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Nkanyiso Nduduzo Khumalo

Nkanyiso Nduduzo Khumalo, a current freshman at Marist, was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. At 22 years old, his life has been anything but ordinary. While still in high school in 2011, Nkanyiso began to tutor mathematics to fellow classmates. After months of this, he went to the dean of the school with the idea of beginning an after school program specifically designated for tutoring. Thus, he became the founder and CEO of Maths Extra for three years.

Following his high school graduation, Khumalo attended the African Leadership Academy (ALA) for two years, graduating in 2015. The ALA consisted of students from over 40 countries across the African continent. It was here that he took his A level classes and class on entrepreneurial leadership. The purpose of the school was to create the next generation of African leaders.

However, Khumalo took a gap year before attending college. He began interning for an organization, LEAF, out of Slovakia. The purpose of LEAF was to start a school that would be similar to and serve the same purpose as the African Leadership Academy. At the time, the Slovak school was trying adapt to the AP educational system which necessitated a new curriculum. Khumalo became a part of the team that assisted in writing a curriculum for entrepreneurial leadership based off of what he had learned from his previous academy. He created mission statements and profiles regarding what the school wanted to teach students. From there, the team began developing a strategy as to what students in the school should learn and how the school was going to teach, focusing on an environment that encouraged the students to challenge what they were learning. Through the program, Khumalo was able to travel to countries such as Hungry, Czech, and Poland in order to talk to potential students about what the school had to offer.

After spending six months working for LEAF, Khumalo returned to Johannesburg and worked for another organization called WITS RHI. He worked on the innovation side of the program, which focused on how to make institutions more youth friendly so more adolescents would utilize the program’s resources.

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Khumalo says that his interest in teaching math began when he was in high school. After not having had a math teacher for six months, he could see fellow students struggling with the content; they began coming to him for help. After meetings with parents and the school dean, aforementioned Maths Extra was created.

Khumalo credits his mother for who he is today. “My mom raised me to be me, she has no real influence on what I do,” he says. “My mom is a very chill person, who I think wants me to grow up as an individual rather than as her son. She has allowed me to spread my wings; she puts so much trust in me.”

From a young age, Khumalo accepted challenges with open arms. He was introduced to actuarial sciences after taking a challenging class in his middle school in South Africa.  

“I’ve always been fascinated by the phrase, ‘something is impossible’ or ‘something is difficult’ …if you want to motivate me, just say I can’t do something. Then I’ll show you if I want to, I can,” Khumalo said.  

“That’s what always motivated me to do what I am doing now; I want to become a better vision of myself.”

After college graduation, Khumalo wants to be an actuarial scientist, but wishes to go back to be an entrepreneur and to return to Africa to pursue his own enterprises.

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