WATCH: From convict to coder – and he’s helping others too
Ex-convict Sihle Tshabalala is changing the lives of South Africans so they can avoid the mistakes he made
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 youths, 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 poverty and crime that are ravaging local communities.
He has since relaunched his NGO as Quirky30, focusing on creating equal opportunities for women and girls who want to pursue a career in the information and communications technology 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,” he says. “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."
Tshabalala shares his remarkable story as a guest on the Blue Couch Sessions, a new web series celebrating remarkable South Africans from all walks of life.
Have a look at his story in the video clip below, then watch the full video here courtesy of wiGroup Blue Couch Sessions, a video series that details personal stories about remarkable South Africans.
wiGroup interviews Sihle Tshabalala about his journey from gangster to entrepreneur and coder.
This article was paid for by wiGroup.