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The University of the Witwatersrand alumni Luyanda Gidini is one of Gauteng's success stories. He is a successful Chartered Accountant and human rights activist who has earned his place in finance and accounting.


The Acting Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at the Metropolitan Trading Company (MTC) and an Acting Executive Director in MTC's board of directors says looking back when he started his studies in accounting, he never thought he would be where he is now.


“I'll always be grateful for the National Treasury for giving me the opportunity to kick start my career as a Charted Accountant. When I was doing articles there, I had a chance to work with big corporates and entities that gave me an overall understanding of how they operate, and that prepared me for my role now at MTC," Luyanda explains.


The 34-year-old was this year's finalist for the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) Top 35 under 35 Award. “Being a SAICA Top 35 under 35 finalist came as a surprise. I really didn't expect it, but I feel really honoured. It shows that I am on the right path."


He may have achieved more in young life than most of us can only imagine, yet Luyanda says he is just starting.


Born in Tembisa, east of Johannesburg, Luyanda says growing up in a township with limited career choices fuelled him to dream big and work extra hard at school to achieve good results. “I want a township kid to look at me and see that it is possible to be anything that you dream of. Opportunities are everywhere and endless."


While his career trajectory may seem to have always been unstoppable, Luyanda has had to overcome many hurdles, including financial challenges when he was still a student at Wits.


Talking about his involvement at Equal Education (EE), a non-governmental organisation that strives for quality and equality in the South African education system, he says it gives him an opportunity to pay forward everything other people have done for him to be where he is now.


“Many people held my hand along the way. Working for EE gives me the opportunity to pay it forward through education," he explains.


The father of two is a busy man. Besides his roles at MTC, he is a Training Officer for the City of Johannesburg's Academy for Chartered Accountants, Chairperson of the EE Audit Committee, and Chairperson of the Association for the Advancement of Black Accountants of Southern Africa, Johannesburg branch.


Luyanda makes time to play soccer, watch movies and travel with his wife and children.

Written by Takalani Sioga