Limpopo-born entrepreneur and philanthropist Collen Mashawana is set to be awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of South Africa [UNISA] on Thursday. 

Mashawana will be awarded the doctorate at a graduation ceremony to be held at the university’s Muckleneuk Campus. Mashawana has spearheaded numerous successful ventures, including the esteemed Afribiz Invest Group. 

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His philanthropic journey through the Collen Mashawana Foundation has made significant impacts on countless lives. The foundations’ initiatives focus on education, healthcare, and community development.

His profound commitment to social justice and the empowerment of youth and marginalized communities underscores his dedication to effecting meaningful change. In the realm of business, Mashawana has been instrumental in advancing South Africa’s technological infrastructure, significantly contributing to the digital economy. His innovative business practices earned him the Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2018 from the South African Department of Social Development.

UNISA to award Collen Mashawana an honorary doctorate 
Collen Mashawana lending a helping hand


“At its sitting on 15 September 2023, the Unisa Council agreed to confer the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Honoris Causa) on Mr Mashawana for his unwavering commitment to societal advancement, strategic leadership and business growth initiatives which exemplify a rare blend of entrepreneurial spirit and humanitarian concern. This recognition is also a testament that Mr Mashawana stands out as a beacon of leadership, philanthropy and business acumen,” the university announced on Wednesday. 

“As the Founder and Chairman of the Collen Mashawana Foundation, he has spearheaded initiatives that have had a profound impact on communities. Particularly in the construction of over 300 homes over the past decade without any external or government assistance.

“With this intervention, Mashawana’s foundation is bringing much-needed relief to the elderly, people living with disabilities as well as child-headed families.”

“Also, during the challenging times of the Covid-19 pandemic, his foundation was at the forefront of providing essential aid through the donation of personal protective equipment and food parcels. Especially to the underprivileged and vulnerable sections of society; thus playing a critical role in mitigating the impact of the virus.

The Department of Social Development also honoured him with an Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2018. Thus underscoring his role as a pivotal figure in the nation’s social and economic development spheres.”