Collen Mashawana rose from being a small-scale car washer, taxi owner and pay phone operator in Thohoyandou to becoming the Executive Chairman of a black-owned investment company called Afribiz Invest. Aside from his business ventures, Mashawana is committed to corporate social investment by giving back to the underprivileged and has been involved in many initiatives to empower others. He is the Founder and Chairman of the Collen Mashawana Foundation which focuses on linking unemployed youth in South Africa to career opportunities across all sectors.
Mashawana, 36, began his career at Microsoft South Africa after obtaining a diploma in information technology through the University of South Africa and says he also struggled like many other students relying mainly on his mother for support.
However, he says it was not easy as she could not afford to pay all his expenses.“I had to find a way to pay for accommodation, food, and transport, so I took a part-time job as a salesperson to supplement the little my mother was able to afford.” Afribiz does lots of work for the government, e.g. building schools, roads, hospitals and the private sector. The company has also found success in the development of student accommodation, by converting private sector buildings.
Lasing with the Chief executive officer of the Collen Mashawa foundation Marli Cannoway we found out that the foundations prime objective is to furnish people with jobs that aid to combat the old age barrier of employment that plagues south Africa by placing candidates that they espouse who will be taken and allocated in sectors such as IT, engineering, Human resources.