Avelile Nontanda knows what struggle is, and he knows the taste of success too.

Nontanda hails from the rural areas of Umtata in the Eastern Cape.

Nontanda came to Cape Town to pursue his tertiary education at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT). Nontanda studied Design Foundation and later majored in Interior Design.

In the process of obtaining his Interior Design qualification, he envisioned a ‘one-stop’ design brand that consisted of innovative, driven, passionate, young talented designers who were eager to learn and become future entrepreneurs.

Obstacles upon obstacles he overcame.

Starting a business as a young black young leader, with pennies in his bank account, Nontanda had to overcome challenges including financial constraints.

Nontanda’s view is that young South Africans are bosses instead of leaders. He believes that it takes patience and understanding to be a leader.

“In South Africa, our young entrepreneurs lack self confidence which results in failure. South Africa’s youth has extreme potential – with rich diversity and natural talent present. We’re also a very angry and determined generation. We are not scared to fight for what we believe in and what we want,” added Nontanda.

Nontanda made a conscious decision to take on the challenge and join TYI stories of hope campaign and share his success story to the world, so that he can bring hope to others who want to actualise their dreams.

Head of the Rural Education Access Programme (REAP) a programme that assists students from poor rural areas across all 9 provinces of South Africa to access tertiary education, Salisha Lauton read Nontanda’s story on our website and they reached out.

They are planning to collaborate with Nontanda.


“Avelile is an inspiring millennial entrepreneur from Mthatha who studied at CPUT. He has established his own business called Mayhem Design in 2011. He is strikingly passionate about youth and in particular young entrepreneurs. Avelile fits the profile of a typical student that REAP exists to serve. He hails from a rural community but has successfully overcome the challenges of urban society,” said Lauton.

Nontanda thinks that REAP is a great platform for underprivileged youth.

Nontanda believes that their platform is changing lives for many and their partnership for the REAP expo is going to help inspire the youth to go out there and create opportunities for themselves under the umbrella of entrepreneurship.

REAP plans to collaborate with Nontanda by giving him exposure during their launch.

REAP wants Nontanda to attend their expo which they will be hosting on the 22nd of July.

Nontanda will be delivering a speech about his entrepreneurship journey and also participate in their discussions.

Share your story of hope and TYI will assist you by connecting you with all the right networks.

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