Tshikululu Social Investments
In her role as social investment specialist at Tshikululu Social Investments Mihlali Mzima, 26, has designed and implemented a number of projects that have had a national impact, including the GBVF Response Fund, which strives for a South Africa free from violence directed at women, children and LGBTQIA+ persons. She primarily drives the strategy design, implementation and management of social investments across multiple clients who collectively put more than R600 million a year into corporate social investment (CSI) programmes. Mihlali works on programmes focused on gender-based violence, education, community strengthening, capacity building and youth development. Between 2020 and 2022, during the Covid-19 pandemic, she managed over R120 million of client CSI investments into higher education and addressing gender-based violence. “These sectors are arguably among the most critical and complex socio-economic issues our country has today. In my work, I have learned that it is only through strategic collaboration, deliberate investment, improved anticipatory capability and multi-sectoral and systemic intervention that we can maximise the power of social investments today for a better future,” she says. In 2022, Mihlali, who has a master’s in development studies from the University of the Witwatersrand, was named among the Top 12 Women in CSI by CSR News and won the Tshikululu Social Investments CEO Award for Excellence. “I hope for a South Africa where the disproportional effects of inequality for vulnerable groups, particularly women and children, have been significantly reduced,” she says.
- Masters in Development Studies, Wits
- BA honours Development Sociology, Wits
- Bachelor of Arts, Wits
- Executive Education in Systems Change and Social Impact, UCT Graduate School of Business
- Top 12 Women in CSI, 2022, awarded by CSR News.
- CEO Award for Excellence,2022, awarded by Tshikululu Social Investments.
- Promotion from social investments analyst to social investments specialist, 2022
I was in grade 6, attending a Model C government school, when I was awarded the Allan Gray Scholarship. The scholarship would pay for my high school fees and all associated costs at one of the top 10 best-performing private schools in South Africa, St Cyprian’s School in Cape Town. I come from a middle-income household and I am the firstborn child of a teacher and policeman. It was always drilled into me that education was the key that would give me access to the doors to what, at the time, felt like an unimaginable success. Having the prestigious institution that is the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation believe in me before I was even of an age to go to high school predicated what I already knew — that I was destined to contribute meaningfully to the world and that my brilliance is underpinned by a sedulous effort towards my goals. Since then I have been committed to my passion for development and empowerment — both my own and that of others.
Carry an attitude of excellence by remaining persistent and passionate about the things you love, draw inspiration from and aspire towards.
I hope for a South Africa where the disproportional effects of inequality for vulnerable groups, particularly women and children, have been significantly reduced. In turn, we would have made great strides in addressing intersectional socioeconomic challenges, such as gender-based violence, unemployment, poverty and crime. Thus, efficacious social, political and economic structures will be progressively restored.