Gangster turned entrepreneur and coder Sihle Tshabalala on making social change

Sihle Tshabalala is an ex-offender born and raised in Langa township.

After serving time in jail and spending several years as a member of the notorious 26s gang, he turned his life around.

Tshabalala went from gangster to reinvented entrepreneur and digital coder and taught himself how to code in three different languages.

Now the co-founder of Brothers for All, he focuses on equipping offenders, ex-offenders and vulnerable youth with aspirational technology and entrepreneurship skills.

He will be talking at Open Design Cape Town about how creativity can be used to build human capital to encourage entrepreneurship and develop a skilled workforce that can add value to our society.

Technology skills have the potential to compete with the allure of social ills. In the Western Cape alone, there are 23 000 unfilled programming posts. We have over 170 students at our training centre and use our programme to divert them from various vulnerabilities.

Sihle Tshabalala, social entrepreneur and ex-offender

Open Design is a 12-day citywide festival, taking place from the 12th to the 23rd of August.

It is free to the public and made up of talks, workshops, tours and interactive experiences that explore how design and innovation can be used to create a more sustainable future.

To learn more, visit the Brothers for All website or Open Design Festival Cape Town.

Listen to the full conversation, with Pippa Hudson standing in, on Breakfast with Kieno Kammies:

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