I was born in Empangeni, a small town in Zululand near Richards-Bay. I am the last born of a family of six, consisting of my mother and four brothers. My father sadly passed away a day after the completion of the 2019 elections.
After completing matric in Northwood High School in Durban North, I went on to tackle a B-com under-graduate degree at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, Eastern Cape. In 2008, I was selected to be part of last year’s Democratic Alliance (DA) Young Leaders, a part time programme designed to create a pool of future leaders for the Democratic Alliance. I am also the founder of the Democratic Alliance Student Organisation (DASO) at Rhodes University. Rhodes DASO (2009) boasted one of the largest memberships for a DASO branch with over 180 members. I was later elected as the DA Youth Eastern Cape Provincial Chairperson.
My greatest and most influential experiences was being part of the World Youth Movement for Democracy in Jakarta Indonesia in 2010 which brought together over 600 democracy practitioners from around the globe and was a huge learning and networking opportunity. I was later privileged to be part of a select group of young leaders sent on a study tour in Germany in November later that year as part of the party’s continuous investment in the DA’s future leadership. In the 2010 Federal Youth Congress in Cape Town, I was humbly elected as the Federal Youth Training and Development Chairperson, effectively placing me on the DA Youth National Management Committee and Federal Youth Executive, the highest decision making body in the DA Youth. This body, lead by Makashule Gana I consider went on to famously lead the Youth Wage subsidy march to COSATU House which transformed the DA to an activist organisation as it is known today.
In the 2011 Local Government Elections I was elected as a PR Councilor at the tender age of 21 for the DA in the eThekwini Municipality, making me the youngest Municipal Councillor in the country. I initially served on the city’s Economic Development and Tourism Committee till 2013 and then in the Human Settlements and Infrastructure Committee as the DA’s Human Settlements Spokesperson and as the Chairperson of the DA Caucus Strategic Housing Task Team. In November 2012 I was honoured to be invited by the Taiwaan (Republic of China) Foreign Minister to take part in a study tour of influential young people around the world. This was further complemented with the privilege of being selected as one of the 2015 Mandela Washington Fellows as part of US President Barack Obama’s flagship programme for Young African Leaders.
In 2017 I was elected as the Deputy Chief Whip in the KZN Legislature and championed our approach to critical discussions around the handling of policy formations in the caucus. I served on the Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs as well as Sports and Recreation Portfolio committee in the legislature, and as the respective provincial spokesperson for each portfolio.
The 2019 election campaign served as the biggest learning challenge as I managed the DA KZN Premier Campaign team. This campaign was the first of many new and innovative campaign approaches and was the first ever sustained Premier Campaign in the DA's history in the province. I was proud to be one of only three provinces in the DA to grow in what was a difficult election.
I have a huge interest in bringing young people into the political space as active players, and so went on to co-found the KwaZulu-Natal Leadership Institute in 2015 with Sandy Kalyan, Mbali Ntuli and Nicole Graham. Together with the flagship programme the Sakhisizwe Young Leaders Programme which is a part time political leadership course funded by the DA, these political schools have been the mainstream output for solid young political leaders in KZN.
At present I am completing a Masters in Governance and Public Leadership at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg as well as working to build on my other business interests in order to explore the full breadth on my talents.