The Blue Couch Sessions with Sihle Tshabalala

Since filming Sihle, CEO of quirky 30, was honoured with a social innovation leadership award for "Outstanding professionals who demonstrate excellent Leadership and Management skills by making changes and achieving results”. The African leadership awards showcase achievers who have demonstrated leadership capabilities by creating business opportunities which enable growth and development. A remarkable and well-deserved feat.

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Convict X Coder

Sihle Tshabalala was a child genius at 16, and a convicted criminal by age 19. Now the 35-year-old spends his days changing the lives of high school dropouts, teenage moms, unemployed youth, ex-offenders, and convicts by teaching them coding, entrepreneurship, and marketing skills.

Since being released from prison in 2013, Tshabalala has dedicated his life to helping others avoid the mistakes he made early in his life. After co-founding Brothers For All, the international speaker and 2016 TEDx Fellow has focused on finding disruptive solutions for lifting people out of the lives of poverty and crime that is ravaging local communities.

Sihle has since relaunched his NGO as Quirky30, focusing on creating equal opportunities for women and girls wishing to pursue a career in the ICT sector. By empowering people with new digital and entrepreneurial skills, he believes he is challenging the status quo and providing a positive alternative to prevailing norms.

"In the township where I grew up, we had too few positive role models. Our definition of success was mostly linked to the criminals who lived expensive lifestyles. I hope to change that through the work we do by empowering people to become entrepreneurs and coders."

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The Blue Couch Session is a new wiGroup web series that celebrates remarkable South Africans from all walks of life. From scientists to musicians these Blue Couch Q&A’s showcase a range of remarkable life stories.

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