Thabang SkwambaneThabang Skwambane

Johannesburg, South Africa


Occupational Information

Occupation: Entrepreneur

Occupational Position: Chairman and Founder of The Lonely Road Foundation Managing Director at FCB Joburg


2009/2010 Dipaleseng Outreach Testing Campaign funded by USAID/PEPFAR

Professional History

Thabang Skwambane is a banking veteran with 10 years banking experience in multiple jurisdictions including South Africa, Nigeria and the United Kingdom. Thabang left banking in 2006 to become a social entrepreneur by co-founding a healthcare company, Kaelo, that focused on HIV and AIDS and Chronic Diseases of Lifestyle. Today, Kaelo Healthcare employs over 1000 people and provides testing and patient management services to more than a quarter of a million people a year.

In 2007 not satisfied that children in rural communities who lost their parents due to HIV were being cared for sufficiently, he founded The Lonely Road Foundation. To raise funds and awareness for the plight of Orphans and Vulnerable Children, Thabang cycled alone and unsupported 5,896 kilometres from Johannesburg in South Africa to the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and then climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa. Thabang is an Archbishop Tutu Leadership Fellow (2010) from the African Leadership Institute.


Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Cape Town Masters in Public Administration from Harvard Kennedy School of Government


2010 Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellow

Featured News

Norman Smit
23 December 2017

Making a simple change can help realize one’s full potential. At TED Talent Search Lagos 2017 in Nigeria, Victoria Ohaeri describes the importance of changing her name to positively affect others' perceptions.  The 2016 Tutu Fellow tells her personal story about the effects of labeling, and how changing her name made all the difference.

Norman Smit
21 December 2017

Young farmers participating in a project started by 2017 Tutu Fellow Samuel Kariuki have had their first harvest and been paid for the fruits of their labour.  The new farmers in the agro-entrepreneurship Fort Hall Eye Project harvested two tons of beans. This green success is taking place in one of the most troubled counties in Kenya, where alcoholism has left almost no household unaffected.

Peter Wilson
21 December 2017

When nominations closed earlier this week, there were close to 300 really top quality nominations of emerging African leaders from across the continent for the 2018 Tutu Leadership Fellowship.  We were again impressed by the breadth of outstanding candidates who are applying for the Fellowship, reinforcing what we already know: that there is no shortage of excellent young leaders on the continent. 

Norman Smit
20 December 2017

The CEO of All On, 2015 Tutu Fellow Wiebe Boer is helping to build access to affordable sustainable energy for low income households, small business, and communities.  All On is an independent impact investing company.  As part of its approach it has also provided a grant to the acclaimed Nigerian tech incubator, Co-Creation Hub, to challenge Nigeria’s innovators on energy. Co-Creation Hub is run by 2017 Tutu Fellow 'Bosun Tijani.

A Selection of Tutu Leadership Fellows

About AFLI



The African Leadership Institute (AFLI) is unique among leadership initiatives in that it focuses on building the capacity and capability of visionary and strategic leadership across the continent. Developing exceptional leaders representing all spheres of society, the Institute’s flagship programme is the prestigious Archbishop Tutu Leadership Fellowship. Offering a multifaceted learning experience and run in partnership with Oxford University, it is awarded annually to 20-25 carefully chosen candidates, nominated from across Africa. Alumni of the African Leadership Institute form a dynamic network of Fellows passionately committed to the continent’s transformation, bridging the divide between nations and ensuring that Africa is set centre-stage in global affairs.