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24 January 2019
University laid the foundation for change
Development financier Mteto Mvusi is putting the foundation he acquired at the University of the Western Cape to good use.

Born in Cape Town, Mvusi grew up in Pretoria and Johannesburg before returning to Cape Town to finish high school and attend UWC. He says he wasn’t the smartest student in the classroom, but decided to stretch himself once he got to campus to start his BCom.

“UWC was a good environment in terms of the overall support structure. It is foundational in nature as it will help even the most underperforming or insecure students develop the skills they need.

“There are people from all walks of life at UWC so the approach, from lecturing to studying, has to accommodate everyone.”

Towards the end of his BCom Honours degree in Corporate Finance and Financial Management, the faculty arranged with several companies to interview their graduating students. This led to HSBC hiring him as a graduate trainee in their Johannesburg office in 2012.

He rose quickly to Coverage Analyst in 2013, Vice-President in 2016 and Senior Vice-President in March this year.

Mvusi works on financing infrastructure development. “We do a lot of massive infrastructure projects that help to put electricity in people’s homes, build up water and sanitation projects, airport and basic transport infrastructure. You are changing people’s lives daily and you can see the impact that you make,” says Mvusi.

Mvusi’s responsibilities frequently take him to several sub-Saharan countries, which he enjoys as he loves travelling.

“I am in a place now where I work extremely hard at the job I do, and things are going well. I just turned 29 and have been made a Senior Vice-President, not because things were given to me, but literally because I worked at it. And that is a philosophy I learned at UWC.

“Their approach was never individualistic. You learned to appreciate people for who they are and what they can bring to the table. What that enabled me to do in a work environment was to work well with many different kinds of people.

“You couldn’t take things for granted at UWC. You couldn’t assume you knew how people were thinking. You learned different things from them and that still applies today.”

Mvusi will relocate to London in the next few months while retaining responsibility for his African portfolio.

He says, “The career is going great and the thing I most appreciate is the person I am becoming. It is one thing being successful but all the money in the world won’t mean a thing if you can’t make a difference in the lives of people.”