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Mpumi Mhlongo

Power of Support

Mpumi Mhlongo is an ESG and climate risk analyst at Investec, busy with his PhD in chemical engineering and a paralympian. Few people know more about the power of support than this young man.

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Paralympian athlete Mpumelelo Mhlongo was born with a clubfoot as a result of amniotic band syndrome, but only during his second year at university did he realise that the Paralympic world was open to him.

Born and raised in Klaarwater township in Durban where his community saw his deformity as a sign of evil, he learned the power of support from his mother, grandmother and uncles. He competed in his first Paralympic Games in Rio in 2016 but really made his mark at the 2021 Games in Japan where he broke two world records.

Mpumi was instrumental in lobbying the International Paralympic Committee to revisit its classification rules and separate blade runners and jumpers from people with lower limb deficiencies. As a member of the Investec Dazzle, he is a sponsored athlete on the journey to Paris 2024.

Mpumelelo is an ESG and climate risk analyst at Investec's Group Sustainability function and a PhD candidate in UCT's Chemical Engineering Department.


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About This Recipe


Mpumi Mhlongo’s recipe is a clear-eyed look at what it takes to be successful. The Paralympic world-record holder describes himself as not particularly talented nor particularly dedicated, instead crediting the many people who have believed in him throughout his life with his success.

He shares his conviction that self-belief is born from the community you associate with, and that once you have found a support structure that can guide you in the right ways, your job is to listen and implement.

Mpumi also describes how he divides his time between the three areas in his life that energises him, reveals that athletics for him was a way to earn the respect of other sportspeople, and shares the story his gran loves to tell about the day the five-year-old boy, who was told he would never walk, leaped off the couch and ran up a hill to meet his mother.

What You'll Learn


In Mpumi’s recipe you will learn:

  • That self-belief and support are a powerful combination.
  • Why dividing your time between sources of energy is more important than balance.
  • How competing on a global stage can teach you about gratitude and hope.
  • Where self-belief comes from.
  • The different ways in which mentorship can manifest.
  • What it takes to be a Paralympian. 


Learn from someone who speaks from a position of real authority, perspective and experience.


Implement practical tips and techniques learned in the trenches - doing, rather than talking.


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This entrepreneurial micro-course will take you only a few minutes per day (or you can binge if you want to). Feel free to skip around and please let us know what you think. 

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Deep Cuts 

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