“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.”

Mbongiseni Mngomezulu


Health & Wellness

Organisation / Company

Mpumalanga Department of Social Development (Standerton Sub-District Office)


Twenty-nine-year-old Mbongiseni Mngomezulu is a social worker at the Mpumalanga department of social development. His work on the victim empowerment programme includes support to people who have been subjected to crime and violence through therapeutic counselling, referring clients to shelters, mediating in family violence and linking victims of gender-based violence with economic empowerment initiatives. Among his many duties is working on the substance-abuse programme educating children, youth, adults and families about its dangers. In addition, he contributes to the reintegration and aftercare programmes that offer support to help people maintain abstinence. Mbongiseni is responsible for the coordination of the Local Drug Action Committee in Standerton, which is compiling an action plan. He would like to be involved in the development of social policy because there “seems to be a need for the establishment, review, amendments and implementation of policy legislative frameworks. Effective social work entails the implementation of research and social and economic policies that promote justice,” he says.


Bachelor of Social Work, University of Pretoria


I was awarded as the 2022 Trailblazer of the Year by the National Youth Development Agency for outstanding work in the prevention and treatment of substance abuse.

I was awarded as the best performing social worker at the department of social development, Gert Sibande District, in 2023, by the MEC of the Mpumalanga department of social development, Lindiwe Ntshalintshali

I was awarded as an African Social Worker of the Year 2023 by the Africa Social Work Network (ASWNet) and the Association of Schools of Social Work in Africa.

My working relationship with Swartfontein Treatment Centre (White River), Mpumalanga Addiction Rehabilitation Centre (Piet Retief) and Nkangala Treatment Centre (near Delmas) has been instrumental in terms of ensuring that substance users get admitted for in-patient treatment services for substance-use disorders for a duration of three months. Since my tenure in July 2020, I have been able to admit over 50 young people to rehabilitation centres in Mpumalanga.


My seniors — the social work supervisor and social work manager. The cooperation and understanding among my colleagues has been phenomenal. The support of my colleagues has been valuable in encouraging me to work hard.