Thokoza Mjo

Thokoza Mjo

Beyond the Lemonade Stand is in the business of instilling a problem solving mindset amongst youth from under resourced communities.
Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Entrepreneur

Andy Walshe Advisor at Syafunda Education Project

Thokoza is an extraordinary person whose passion and integrity is truly inspirational. Education as a solution to many of the issues facing the youth of SA is the cornerstone of the "Beyond the Lemonade Stand" however the true power of her work is in her drive to make the curriculum for this project truly groundbreaking and empowering. She has made every effort to ensure that she gives the youth in her care the tools and confidence to really make a difference and as such her work stands out as one of the most impressive social enterprises i have seen.....I am thankful to have been able to learn so much from her and her work.

Sinazo Mtshemla

I met Thokoza in primary school in the early 90 as new recruits into a small farm school that was predominantly for Afrikaans speaking whites, As one would know it was a time where South Africa was going through major political and psychological transformations in the wake of a post apartheid country. As i watch how life has sped past, I look on with amazement but not disbelief at the woman, activist, entrepreneur, teacher, learner Thokoza has become and continues to become; watching through the lense of Beyond the Lemonade Stand.having also seen through her work that is not only necessary and important but filled with the spirit and soul of helping to transform our society through social acts enabling young people to be agents of change in their worlds and in the worlds of others too.I am truly and deeply inspired by the work she does at Beyond the Lemonade Stand.The life giving work of BTLS speaks for itself!

Anton Harber

I have only recently met Thokoza but have been impressed by her focus, dedication and professionalism. She gets it.

Vuyelwa Madela

I met Thokoza at The Hub Johannesburg and was amazed at how someone could give up a pomise of comfortability and luxury to pursue the dream of educating and empowering young leaders - those that do not have such opportunities available to them. I admire her passion and love for what she does, her undying positive spirit and determinantion , work ethic and her character - friendly, loving, positive, chatty, knowledgeable, inspired, involved... I could name them all but the fundamental is this - she would utilize this investment to ITS full potential and will reach and change the lives and futures of many young minds - Beyond the Lemonade Stand

Daniel Adidwa CEO at Tour2.0

Thokoza is a selfless entrepreneur who understands the value of building communities through sustainable entrepreneurship ventures. She commits to a project and sees things through. She is both an entrepreneur and a great person.

Melissa Larter Guitarist/Vocalist at The Descendants Band

Thokoza is one of the most selfless people I have ever met, she us such an inspiration to many. What an amazing woman, what a huge heart!

Yanitos Titos

Conocí a Thoko en un viaje que realizó a Argentina. Una persona encantadora! Ojala haya más gente como ella en el mundo, dispuestos a ponerse al servicio de los más necesitados. Un ejemplo para imitar.

Refilwe Mokoena Integration Officer, Progress out of Poverty, Social Performance Mgmt at VisionFund

I met Thokoza 2 years at the Impact Hub in Johannesburg where she ran a session on the Beyond the Lemonade Stand. It was obvious from then that she would make a great impact on entrepreneurship in South Africa, and change the way children and the youth see their possibilities for the future. I was drawn to her positivity, her energy and dedication to the youth she works with. I recommend her for this any day.

Londa Mavundla

I've known and worked with Thokoza since 2010. What's stood out for me in all this time, beside her awesome personality, is her passion for youth development. She does her work with absolute passion and professionalism. If I could recommend one project and one person, it'd be Beyond the Lemonade Stand and Thokoza.

Alex Powell

Thokoza (TK) is an incredible business woman, mentor and friend whom I have known for over 10 years now after meeting her back in our university days. TK never fails to impress me with each new bigger, grander vision that she carves out for herself so as to stretch her own entrepreneurial character and in so doing uplift the lives of everyone in her circle of influence and beyond. TK is a source of sage advice for my wife (Karen) and I as we continue to build our own first entrepreneurial company ( and she is always willing to selflessly assist in any and all ways that she can and her advice and guidance is always of extreme value to anybody who has the privilege to interact with her. Karen and I are extremely excited to see what TK can grow, nurture, expand and develop "Beyond the Lemonade Stand" into and we have no doubt that whatever route this journey ends up taking, the end result will be one in which communities, families and people are uplifted.

Chi Achebe Founder, CEO at ResSpot

I've known Thokoza for a couple years now and recently worked alongside Thokoza for some months at the African Leadership Academy. Without a doubt, Thokoza is a phenomenal person, reliable colleague, and an inspirational young leader. For years through Beyond the Lemonade Stand, she has shown a passion and dedication for doing purpose driven work and being an agent of change within her community. But even beyond her "Lemonade Stand", with her positive spirit and good-nature, she is a beacon of light and an agent of daily change in the lives of everyone she interacts with.

Ganief Manuel

See a Need, Fill a Need. Beyond the Lemonade Stand exposes the young minds in under-resourced communities to the entrepreneur spirit as an approach to socio-economic circumstances. The projects mold young minds to be innovation ready, empowering themselves and using what they know to bring about positive change. It is about connecting , sharing collaboration and reaching out, so each learner in return will go out into the world and do the same for others, game changers.

Norma Young

Beyond the Lemonade Stand is giving young South Africans opportunity and access. With Thokoza having designed the programme to be both informative and practical, participating students get the opportunity to acquire life skills, and access to resources, material and people they might otherwise not come across. As the name of the name business suggests, its about taking learners beyond any limitations they see in themselves or circumstances.

Tinashe Makovi Managing Director at Corporate Brain Developers

I have known Thokoza (a.k.a) Tk since 2009, I faced with serious financial problems as I pursued my degree at the University of Pretoria. Tk was one of the few people who contributed in cash since I didn't have a sponsor. She is one of few people who deserve any form of help she needs to pursue her passion. She wants to see kids being uplifted and empowered educationally.

Joshua Cox Founding Director at TRADE-MARK

Beyond the Lemonade Stand is one of the most inspiring social enterprises I have ever come across. The legacy of apartheid is not only material poverty for the great majority of black South Africans, but poverty of self-belief. BTLS is tackling this head on and changing mindsets, lives and futures for the better in the process. I cannot recommend them highly enough!

Tasha Gloeck

TK is a continuallly impressive person - she has founded and organisation against massive odds that is really making a difference in people's lives. She is a person of excellence and I can recommend her and commend her and her work to anyone. Good job TK!

Lazaros Karapanagiotidis

Thoko gave up a promising corporate career to pursue her passion, she could've stopped at any time but has carried on and on. She's sacrificed time, friends and money. I have never seen someone as tenacious and passionate as her, and it's immediately evident once you start witnessing appreciating what she does. It's a 24/7 job that she runs, and a very thankless one. I wish the world had a million Thoko's, I am glad we've found one.

Dilly Churchill CEO & Founder at Startup GH

Thokozas guidance and support have brought me to a new Place in my professional life. My social work in Ghana would have never had gotten to the stage its at. It has been a tremendous experience for me and a wonderful way to add to my career. I will never be able to thank you enough!! I wanted to take this opportunity to let you know how much I respect and admire you. You are a dedicated professional who knows how to break through the obstacles to get things done. I have learned a great deal from observing you tackle your work & challenges with intelligence, patience, and perseverance. Even though you are incredibly busy you have never denied me help when asked. Thank you for being an awesome mentor!!!!

Siddharth Bali Employee at AIESEC

Thokoza Mjo- A lady who is passionate, unstoppable, believer, achiever and and idol for South African youth. I have known for 2 years now, and not a single day has passed when I wasn't amazed by her hardwork and commitment to improve RSA. Her initiative is impact-full and worth every support possible.
I have no doubts that she will make things right. I wish her nothing but the absolute best.

Aphiwe Tshele

I know Thokoza through her sister f and what I have learnt (rather observed) is that she is passionate about her work in uplifting young South Africans. This may not be the platform but I remember reading her post about how her mother said she should get a "real" job and she said "this is it, one day my mother will see it" for me that's something that is very rare, where a person dedicates their all in helping other. Her approach in empowering the young people is real and truthful.

Thabisa Mjo

Beyond the lemonade stand is an innovative and energetic programme. i particularly like it because it promotes real world tools to instil critical thinking, entrepreneurial leadership and is core in assisting young people develop skills for a world that does not yet exist.

Mark Nehrenz

Thokoza is one of a kind. I met her in 2008 as an exchange student in SA. In the 6 years that I've known her, I've seen her pour her heart and soul into uplifting South African youth and helping them to be active in creating successful futures for themselves. When I lived in SA for a year and needed help connecting with grassroots social organizations, Thokoza connected me with a boys shelter that I was then connected to for nearly 3 years. She was like a sister, mother and counselor to many of the boys there, and I have seen her share this same passion and dedication in her work with Beyond the Lemonade Stand. Thokoza deserves to win this! SA will be a better place because the work she is doing!

Nomfanelo Ndawo

Owh what a humble, sweet, loving,enegetic young lady, she compromised a lot including her permanent job, in order to help and develop disadvantaged children,she was well brought up , well educated by ordinary parents.

Suzanne Mackay

One thing I know of Thokoza is that once she has set her mind on a goal, she will pursue it with all her resources; taking each step in its time until she reaches it. She has so many resources at her disposal: wisdom, creativity, ambition, hope, financial acumen, entrepreneurial planning and raw talent. If I had to bet on anyone, it would be her. She is actively building into the future of this country.

Thato Magano

I have known Thokoza for over 10 yrs and have quietly admired her passion for working with young people. I have been witness to the mentorship programme she started while we were students and have been on the sidelines for BTLS and have to commend her and all the role players for leading the charge in fostering a new way of thinking for youth in SA. Through BTLS, she is allowing young people to discover for themselves the wonder of their being and creativity and this will produce confident young people who will create a positive change in their world. Through out our time, I have known her to get involved in almost all programmes that facilitate the empowerment of young people and I have come to learn and appreciate that this is her #Happyplace and nothing more.

Anita Maritz

Thoko is easily one of the most inspirational people I have ever met. Never content with merely knowing Thoko does and she does with integrity, endless enthusiasm and complete business savvy. Thoko has courage and conviction in every effort and has sacrificed a lot to develop what is a fantastic social organisation. Beyond The Lemonstand deserves to win this so that they can continue to make a difference and expand their reach.

Adam Bogatsu

Beyond the lemonade stand has been years in the making. I have know TK since the year 2008. We got to know each other when she recruited me to take part in a tutoring initiative that she started to help kids at a shelter at Salvakop. The heart and passion that she served those kids with was infectious. From there it was almost natural that she would quit her job to start Beyond the lemonade stand. I believe in both Thokoza's ability to make a success of this initiative and the the initiative itself. Kids in township schools need to dream again. They need to believe in themselves and what is possible. Beyond the lemonade stand does exactly that. It opens up the world to them. It walks a journey with them that says they have the ability to do anything and everything they set their minds to. Black kids in the township need an initiative like this. The country needs Beyond the lemonade stand!

Nhlawulo Ntshuxeko Nyambi

Ms Mjo is an amazing woman of talent,i first met her in 2011 were she came to my school(New Nation)looking for young people from grade 10 and 11 to join the Junior Achievement South Africa and she was the facilitator of the programme.Not only did she give us the knowledge of being young entrepreneurs but also exposed us to the industry.She is very passionate,straight mind headed person about what she wants and its through her that i graduated.To me Thokoza is the model youngers like me need to show that its not about where you came from,but how far you willing to go to make it work.

Gift Jacket

I have known my teacher since 2012 in T youth programme . What I know about her is that she understand youth and also she is passionate about them.

Gift Jacket


Deshun Deysel Founder, Director at Deshun Deysel & Associates

Thokoza Mjo has been a the "Youth Expert" in my business for over 2 years. She shows remarkable intuition, insight and capability when it comes to Programme development. I couldn't run the youth Life Skills programmes without her. She is a valuable cog in th DDA machinery. Most notably, she's been instrumental in bringing practical and effective financial management and leadership skills to the learners we've worked with. Her contribution to young people in terms of enterprise development is a valuable contribution to investing in the future leaders of Southern Africa. I highly recommend her services and expertise to any programmes with a Youth Empowerment focus.

Lesley Williams Founder & Managing Director at HUB Johannesburg

Thokoza was born to do this work! She is a passionate and brilliant teacher. She is shifting mindsets in the school system; kids get to experience what they're capable of. They build confidence and resilience as well as learn the competencies of being an entrepreneur at a young age - whoever is in her class is not only well-equipped but - simply lucky!

Nathi Khoza

I read this article a while back.. And thought.. Wow.. This is such a perfect description of Thokoza.

"She's like a woman riding a lion. People think, 'This woman's brave.' While Thokoza is thinking, 'How the hell did I get on a lion, and how do I keep from getting eaten?"

Thokoza has ventured into terrories that others fear entering. I appreciate her attitude and tenacity in how she keeps pushing on when everything is against her achieving her goals.

I had the pleasure of working with Thokoza from 2012. I keep telling her that she is doing great work, life changing work. The learners that have been through her entrepreneurial programme have grown so much, personally & professional - all through the guidance of Thokoza.

I fully recommend Thokoza and her work. Our generation has a bright future with superheroines like Thokoza.

Shiluba Mawela Employee at EY

Thoko is a dynamic and innovative emerging African leader who is passionate about Africa, education and development on the continent. Thoko is a smart, generous and wise young lady who speaks honestly, engages beautifully and incredibly inclusive to all those around her. In the time I have known her, she has inspired, taught and mentored me. I believe her vision and dedication certainly make here an exceptional leader who is certainly worthy of this prize.

Busi Dlamini

Thokoza is a true leader! She has an incredible ability to galvanise people behind an idea and keep them inspired through out. Over the years she has demonstrated unbelievable persistence in pushing through "No's", challenging the status quo and course correcting when needed. Her vision for BTLS is unshakable yet she has no hesitation in letting others shape and contribute in realising it without fear of being overshadowed or derailed.
The work being done by BTLS is an important part of supplementing what's currently a deficient education system that often renders young people from the margins of society victims of their circumstances. This program contributes in changing lives and allowing participants to transcend the myriad of social issues from unemployment at a macro level to self esteem at the micro.

She is indeed a woman of our times.

Sarah Swart

Thokoza deserves any help that anyone is willing to give her! She has passion, drive, enthusiasm, capacity and insight. She loves this country and is dedicated to improving it in any way that she can. The work she is currently doing with high school students is incredible, and I know that she is making a difference in their lives. She inspires me and everyone around her, and I am proud to recommend her.

Vatiswa Qoboshiyane

I have known Thoko as I affectionately call her since birth, I loved her the very first time I saw her she was soo sweet,so lazy to cry.She's one of a kind or one in a million. She's passionate , a believer and very loving. She has a passion for youth development and an inspiration to many as young as she is. She puts other people first.

Karl-Robert Gloeck

Thokoza is an exceptional human being with the audacity to dream big and the courage to follow-through. Her "Beyond the Lemonade" stand is a unique and inspiring initative which empowers tomorrow's leaders. She is a marker of intergrity and is passionate about her country and making it work. I would recommend Thoko on any levels of business and development as she so clearly has a heart to grow and enable the next generation.

Mamodise Mailula

When I met Thokoza 5 years ago, she was a volunteer at BizSchool. I was inspired by her willingness to help others and empower the youth in the Gauteng community. I was particularly moved by the fact that she had a background in Finance but decided to leave her comfortable job to start her venture in social entrepreneurship and Beyond the Lemonade Stand. Thokoza's contagious energy and positive outlook on life helped shape my life today. I have sat in her talks and sessions and left the room feeling determined and hopeful. I have also seen it with learners from a school in Tembisa who have benefited from her innovative projects. She is our role model and catalyst to the success of many young people's lives.

Chantal Mann

Thokoza is an incredibly capable and innovative entrepreneur with great tenacity. BTLS is an important programme as it addresses a critical part of developing young people to contribute meaningfully in moving the economy of the country and continent. Personally Thokoza has a unique talent for connecting with young people on a fun, meaningful and impacting level. She stays current with trends and innovation, is quick to adapt when necessary and has the gumption to stick with the programme and stay on track. She's an incredible young leader who I back completely and recommend to anyone else to do the same.

Hetty Boachie-Yiadom

Beyond the Lemonade Stand is an innovative idea that promises to open doors for future generations, ensuring that they inherit a South Africa that we can all be proud of.

I can vouch for Thokoza Mjo as a character witness. She is a hard-working individual that approaches everything she does with a high work ethic and moral integrity.

Gretchen L. Wilson Prangley Co-Founder at Play Africa

Thokoza Mjo is an inspiring, driven individual who is passionate about making a significant difference in the lives of children in underserved communities.

I met Thokoza several years ago when she was working with teens in Thembisa, a disadvantaged neighbourhood outside of Johannesburg. The kids she was working with knew they had potential, and were sick and tired of the impact of drugs, underemployment and severe poverty were having on their community.

Thokoza inspired them to think of problem-solving initiatives to address this very real issue -- and helped them develop their own youth newspaper for the area. The teens were able to report on the issues that concerned them, and offer suggestions on how these issues could be better addressed by leaders and citizens.

Since then, she has gone on to launch Beyond the Lemonade Stand. I'm standing behind her as a follower and supporter, and hope you will, too.

Eduard Lotz

TK is an amazing, dynamic, committed, inspiring young woman with a heart of gold!
It's a privilege knowing her and I gladly recommend her for support by anyone wanting to see change..

Luis Titos Employee at Accenture

Thokoza; very passionate and committed with her work and country, is an example of how the world can be changed; planting the seeds for a better future, by helping young minds to achieve their goals.

Quinton Pretorius Professional Speaking, Mentorship, Training & Team Building at Young Able

Beyond the Lemonade Stand is one of the most existing programs working with young people. Giving hope to young people in a way that is not feeling sorry or petty for them but says "you have what it takes to better your self". Beyond the Lemonade Stand is working WITH young people not FOR young people. Thokoza keep up the good work you have started, One-on-one, one-by-one, in relationship changing the lives of young people.

Oluwasanya Awe

I remember the first time I met Ms Thokoza at the African Leadership Academy. I have had the opportunity to work for her initiative, Beyond the Lemonade Stand, and I have enjoyed every bit of the time I spent on the project.

Ms Thokoza sets very high standards for the people she works with and is very supportive and understanding when we fail to meet the objectives. Ms Thokoza's passion for youth development is very evident from the moment one enters into a conversation with her.

Above all, she's an extremely humble and caring person.

Raelene Rorke

Thokoza, is a super enthusiastic entrepreneur with the vision to see the important role of entrepreneurship (and entrepreneur mindset) will play in the lives of youth in South Africa. She has developed and tested a model that creates value on every execution.

Theresa Vivian Moila

I have known Thokoza since October 2012 when she co facilitated the 5 day lifeskills programme for the Transnet Foundation Youth Education Programme. She has been instrumental in shaping the future of the beneficiaries of the programme. Besides facilitating the programme she offers mentorship and coaching to the youth. Thokoza has displayed leadership ability and also the ability to lead by example. The beneficiaries of the programme regard her as a role model. SInce the inception of the programme Thokoza has co facilitated the six different workshops for the TF Youth and enabled them to move to a level of matering their competencies. She is an inspiration to them and is always willing to go an extra in ensuring that the needs of the young people are catered for. She is a a resourceful and diligent worker with an affinity for managing multiple tasks with ease. She is firm yet gentle when dealing with the youth. Her positive attitude is an example for the young people

Olwethu Masanabo Employee at Standard Bank

I have known Thokoza since she was a teenager. She is very dedicated to her passion and has managed to achieve a lot in a short space of time. She gave up a career in finance to pursue her passion. Nobody is more deserving to win this more than Thokoza.

Nicolaas de Jong

I have known Thokoza since university and she is a really inspiring person with passion and drive to put her vision into practice. One of the few people I know who can turn dreams into reality. But best of all, she does this in order to help others.