“As we work to create light for others, we naturally light our own way.” — Mary Anne Radmacher


Civil Society


Grind Club Motive Africa

Nicolas Tinashe Mlambo, 22, is the co-founder and chairperson of Grind Club Motive Africa, a registered nonprofit organisation, which has been operating for the past four years. This organisation helps grade 12 learners by bridging the gap between high school and university. Learners are assisted with career guidance, bursary and college and university applications, as well as sharing knowledge that helps them with their studies. Since its inception, Grind Club has grown and sees a rise each year in the number of learners they work with. In total they have reached close to 2 000 learners from high schools around South Africa. The organisation makes use of technology and social media to work with the learners. Grind Club also takes onboard volunteers each year, all of whom are university students. Through volunteering for the organisation they develop marketable skills and experience which they can add to their CVs to demonstrate their participation outside of academics. The idea of the Grind Club was born during his high school journey, when he wished he had positive role models and a mentor to guide him in his teenage years. Nicolas has a BA in law from North-West University and participated in the Aspire Leader Programme at the Aspire Institute, Harvard University.

  • BA Law, North-West University
  • Participant in the Aspire Leader Programme of Aspire Institute, Harvard University

  • Three certificates from A Friend In Need Mentorship and named top team leader for the year 2022 
  • Awarded an award from the North-West University Student Counselling and Development for peer helping, awarded a leadership award 
  • Member of the Golden Key International Honour Society for academic performance and student leadership
  • Certificate from the Student Academic Development and Support for mentoring law students 
  • Awarded a certificate from the HarvadX online course funded by the Aspire Institute 
  • Awarded bursaries from LearnMe South Africa and international law firm Allen & Overy
  • Appointed as a senior mentor for the faculty of law
  • Appointed as the text editor and graphic designer of North-West University’s Wapad student newspaper 
  • Volunteered in the FighBack and WarriorProjectSA nonprofits as a mental health and gender-based violence activist 
  • Appointed as the head of the advocacy division at Imfundo Enhle education trust 
  • Awarded a certificate by the Advanced Court Practises Moot Court Programme

During my high school journey, I always wished I had positive role models and a mentor, someone to guide me as I navigate during my teenage years. I vowed that I will do my best to change that, especially in townships where it is rare to find good positive influence and speaking from someone who almost gave up and seeing many of my peers still stuck in the townships with no dreams and hope. Many learners in townships have no resources to educate themselves about different career choices and have no guidance which is why many end up dropping out. I was fortunate to have a fighting spirit that led me to be where I am. That is why I want to instil such a mindset in young people.

Keep going, keep going, keep going. The struggles, tears, sweat, sleepless nights and anxiety will pay off and you will look back and thank yourself. Young Nicolas, you are not missing out on anything, continue dreaming big and writing down your goals.

A better South Africa that gives everyone an equal opportunity in accessing higher institutions of learning. A beautiful South Africa that creates employment for the youth. A South Africa free of corruption, poverty, crime and gender-based violence. A  country that promotes and advances technology for the benefits of its people, a country that embraces the Constitution and gives justice to everyone, a united country.

View previous winners from 2018 to 2022

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