An inspiration to many black people

Khumo Shuenyane

Dr Nthato Motlana was truly an inspiration to me - in very many ways. In particular, I admired him not only for the things he achieved during his lifetime, but also for the way in which he achieved them - with a passion and energy that was highly infectious.

I am one of hundreds of young people, as a recipient of a British Council-sponsored Educational Opportunities Council (EOC) scholarship, who benefitted from his commitment to the education of young black South Africans.

He was active not only in the EOC but also in many other organisations, highlighting his life-long commitment to the education and professional development of black South Africans.

I feel particularly fortunate because over the years I had many opportunities to engage with him and benefit directly from his wisdom and experience, which have played a significant role in guiding my career to date.

For me, one of the most amazing things about Motlana is that, having interacted with him over many years, and having known over that time that he was a very special man who had achieved much in his lifetime, it was only at his funeral that it became clear to me just how much he had achieved in his lifetime.

It speaks volumes about his humility and selflessness that he was always more interested in hearing about the progress and achievements of others than in talking about his own successes.

I believe that he has set a wonderful example for myself and many other South Africans who have an opportunity to play a role in the economy of the country to do so with passion, energy and humility - and above all a selfless commitment to share our knowledge and experience to assist in the development of others.

l The writer is group executive: mergers and acquisitions at MTN