Two minds charting success of African youth

By Ayanda Z Mnyakeni, independent copywriter

Johannesburg, 13 Jun 2023
Baxolile Mabinya and Lubabalo Dyantyi – Co Founders and Directors at Deviare Africa.
Baxolile Mabinya and Lubabalo Dyantyi – Co Founders and Directors at Deviare Africa.

Baxolile Mabinya is the Executive Director and Co-founder of Deviare, an African technology firm based in Johannesburg, South Africa. I thought this was such a superlicious title for a man who grew up in a small town in the Eastern Cape. That was until I met the man behind the title and thought to myself that the man actually precedes the title itself. 

Post meeting Bax, I know for sure that had he been born in the 1940s, the apartheid government would have created a section and sub-section just to have him arrested for simply being himself, a great mind!

Before I met Bax, I had conjured all sorts of thoughts about the man simply from what I read about him on the internet. I imagined he would don a black hat, ka nomzane, embellished with a red feather to signify that indeed he is an accomplished man. In my mind, this man would deliver his thoughts like the actor on stage in a theatre monologue, slow, deep and often punctuated by silent moments, just for drama.

But lo and behold, the man I met with was humble, intelligent and so thoughtful. He gives freely of his mind without expecting us mere mortals to rise up to the Parthenon to give him praise.

With great enthusiasm I delved into the labyrinth that is Baxolile’s mind and was rewarded with life lessons that should have been taught to me in my developmental years.

It is said that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. I feel that this is exactly what happened when Deviare was founded. The students were ready to learn skills that would equip them for the fundamental change that was taking place across the globe, the fourth industrial revolution. In this case, Bax, was one of the teachers who would make the relevant resources available to propel Africans for the future global economy through digital skills training.

I think it's safe to say that Bax can be the country’s great uncle, a great resource to consult on the future, except there is no potbelly in site on this man and no, I just don't see a smoking pipe working for him either. For me it's his mind.

Lubabalo Dyantyi is the most infectious optimist I have ever met, but most could easily miss this core of his being because of the super-serious look on his face.The man has an iron exterior, purposeful and utilitarian, but wait until he opens up and then, boom, a technicolour, somewhat mischievous personality jumps out with infectious laughter and an ability to carry one to his rural Eastern Cape childhood with nothing but words.

Bonus, as he is known by those close to him, is the Executive Director and Co-founder of Deviare, an African technology firm based in Johannesburg, South Africa.

This Che of our time, Luba is the poster face of #AfricaCan. Luba can share a million opportunities that lie in the challenges we are faced with on the African continent. A strategic mind of note, this man can find opportunity disguised as a needle in a hay stack.

Exposed to the possibilities early in life through his daily pilgrimage from his rural homestead to school in the suburban areas, Luba set out to create his own possibilities with what he had and, in so doing, has created opportunities for others along the way and is a stern believer in mentorship. His strategic way of thought has assisted many sketch out their paths on the corporate landscape in the hope of finding a place they can call their own in the tech industry.

Luba is excited by the challenges that present themselves on a daily basis and stresses the fact that even after deals are signed and all the necessary groundwork is done, things can still go wrong, but in that failure and uncertainty, there lies opportunity.

It certainly makes sense that after spending years as an executive in corporate, Luba would see opportunity in technology on the African continent as the co-founder of Deviare. Luba is committed to inspiring and growing new digital business models and sees empowering people with digital skills as the springboard required to usher in successful change. At the helm of Devaire, Luba is utilising the myriad digital skills and business models Deviare offers as tools to change the status quo on the African continent.

If never say die was a person, it certainly would be Lubabalo Dyantyi! Forever the optimist, always the strategist.

It is said that if you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together. After six years in business, we can say that these two gentlemen have successfully gone far and are still going.

Luba and Bax came into business with a thorough understanding that there can be no success or prosperity without integrating youth into productive work and have since put their thinker and strategist minds together to solve one of the biggest problems that Africa faces, youth unemployment.

The challenge they were met with was unlocking a secure and prosperous future for African youth and their solution was the birth of the Deviare Youth Campus. The Deviare Youth Campus empowers youth with digital skills to meet the rapidly growing demand of these skills across all sectors. To date, the Deviare Youth Campus has trained more than 4 000 youths with 75% being absorbed into working environments. Deviare partners with a multitude of enterprises across the globe to explore and absorb the young talent it produces into productive work.

One would think that these great minds would be all ideas, but it is in the execution of their ideas that they are meeting the challenge head on by securing a prosperous future for the youth of Africa, one learner at a time.