Dr Simo Mthethwa
Ever since he was growing up at Sabhuza, a village near eMpangeni in northern KwaZulu-Natal, mathematics came naturally to Dr Simo Mthethwa. Today, he’s a full-fledged academic and community builder who runs Mthethwamatics, a non-profit organisation that has started a movement to spread passion for mathematics to all and sundry. “The movement aims to create a society that is mathematically informed. We seek to build a tradition contrary to the popular belief that mathematics is a challenging subject with no tangible application to how the world operates,” says Dr Mthethwa. Mthethwamatics programmes are put together remotely and its members are spread across South Africa. Any member of society can take part in them. Various other mathematicians chip in their knowledge to run the programmes. “We are living in an ever-changing world. So, we have to train ourselves and members of society to partake in the change or at least be aware of it,” he says.