At 19 years Philani Zama moved to Cape Town with no plan whatsoever because he could no longer stay in his poverty stricken home and believed he was old enough to do something about his situation.
Arriving in Cape Town Philani found himself sleeping on the streets of the mother city until a stumbled upon a 'guardian angel' Gert Kruger.
He says Kruger taught him everything he knows about corporate finance.
Philani met Gert at the Company Gardens in Cape Town, and after a heart to heart talk he asked Philani to accompany him to his office where he gave him a job without asking for his qualifications.
Gert said to me come follow me. I was a bit suspicious but i thought what could this old man do to me ... i followed him and walked into his offices— Philani Zama, Managing Director of O’Graceland
The humbling part for me is that this man could just looked at me and saw some potential without asking for a piece of paper— Philani Zama, Managing Director of O’Graceland
After a year working for Gert's company, Philani decided to resign and joined Solomon Madikane from NGO Realistic who introduced him to how non profits work.
Because I was working with youth that's where i fell in love with the youth— Philani Zama, Managing Director of O’Graceland
Now Philani is a Managing Director of O’Graceland an organization aimed at assisting young girls in particular who no longer qualify for state care becasue of their age.
He says he came up with the idea after a realisation that there is no plan or place for these youth.
Philani needs help to get the place that he just found in Pinelands up and running. He needs building materials and paint.
To help Philani go to www.ograceland.org.za for more info.
Listen to the full conversation below: