Walkerville resident awarded coding scholarship as part of Miss South Africa’s initiative

Walkerville resident Khanyisa Mhlongo couldn’t contain her excitement after being selected as a recipient of a Miss South Africa coding scholarship from HyperionDev and ASUS.

Earlier this year, Miss South Africa’s Natasha Joubert partnered with HyperionDev, Southern Africa’s leading tech education provider, and ASUS to offer coding scholarships through her “Natasha Joubert Collective” initiative. The program aims to support skills development and expand educational opportunities in South Africa. Mhlongo, a 27-year-old Public Relations student in her final year at the University of South Africa, will be taking advantage of the scholarship through HyperionDev’s online platform this year.

Mhlongo, a self-described entrepreneur, juggles multiple roles. In addition to her studies, she works as a freelance social media manager, artist manager, events coordinator, and game developer. She is also the founder of Sirius Dreams, a company focused on game development.

An inspiration to many, Mhlongo is the first in her family to pursue a tech qualification. Her journey is one of resilience and determination, mirroring that of her parents who overcame challenging backgrounds to achieve success. Her father, Jonas, began his career as a security guard and has since climbed the ranks to leadership positions. Her mother, Violet, transitioned from a caregiver to a qualified nurse. Mhlongo’s twin brother is focused on Human Resources, while her younger sister is pursuing a career in nursing.

Despite limited resources at her high school, Sheikh Anta Diop High School in Yeoville, Mhlongo never let her dream of working in tech fade. While her initial goal was to study science, her performance in math and physical sciences suffered. Undeterred, Mhlongo found inspiration elsewhere. Her parents are her biggest supporters, but she also credits a network of mentors including Sis Zandi Radebe, Dr. Baba Buntu, Miss Jay, Ntombezinhle Modiselle, and her partner Mangala Mangala.

Mhlongo’s passion for technology is fueled by its potential to bridge gaps and create opportunities. This is a driving force behind her decision to participate in the coding boot camp. The program will equip her with the skills to not only expand her career options but also contribute to innovative projects like her game “NTU Utopia Builder,” which focuses on active citizenship.

The scholarship is more than just financial support for Mhlongo. It validates her hard work and opens doors to new possibilities in the tech industry. She sees it as a gateway to empowerment and advancement. Mhlongo believes her dedication to education, diverse skill set, and potential to make a positive impact in tech and public relations resonated with Miss Joubert. Her passion for technology, coupled with her commitment to social good through projects like her game, might have been a factor in her selection.

Looking towards the future, Mhlongo envisions herself as a successful tech professional in 10 years. She aspires to lead Sirius Dreams or collaborate on cutting-edge projects. Honing her skills as a coder and game developer while inspiring young women to pursue their tech dreams remains a priority. Mentorship and giving back to her community will also continue to be important aspects of her future.

Mhlongo’s passion for technology extends beyond the classroom. She is currently developing “NTU Utopia Builder,” a game that combines strategic city planning with civic engagement and cultural exploration.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *