Mentorship Programme

As a mentor, you will not only make a difference in a young person’s life, your mentee will make a difference in yours. Our students are a fun, talented, interesting bunch and will give you insights into a new generation of South Africans, what it is like to be young these days. Be part of their dreams and opportunities.

We have come to the end of our two year pilot programme – graduation time! The Ubuntu Academy pilot has two overarching goals. The first is to get students into further education, create or find employment, and/or support them in pursuing their own ventures. The second one is to develop a blueprint of a refined Ubuntu Academy that can be used in the future. To support our students in their pursuit of their personal goals beyond the pilot, we want to pair each with a mentor who can guide and support them. Read here what the Ubuntu Academy Mentorship Programme is all about.


What does it take to become a mentor?

Are you…
10505591_598979023551578_7513451961417186390_n… Keen to share your experience and skills?
…Willing to volunteer a little bit of your time over the next six months to nurture a new relationship?
… Committed to meet and communicate with your mentee about once a month, for the next six months?
… Able to invest about R40 per month towards your mentee transport costs?*
… Wanting to tap into your networks to create opportunities?

* If money is a problem but you would like to be a mentor, don’t hesitate to contact us: we will find a solution.

What does the mentor get out?

As selected mentor, we ask you to invest some time, skill, dedication and a little bit of money in a talented and motivated youngster. But: when you give, you get. We believe the satisfaction and fulfilment you get from giving will be more than worth it!

  • Give back by sharing your unique skills and expertise in a meaningful way.
  • Develop your professional and teaching skills : we offer guidance, support and feedback throughout the process.
  • Learn about Cape Town’s youth, their challenges and opportunities: be part of facilitating change.
  • Invest in South Africa’s future creative generation.
  • Become part of our (international) network.
  • Get an honorary mention on our website.

What is expected of the mentor?

  • Around 1 meeting and 1 phone call per month.
  • Attend an event: we will have an event for all mentors and students to get to know each other, and later events for check-in and celebration.
  • Inquire, review and feedback student’s progress. Document this and share it with the team when we follow up. We’ll provide a basic evaluation form to fill in each time.
  • Offer practical support depending on what your mentee needs most. Help to write a CV or an application, identify opportunities to apply or learn, introduce social media, visit public spaces… These are just examples.
  • Tap into your professional networks to create opportunities – facilitate students to immerse in the industry and in constructive social circles.
  • Be a coach – listen, advise and feedback, don’t solve problems. The students do the work.


What does the student get out?


You, an Ubuntu Academy student, are about to graduate. Together we have worked on many different things and exciting projects to develop your professional and personal skills. Connecting with professionals is valuable, because they can give you good advise, and they can open a lot of doors for you. Here are some of the concrete ways how you will benefit from having a mentor:

  • Advice & guidance. Someone with experience, who has been through what you’ve been through to give tips and ideas on how to deal with challenges you may face.
  • Motivation & clarity. A mentor will be useful to make sense of things in your life. As a result you will have more energy to focus on what’s really important to you.
  • Networks. Your mentor will show you, introduce you and take you to meet new things, people and organisations – this could open many doors for you.
  • Opportunities. Together, as a team, you can overcome stumbling blocks and create stepping stones.
  • New skills. By getting to know you, the mentor can identify where you can still grow, and point you in the right direction to learn.

What is expected of the student?

The success of the mentorship programme depends on your dedication and discipline – the more you give, the more you get. The mentor is there to support you – but you define your goals and how to make use of the help offered to achieve them. A good mentor might even become a someone you can count on for life – it is up to you how much trust and passion you invest to make it work.

  • Respect. The mentor gives you time and experience. Don’t take it for granted. Listen and learn from his or her experience.
  • Discipline. Be on time, do what you say you will, and do it well.
  • Reliability. Make sure the mentor knows where and how to reach you, call back when you missed a call. Be on time for meetings, and be prepared.
  • Honesty. The better the mentor understands you, the more you can achieve. Show the mentor who you are and what’s going on in your life. Ask questions, be curious, and just be yourself.


How exactly you choose to work together is up to the two of you. But to make things easy we have a few tips to get started. Once you both agree to work together, you will sign a contract, and you will receive a toolkit with tips, ideas and suggestions to play with. Of course the Ubuntu Academy team will always be there if you run into questions or difficulties. The mentorship programme is designed to make both of you learn and grow – we will make sure this happens.

  • Together, define clearly what type of relationship will work best for you: More meetings, less phone calls? What days and times are best, and where would you like to meet? What areas do you want to focus on? You two set the rules. Review these rules and if something doesn’t work you can always change them. Important is that you negotiate together, and agree to make it work.
  • Set SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, with a Time frame. Work towards something together to make it a fun and rewarding journey.
  • Get the most out of meetings: Use structured communication: identify what you want to speak about at the beginning of the meeting. Reflect and evaluate: what went well, what could have been better? Share your thoughts and ideas.
  • Scheduling: Agree on a time and place for the next meeting. Confirm a few days before the appointment to make sure you will both attend.
  • Around 1 meeting and 1 phone call per month. You can always change this and meet more often, or rely more on sms and facebook, for instance.
  • Attend Ubuntu Academy events together: We will have events for all mentors and students to meet the others and share experiences.

Would you like to be a mentor, or do you want more information, get in touch with us at!