Phila Dlamini has become a sought after name in the speaking industry for over a decade. Armed with a degree in chemical engineering from the University of Johannesburg, this accomplished figure juggles a demanding job at Coca-Cola with a crusade to show people how to denounce mediocrity in all aspects of their lives and embrace the spirit of excellence.

Known to his throngs of followers as Ph.D., Dlamini is the difference of what was, and what can be. Described by many as poetry on legs, he has advanced to give the world a master-class on the possibilities of a life dedicated to changing what one was to what one can be.

Dlamini was raised by a doting grandmother in one of the most notorious, survival-of-the-fittest townships in the Kingdom of Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), kaKhoza in Manzini. While many of his counterparts fell through the cracks, having been lured away from school by drugs, easy cash and depravity, Dlamini soldiered on in school and refused to be distracted by the trappings of a fast life.

Today he is highly respected not only in the corporate world but in schools around the country. He has travelled across Eswatini speaking on Leadership and Academic Excellence to high school pupils in both rural and urban areas.

He has done so for more than 10 years through an organisation he co-founded, The Prefect Support Initiative (TPSI). Dlamini is also the co-founder and co-host of a live talk show called “Simply Speaking”, that has monthly installments and will be online soon.

He is a stickler for redefining himself constantly and amassing new information to hone his skills and be at the top of his game. He attended the One Young World Summit 2018 at the Hague, Netherlands, as part of a team sent by Coca-Cola.  

Infographic by TYI

“The experience was nothing short of amazing. It was an eye-opener. I got to connect with over 1 700 young leaders from across the globe. I also got to learn of initiatives that are run by these young change makers. This made me realise and also appreciate the amount of work we still need to do in Eswatini. As individuals and also as a country,” he said. “We must realise the Sustainable Development Goals in our lifetime. This is urgent.”

Dlamini said individuals and corporations needed to hasten their part in achieving these goals. “We no longer have much time to save the environment, or implement the necessary human rights, or even promote equality and provide quality education. Before long, the young generation will reach maximum ‘intolerance’ and the scales will tip — in an irreversible manner, and the necessary change will come at the cost of many lives even,” he warned.

He is a strong advocate of education as a potent means for socio-economic and political change. He is actively involved in various initiatives to create strong networks among the African continent’s youth to amplify their voice to promote quality education and foster real inclusive growth in society.

When he is not a compere at a swanky event, he is involved in training programmes of various sorts, encouraging young people to rise above their circumstances to achieve greatness.