Athol Williams

Business strategist and entrepreneur Athol Williams received the 2012 Inyathelo Award for Philanthropy in Education for his work to improve schools in gang-ridden areas of Cape Town.


Having grown up in Mitchell’s Plain, Athol knows first-hand the dangers of being young without purpose or opportunity in gang-controlled communities. Having made the break himself, reaching the dizzy heights of New York and London as a partner in a global financial services practice, Athol returned to South Africa to set up Taurus School Solutions in a bid to improve the schools in the Cape Flats where he grew up.

The world class Taurus team of educational experts work in partnership with the Western Cape Education Department to bring about systemic improvement to the schools with which they work. The aim is not only to enhance the basic functionality of the school but also to create a more conducive climate for teaching and learning.

Athol, now a Professor at Wits University, also founded and funds Diepsloot Youth Development – a programme which provides a creative outlet through drama for more than 40 unemployed youth in the Johannesburg area of Diepsloot. A Harvard scholar and poet, Athol recently set up the website ‘Doing Great Things’ which celebrates people in South Africa who are making a difference.