Names: Brian Vusi-Musi Zwane
Year Joined the enke family: 2011
Community Issue: Environment
Hometown: Pinetown, KwaZulu-Natal
It’s hard to know where to start with Vusi. We could talk about when he was a enke: Trailblazer in 2011 and he ran not just one, but three Community Action Project’s (CAPs), or how as an enke: Igniter in 2013 he won the Discovery Social Innovation Challenge, or how he totally nailed his interviews and joined the Trailblazer Support Team in 2013. We could even talk about how he’s just started the process of becoming a enke: Presenter in 2014. Any of those would be great stories. But we don’t want to tell any of them. We want to tell the story of why Vusi decided to stay and become a permanent member of the enke family
Vusi’s leadership story can’t be branded as one of a South African leader who overcomes adversity to succeed where others around him haven’t; but then, Vusi isn’t your typical leader either. Originally from Pinetown in KwaZulu-Natal, he attended a private school and always had high aspirations for his life. He never thought being part of an organisation such as enke: Make Your Mark was something he wanted to do – he had one plan and that was to do well at Matric, then register for a B.Com degree in economics, relocate overseas and build the Zwane Empire. While some of this is still part of the dream, he’s added a few things to the list. And thus begins the story of how Vusi decided to stay and build a different South Africa.
Vusi joined enke in 2011 when he attended his first enke: Forum. Before coming to Forum he was passionate about doing a project around the environment but thought no one would be interested in his idea. After exploring his plans and meeting amazing people, a spark was ignited that changed his outlook on his role in developing Africa and his own country. He decided to apply his forward thinking and critical mindset to re-imagine social change through innovation and entrepreneurial spirit; through business as a force for good.
When asked about some of the lessons he gained from being part of enke, Vusi describes his journey as one marked by self-discovery; learning what he values and building the confidence to make it happen, as well as being able to operate outside your comfort zone. He now considers himself a pan-Africanist and recognises his role as a leader is associated with the improvement of others. The kind of projects he has lead – creating two environmental improvement projects (one which won the Discovery Social Innovation Challenge) and a ‘Unity Day’ between two schools – are testimony to this.
In Vusi’s words, “a leader is someone who understands it’s not about being in-front because it’s about understanding that in your journey you’re growing with other people, so it’s allowing your light to shine whilst allowing other people’s light to shine as well.” In redefining the purpose of a leader and finding his leadership style he now brings a creative voice to problem solving.
What excites us the most about Vusi is that even though the road to success hasn’t been easy, he has proven it’s possible to overcome your fears and embrace change in a way that amazes us all. He highlights that being a leader doesn’t happen overnight, and the road is filled with practical and personal challenges. Something that stands out for him is the need to reinvent yourself, to believe in yourself and to adapt to change without forcing it upon yourself.
Today, Vusi is on-track to build the Zwane Empire as he is studying at the University of Johannesburg, interning at AIESEC, training to be an enke: Presenter for the 2014 Forum and is a member of the Trailblazer Support team.
We’re so happy he decided to stay.
We want to reach 1000 more young people like Vusi by the end of 2015. You can help us support more projects like this by contributing to our crowdfunding campaign here: http://igg.me/at/enkeMYM/x/828715