Khayelitsha resident Siyabonga Mbaba is many things - a creative, an entrepreneur, skilled event organiser, project director, MC, host, performance artist and community activist.
He is the founder and managing director of Ride 2 Empower (Pty) Ltd, an entrepreneurship development initiative focused on micro-enterprise development and bringing about funding opportunities for social entrepreneurs from marginalised communities, such as Khayelitsha, one of Cape Town’s most bustling, fastest-growing townships. The company exists to support the township economy and promote its vibrant culture of entrepreneurship and enterprise growth through bicycle tours. Here in the township of Khayelitsha, micro-enterprises act as drivers of job creation and inclusive economic benefit, to develop and accelerate entrepreneurship and a better way of life for locals.
Siyabonga is also a co-founder of the Amagugu Nenkcubeko Art Market, Ghetto Soul Sessions, Investment Ours, and Angel Investors Stokvel which fundraises R50 000 every month for the Groundbreakers Pitching Den.
In 2015, he handled project management for the Cape Town International Dance Festival for its Ikapa Dance Theatre, as well as for the Cape Town Graffiti Festival for Ikhaya Le Langa, and in 2016 he was a finalist in the CapeTalk Small Business Awards.
He joined the Heavy Chef team in 2018 as ecosystem manager and project director for all its South African township events that offer a community platform for entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs. Heavy Chef is the most popular monthly leadership and tech event company in South Africa, and offers immersive learning experiences for start-up entrepreneurs across the country to a diverse range of people.
What people don’t know about Siyabonga is that before he ventured into business, he was strongly involved in civil society organisations. He served as a board member for Bathandwa Orphange, volunteered at Love Life as a groundbreaker/facilitator, and was a literature activist for Nal’ibali.