Thato Kgatlhanye is the founder of Rethaka Group. At 18, Kgatlhanye founded Rethaka, which produces recycled schoolbags that double up as solar-powered lights that children can use to study at night.

The company employs 20 people, has many volunteers, and supplies its products to the likes of Standard Bank, Red Bull, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Unilever. It also exports to Namibia, Turkey, the United Kingdom and Brazil.

Her work has earned her several awards. She received the ELLE International Impact Award, came in third place in the SAB Foundation Social Innovation Award and was a finalist for the Cartier Women’s Initiative Award.

We are proud of her achievement and exploit. We recognize her as one of the Most Influential People of African Descent, Business and Entrepreneurship category Class of 2018.