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Hustlenomics: How Nhlanhla Ndlovu Provides Sustainable Housing in South African Townships

Meet Nhlanhla Ndlovu the founder of Hustlenomics, a for-profit impact driven social enterprise that’s dedicated to replacing informal backyard shacks in the South African townships with formal durable houses for low-income households. 

So Nhlanhla himself grew up in a township having to share a living space with 12 other siblings and relatives. When he built his own shack in his family’s backyard to escape the crowded living arrangement he got to experience himself the poor living conditions in such an informal backyard shack. 

In the interview Nhlanhla shares 

  • How he managed to build a social enterprise while many of his childhood friends either went to prison or died 
  • How learning how to learn anything helped him become a computer expert as well as identify business and grant opportunities 
  • How competition in his market drove him to become ever more innovative with his enterprise and building techniques 
  • And how he and his team plan to convert informal backyard shacks into formal houses without any cost to the homeowners.

We also speak about how role models and the awareness of opportunities can make the difference between a life of crime and a life of contribution and so much more. 

There is a ton of gold in this interview and we hope that you find this conversation as insightful and inspiring as we did. And now, without further ado, enter Nhlanhla Ndlovu.


Thomas is initiator of, co-founder of ecological sanitation company EcoToiletten, digital automation agency Strandschicht and the non-profit tackling youth empowerment YES Founders Foundation. He co-authored a book on Youth-led Changemaking and coaches entrepreneurs on resilience and mental well-being.