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Venny Dlamini

Venny Dlamini, 24, grew up in abject poverty in the rural town of Msinga in KwaZulu-Natal, but she knew from a young age that she wanted to become a lawyer. When both her parents died when she was 13 years old, she was placed in an orphanage after suffering abuse at the hands of family members.

In 2012, she received a merit award from Nelson Mandela University, which she used to register for a law degree. She eventually had to drop out of her course due to financial constraints. Then, in 2014, Dlamini won a scholarship at the South African College of Business and completed a short course in bookkeeping.

She has since changed the lives of many women and girls in the community of Msinga and Yeoville, through mentoring sessions to girls, motivating others to go after their dreams, writing proposals for community NGOs and helping young people in her community write their CVs and apply for learnerships. 

Dlamini has co-authored a book with six other established African authors called, Destiny Sagacity: 7 in One. She still resides at an orphanage, but is completing her law degree at the University of Johannesburg, with the aim to use her degree to change her life and that of others for the better. 

She is an alumnus of former US President Barack Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative’s flagship programme and was recently selected for a Harvard leaders programme, which will be held in Dubai in September 2018.

Connect with Venny on LinkedIn.

Nominated in category: Visionary

Photo: Supplied