“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” ― Maya Angelou


Technology & Innovation



The journey of Thabe Mothabine, 34, from a senior officer in the South African National Defence Force, with the rank of major in the South African Military Health Services, to a PhD candidate in digital transformation and now a successful management consultant is  testament to his determination and resilience  as well as his goal of having a positive effect on the world and inspiring young people to pursue their dreams.

His thesis focuses on creating a business model framework for digital transformation adoption, analysing how new business models are established and how value is generated in various sectors. Thabe’s work in PwC South Africa’s technology advisory department helps businesses leverage the latest technologies to achieve their goals and drive growth. He has helped numerous clients transform their operations, increase efficiency and achieve long-term success.

Thabe has been a dedicated mentor to many young people, sharing his knowledge and experience with them, and encouraging them to believe in themselves and their abilities. “Pursue your passions and interests. Don’t be afraid to explore your interests and try new things, even if they don’t fit the expectations of others,” is the advice he would give to his younger self.

  • Bachelors in Management Leadership (cum laude), University of the Free State
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration, University of the Free State
  • Certificate in Contract Law (with distinction), Harvard University
  • Master of Business Administration, Rhodes University
  • DPhi Digital Transformation (in progress), University of Johannesburg

  • Former South African National Defence Force senior officer with the rank of major
  • Two-time Golden Key invitee
  • Dean’s Merit List recipient
  • 10x Salesforce certified consultant

Losing my dad has propelled me to strive for success in everything that I do. He instilled and solidified the concept of working hard and not settling for mediocrity. My mom’s support is also one of the reasons I work so hard. To them, there is absolutely nothing I cannot do and I will ALWAYS cherish that!

  • Be kind to yourself and others. Don’t be too hard on yourself when things don’t go as planned and treat others with compassion and empathy.
  • Pursue your passions and interests. Don’t be afraid to explore your interests and try new things, even if they don’t fit the expectations of others.
  • Learn from your mistakes. Don’t be discouraged by failure or setbacks, but rather view them as opportunities to learn and grow.
  • Value relationships. Cultivate meaningful relationships with family, friends and colleagues, and invest time in maintaining those connections.
  • Take care of yourself. Make time for self-care, prioritise your mental and physical health and avoid unhealthy coping mechanisms.
  • Embrace change. Change is inevitable, so learn to adapt and embrace new opportunities and experiences.
  • Be grateful. Take time to appreciate the good things in life, no matter how small they may seem.
  • Remember, the journey of self-discovery is a lifelong process and it’s never too late to start making positive changes.

In five years, South Africa has the potential to become a shining example of a thriving, united and prosperous nation. The country can work towards reducing inequality, eradicating poverty and creating a fair and just society for all its citizens. The economy could continue to grow, creating jobs and opportunities for its people, while innovation and entrepreneurship could flourish, creating a vibrant and dynamic business environment. With a focus on quality education and skills development, South Africa’s youth could become leaders and drivers of change, contributing to the country’s progress and development. The government and private sector could work together to address social challenges, such as crime and corruption, and to promote environmental sustainability and conservation.

South Africa’s cultural diversity and rich heritage could be celebrated and embraced, creating a sense of national pride and identity. Communities could come together to build strong social bonds and support networks, fostering a sense of belonging and connectedness.

In short, South Africa has the potential to become a country where every citizen has the opportunity to live a fulfilling life, where diversity is celebrated and respected, where innovation and entrepreneurship are encouraged and where social justice and environmental sustainability are priorities. With dedication, hard work and co-operation, this vision of South Africa could become a reality within the next five years.

View previous winners from 2018 to 2022

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