The MTN Solution Space is delighted to announce the selection of our second cohort of scholars, who make up the "Class of 2017". These exceptional individuals have both bold and visionary ideas for the future and demonstrated strong track records of action. Together they comprise our second cohort and a new network of next generation technology leaders and entrepreneurs across the continent.
Short biographies of our new scholars are available below.
Kaashief Hartley, MBA
Thulani describes himself as a dynamic, energetic and persuasive individual and a creative problem solver.
He is passionate about inspirational stories from ordinary everyday people. For the past few years his biggest business interest has been how marketing, branding and design can be used for good to improve people's lives. His future focus is to how mobile technology can have a significant positive impact in the medical and health industry.
Thulani has had significant multi-national marketing exposure through his role of managing a global restaurant brand — Nando's — in the Southern African markets. He also helped to market a wide portfolio of local retail partners in the financial services sector for The RCS Group; and was recently involved in developing and implementing integrated communication strategies in the advertising industry through Foxp2.
Lorna Okeng Atim, MPhil
Lorna says she is a creative misfit, tech enthusiast and girl child evangelist. Her passion lies in unconventional works which converge the worlds of art and technology. Her goal in life is to make the world feel a little better and a little smaller. She is committed to narrowing Africa's digital content divide and creating a connected inclusive world where culture is reflected as both a driver and enabler of sustainable human development.
Lorna seeks to take a proactive role in driving Africa's digital inclusion, by creating accessible and locally relevant content that empowers people to become active members of the internet economy, and to benefit from its knowledge and opportunities.
Lorna has worked with tech companies Google and Vodafone. She is also the founder and creative lead of TeleMusuem, a heritage travel platform that embodies the spirit and energy of Africa's diversity and its people: connecting us through extraordinary experiences.
Lorna holds a BSc in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Cape Town.
NEO MARUATONA, MPhil
Neo believes high impact enterprises are formidable catalysts for meaningful economic growth. Neo's passion lies in diversity and financial inclusion, to enable small, micro and medium enterprises (SMMEs) and women-led enterprises to access to capital and markets.
Drawing on her professional experience in facilitating funding for SMMEs, Neo co-founded Everest Ventures with an objective to demystify finance and to serve fast-growing, privately owned SMEs. She is also the founder of Capital Raising Africa projects which seeks to deepen private capital markets by connecting investors with growth companies in the 'missing middle'.
Neo has over eight years' corporate finance and financial services experience, covering the renewable energy, logistics, infrastructure, retail and media sectors. Before she established Everest Ventures, she was instrumental in key transactions for Maya Group, a boutique investment and advisory firm. She also previously held financial and investment analysis roles at FNB Leveraged Finance, Standard Bank Corporate & Investment Banking & CNBC Africa.
Neo holds an BCom (Honours) (Investment Management) from the University of Johannesburg, a Postgraduate Diploma in Investment Analysis and Portfolio Management and a BCom (Accounting) degree, both from the University of Johannesburg.
Ntombezintle Raziya, MPhil