Nolizwe Mhlaba

Nolizwe's global experience in advocacy and policy work and in youth development organizations led her to CIE. She is a graduate of McGill University and holds a master’s degree from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. Prior to her studies at UMass, Nolizwe taught African Studies and History for five years at the Johannesburg-based African Leadership Academy (ALA). While at CIE, she conducted research on youth livelihoods in Burkina Faso and completed a short stint in the New York City Department of Education.


After obtaining her degree, Nolizwe worked briefly as a head teacher in the International Rescue Committee’s Refugee Youth Summer Academy and as a language instructor at Education First.


Since 2018, she has worked for the pan-African youth entrepreneurship support and development program, the Anzisha Prize, which is a partnership between ALA and Mastercard Foundation. Nolizwe drives the program’s efforts to support those who tend to be best placed to enable young people’s transitions into entrepreneurship: parents and teachers. During her tenure with Anzisha, she has authored educational resources, designed and facilitated workshops for various role players in the youth entrepreneurship ecosystem, and developed communities of practice.


In her spare time, Nolizwe runs a virtual community for African writers called Bhala (is Ndebele for “write”). [4-21]




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CIE Graduate