By Asavela Mbali
A tough start in life has not been a barrier for young Eastern Cape man Athenkosi Fani, who has now added Vodacom regional brand ambassador to his list of achievements.
The 23-year-old public relations student at Walter Sisulu University was selected to promote NXT LVL (next level) in the Eastern Cape and its key performance indicators so he can provide insights and learnings to the youth consumer.
“I was scouted by the marketing team by Queeny Diko on my social media platforms based on my influence and the content that I post. She saw a market in me that I can attract more young people,” said Athi.
Fani was born in Reeston, East London and excelled at primary school but then he and his mother began to be abused by his stepfather. He went down the path of drinking and was eventually taken into children’s home. After it was shut down a few years later, Fani was sent to Port Elizabeth and decided to change his life.
By the age of 19, Fani had achieved many great things. He says it all started by joining the debating team which gave him the confidence he needed to become a change maker. He is now a motivational speaker, LGBTQI activist, broadcaster and influencer.
Over the years Fani has managed to earn many titles! He was voted Mr. PE Philanthropist, Mr. Teen Mzansi Africa Ambassador, and vice-chairman of the National Association of Child Care Workers.
He has served on the MTR Smit Youth Forum, the David Livingstone Learner Representative Council and the Port Elizabeth Junior City Council. Fani also made the News24 100 Young Mandela’s of the Future.
On the Vodacom appointment, Fani said “The influence and presence I trust this opportunity will help spread my activism on behalf of the LGBTQI community, whilst also helping me spread a message of love, mutual respect and tolerance for one another.”
“I feel ecstatic, I feel like the future is in my hands, as Vodacom always say the power is in you, for me power Is in my hands. I have the power to change the narrative of things, rewrite my own story,” said Fani.