MBA@UNC Global Immersion: Johannesburg 2017 - Day Two

MBA@UNC Global Immersions are offered four times a year as unique opportunities for students to travel to major domestic and international business destinations with their fellow classmates, participate in engaging discussions with their professors and elite industry leaders, as well as apply what they have learned to real-life problems.

The second day of the MBA@UNC South Africa immersion started with an introduction to the history and economy of Soweto, followed by a talk about starting businesses in a mature market for the black population. Tumisang Kgaboesele, CEO and founder of African People Mover, told students about how every indicator told him that the transportation market in South Africa was a bad market to move into, and how he proceeded -- and succeeded -- anyway.

APM was established in 2014, to address an underserved segment of the transportation market. Before APM, unreliable and unsafe transportation was the only available low-cost option for the majority of rural travelers to get between cities. However, from the start, APM was able to focus on ensuring maximum fleet utilization by offering routes only on the most high demand, high volume inter-city corridors in South Africa. They differentiated themselves by offering affordability, safety, reliability, convenience, and comfort normally associated with premium transportation services. As a result, African People Mover is currently the only black owned and operated business in the long range transportation market with national capability.

Next, Professor Clive Glaser gave students an in-depth look at the history of apartheid and its legacy. Teaching at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, Professor Glaser spoke about the cultural, racial, and political issues in South Africa that lead to apartheid, as well as what the country was left with after it was dissolved.

The second half of the day was spent touring Soweto, with the first stop at the Nelson Mandela House. Students were able to walk through the house, learning about Mandela’s humble upbringings and getting a feel for how the average family lived in Soweto during apartheid.  

Next, students visited the Soweto Red Cross and dropped off donations for the community, including basic hygiene necessities such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, towels, and soap. The Red Cross addresses several health needs in the community, such as HIV care and support, disaster prevention and relief, elder care, drug rehabilitation, and child care.

The tour concluded at the Kliptown Open Air Museum, where the Freedom Square Kliptown Community singers performed and students took in the sights of the Walter Sisulu Square.

In the evening, students dined at Moyo at Zoo Lake, and enjoyed the entertainment. They were serenaded by traditional African drummers, musicians, and singers, as well as joined in the dancing to round off an enlightening day in Johannesburg.