A high number of South African youth finish their matric and sit at home, unemployed, with their certificates leaning against the wall-unit glass. The inability to pursue their dreams due to financial constraints is one of the biggest factors. Vuyolwethu was one of the matriculants who was not so fortunate.

Vuyolwethu Vuyo Mfumbe (28), born in Mossel Bay, is former Mr Western Cape and now owns a modeling agency. Vuyo trains and grooms new local models, singers, dancers, poets, he is also teaching arts and culture, life orientation and career guidance. He couldn’t study further after completing his matric because of financial problems, but that proved to be a blessing in disguise.

Vuyo (which means ‘happiness’) dedicates ‘all his time to promoting the spirit of Ubuntu and community development’. He is known as the face of the faceless and the voice of the voiceless as he supports charities for abused women and children in his area.

There is one thing he has absolute zero-tolerance for: abuse against women and children.

“I have learnt that most victims of abuse don’t speak out. I want to encourage victims to speak out because too many abusers are living freely in our societies,” says the young leader.

This philanthropist has extended his helping hand to the needy people. He has collected a wide range of things: blankets to defeat the Western Cape cold weather, food to overcome hunger, and toys to conquer boredom.

Another objective he has is to root out the stereotypes associated with modelling.

“I have learned modelling is not about height or weight anymore – it’s about your personality, your intellect,” he says.

He doesn’t want to turn a blind eye to the fact that South Africa has the highest incidence of obesity in the Sub-Saharan Africa. Vuyo organises the KwaNonqaba Biggest Loser competition. The contest encourages young people to live more healthily and promotes the value of a positive self-image.

One of the best characteristics of a great leader is humility. Vuyo doesn’t fall short in this area. “There’s nothing special about me I’m just a little star,” says the 28 year old mentor.

The humble role-model was just a step away from being crowned the coveted Citizen of the Year Award, securing a second place. The prestigious award is given to those making a remarkable contribution to the community.

Talk about being jack of all trades, Vuyo is also a song writer and he started the Miss KwaNonqaba beauty pageant, now he’s involved with charity work for the Siyanithanda Disabled Centre.

He also established a model/dance school for younger children in an effort to keep them busy with constructive projects, keeping them away from the streets and the dangers of abuse.

One of the Mossel Bay newspapers described him as ‘an inspiration to our youth and excellent role model’; ‘humble, down to earth’ as well as a ‘committed anti-drug campaigner’.

Vuyo lives by the motto: Shine my star, do not let the darkness to swallow you.


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