“Laughter heals all wounds, and that’s one thing that everybody shares… I think the world should keep laughing.” Kevin Hart, comedian
Taking on the world, one laugh and one limp at a time. That’s how Mthunzi Huna says he does it. His position at DVT is B-BBEE and EE, Skills Development Junior Admin, HR assistant, and MICT SETA 4IR Policy Work Stream Member, and his two-fold goals include “helping to turn the tide on unemployment, and being an ambassador for the disabled to be more visible.”
Mthunzi joined the DVT team through a Dynamic Technologies Finance Learnership in 2015. In his charming and forthright way, he acknowledges that he wasn’t looking for work in technology, but a friend told him about the DVT learnership opportunities. He applied, was accepted, and his learnership journey began.
Mthunzi has taken to his Dynamic Technologies career like a duck to water. He describes his role: “It is to bridge any inequality gaps we might have, and to help and ensure that previously disadvantaged individuals see DVT as a preferred home where they can begin and expand their careers.” He also supports the HR department in an admin capacity.
Mthunzi grew up in Soweto, and then moved to the Eastern Cape, where he attended Dale College in his high school years. He describes the all-boys school as being passionate about sports, especially rugby, and his highlights as being on the field on Saturdays as a first aider to future Springboks, as well as meeting famous old-boy Dalians such as Makhaya Ntini (former South African cricketer and the first Xhosa player to play for the national team) and the late Kaunda Ntunja, renowned rugby player and commentator. And all that, according to the irrepressible Mthunzi, in between giving his mother and his teachers headaches. Focusing on academic pursuits was not his top priority in his school years!
But his love for learning grew, and when he joined the Dynamic Technologies Finance Learnership, he recognised the potential in his burgeoning career to make change happen – to make a difference to unemployment, especially among the marginalised. He notes that what makes DVT special is that “we are making an impact; we are changing people’s lives”.
He was one of three in the Dynamic Technologies Finance Learnership, alongside fifteen Software Development Learners. They worked with Dora Jantjie, Financial Manager, DVT, while also assisting Prudence Mabitsela, MD, Dynamic DNA (then DVT’s B-BBEE Senior Specialist). “By month 10, my fellow learner, Sharon Nare Ngwasheng, and I were promoted to interns – Sharon joined as the Finance Intern and I joined Prudence as a B-BBEE Intern, where I started assisting with the BEE scorecard, Employment Equity Reporting, Skills Development, recruiting learners, and helping to run the learnerships.” He says Prudence has significantly influenced his working life. “She saw something in me, and she opened many doors for me.”
A career highlight for Mthunzi includes participation in MICT SETA engagements to discuss combating the skills shortage and upskilling youth. “I was chosen to join the MICT SETA 4IR Policy Stream as a representative for disabled people and to ensure that there’s more involvement in the sector from the disabled community.” This also reflects the foundation of his appreciation of Diversity by Inclusion, which to him means “we can all be different, but we also need to be united and identify as one.” He adds that the unity in the workplace features highly for him. “Working with Prudence and the Dynamic DNA team, and with Dora Jantjie and the Finance team hold a special place for me. They have always been there for me, and I continue to learn from them.”
For Mthunzi, life and laughter are intertwined. He says the greatest challenge he has faced in his life is his disability – and his response to it is, “I have kids and I love laughing – that’s how I cope.” He has two daughters, aged 7 and 6, and a son, aged 1, who live with Mthunzi and his mother and are a constant source of tremendous joy to him. His answer to what makes him laugh out loud, is, “Everything. I find a joke in any situation, and I always want to see people laugh.” That is one of Mthunzi’s true strengths, which is firmly linked to his courageous spirit and his will “to never give up”.
Beyond working hours, Mthunzi says his kids keep him busy, but he’s also part of the Black Pride Organisation, an NPO focused on re-establishing the local economy. He also runs book clubs, and he devotes time to upskilling youth to be employable.
He encourages young people to join the tech community. “Tech is the future now. So many people are afraid of job loss due to 4IR, but they fail to see just how many new skills come with it. So we attract them, one learnership at a time.”