-Sonti Foundation where he serves as the Chairman of the NPO. Unathi has impacted scores of youth through personal leadership, facilitation and training. Unathi is indeed on a mission to change and impact lives.
Bhongolwethu Sonti is a young, highly driven and innovative entrepreneur, who is focused on creating opportunities for other young people through growing business ventures. Regarded as the new breed of business person, he may be given the tag of Social Entrepreneur....an entrepreneur whose goal focus is not necessarily financial profit but rather tackling social and environmental issues through business. Bhongolwethu’s trail in business, though short, is an impressive one for his age of 21 years old. After matriculating from a township school, Cingani high 2009 where he had been the RCL/SCR President for the 2007-2009 period and the Top achiever receiving academic merit awards for position 1 for 4 years consecutively, he enrolled into the Nelson Mandela Metropole University studying an NDip in Analytical Chemistry. During his 1st year of study his leadership skills where brought to fore as he was voted in as the interim Faculty Representative for the Chemistry Department in the SCR after just 5 months in varsity. Bhongolwethu was also voted in as the Subject Co-ordinator for student society TWC, which was focused on giving back to the community through providing extra classes and supplying study material to township schools. Later in 2010 he was nominated in the SRC elections for the position of Faculty Representative for the Chemistry Department permanently but lost by a small margin to the opposition, he still served as advisor to the SRC Executive being the first Junior to serve in such a position. In August 2011 he joined 1st Star Entertainment as the Events Co-ordinator and A&R, he managed to take the company’s hip hop division to another level as he catalysed their upcoming artist’s, Tarndo, breakthrough into to the greater urban/student market. Bhongolwethu also grew the company’s online and social network presence managing to draw the attention of established United States artist Cleezy Jones. 2012 is year in which he took leaps and bounds, in February Bhongolwethu co-established Allied Cleaning which is a company that is focused on creating cleaner and greener schools, the company partnered with the Port Elizabeth district Department of Education for a programme that looked to tackle the problem faced by schools of untidy ground and toilets. The successful 1st phase which focused on recycling old & unused materials took part in 12 Motherwell schools with the 2nd phase of cleaning due to start by 2013. In March 2012 Bhongolwethu and a group of 6 friends founded the YMGS Foundation which looked to tackle issues of education, youth development and self-awareness. The organisation started its first programme at Ndyebo High School in June and ran successfully with providing extra classes where learners where provided with not only their commercial educational training but also entrepreneurial, business and life skills tools. In July 2012 he took part in the 3rd annual Raizcorp National Pitch & Polish entrepreneurship competition, where he finished as the runner-up and being the youngest finalist since the competition’s inception. The competition made him one of the most sought after entrepreneurs in South Africa with Allon Raiz calling him ‘a young leader in his field and future global though leader in social entrepreneurship’. In September he established the Landfill to Goldfield co-operative which looks to transform illegal landfills into hydroponic farms to create ways to sustenance and sustainment for the communities involved. The agri-business is still in its growth as it looks to expand nationally in years to come and turn around trajectories of unemployment and crime within our communities. He is currently the Chairperson of the co-operative.