Challenge yourself with Mamelodi for a Month: Ep 115

The Hewitt Family in Mamelodi

What’s possible when you challenge yourself personally?

Julian Hewitt and his family challenged themselves for a month, by moving from their middle class life to live in a squatter camp. This experiment seemed to also challenge their family and friends, and the public at large.
They also received worldwide media coverage (including BBC World News, NY Times).

Julian joins Telana to share about why they did this, the conversations that started, and now- a year later, what is unfolding. . .


Mamelodi for a Month

In August 2013, the Hewitt Family embarked on a journey to live in a shack in Mamelodi and in doing so, experienced a tiny glimpse into the daily life that still defines most South African households.

Motivated by wanting an authentic community engagement and the chance to create conversation around their experience, they moved into a 9m2 corrugated iron shack with no electricity, a communal tap and pit latrine and a budget of R3000 for the month.

What was a personal journey soon became a source of local and international fascination and opinion about the merits of crossing demographic and economic divides. It provided many unique personal and socio-economic insights into key issues that South Africans are still wrestling with 19 years into our democratic liberation.

Julian Hewitt

We talk with Julian about Mamelodi for a Month

Having traveled to 45 countries and worked in multi-disciplinarian environments from Shanghai to Soweto, Julian has a unique professional experience centered on change management.

This leadership ability has been internationally recognized as the recipient of the Clinton Democracy Fellowship, Chinese Government Scholarship and Global Award for Individual Leadership through AIESEC. Furthermore, he has been published in the Boston Globe, Mail and Guardian, China Mining Journal, Africa Analyst Quarterly and China Analyst.

A strong sense of entrepreneurialism underpins his passion. As such, Julian has been a founding member of 3 social enterprises: Twenty30, Brightest Young Minds and Ungana Afrika. Until 2013, he headed up the Fellowship Programme at Allan Gray Orbis Foundation and is currently pursuing ventures in the education and entrepreneurship space


Contact Julian on admin at
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3 responses to “Challenge yourself with Mamelodi for a Month: Ep 115”

  1. siza says:

    nice show. i like it!

  2. Telana says:

    Thanks Siza, glad you enjoyed it. What other topics would you like to hear more of?

  3. Dion says:

    good to see open minded brave families with that genuine adventurous spirit still exist.

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