Change the world

Architect of Dreams on the Fields and in the Boardroom

Born in the heart of East London, alumnus Sundesh Mahes set the stage for a journey that seamlessly intertwines the realms of sports and media. Raised in the suburb of Braelyn Hills, his formative years were marked by a passion for both academics and sports, laying the foundation for a multifaceted career.

Sundesh's academic journey began at East London Secondary School, where he consistently ranked in the top 5. His athletic prowess was evident early on, as he assumed the role of captain and central defender for the soccer team. These early leadership experiences would foreshadow his future success.

The corridors of Selborne College witnessed his transformative high school years. From 1996 to 2000, he not only graced the 1st teams in hockey and soccer but also earned provincial accolades in both sports for Border and Eastern Cape. A versatile athlete, he lent his talents to the cricket and tennis 2nd teams, leaving an indelible mark on Selborne's sporting legacy.

Following high school, Sundesh dived into the world of Financial Accounting at Buffalo City FET, attaining N5 and N6 qualifications in 2002. The call of higher education beckoned him to Nelson Mandela University (former NMMU), where he pursued a BA (Media, Communication and Culture), leaving an indelible mark on the Premier League hockey team and EP U21.

His professional journey began at Leisure Media in 2005, a start-up where he joined as a Junior. His meteoric rise continued at the Daily Dispatch in 2007, transitioning from a freelance Advertising Salesperson to a permanent employee within a month. A record-breaking Salesman, Sundesh's prowess eventually led him to Media 24 Sports Magazines, a brief yet impactful stint at SABC as Business Development Manager TV in 2014, and, subsequently, Octagon Sports as the Head of Sponsorships in 2015.

His passion extends far beyond boardrooms and fields. Inspired by the tragic events at Ellis Park in 2001, he realized the transformative power of sports and media. Enrolling at UPE in 2003, he embarked on a journey to align his media skills with his sporting passion, eventually joining SABC Sport as the Head of Marketing in 2022.

Sundesh's commitment to community sports programs, including the UJ Junior Football Club, showcases his dedication to giving back. A loving husband and father, his wife Michaela and their three children stand as his greatest motivation. Guided by the timeless words of Og Mandino, Sundesh persists until he succeeds, embodying the spirit of a lion in a world of sheep.

As an alumnus, he cherishes the camaraderie forged at Nelson Mandela University, with memories of the hockey club and the mentorship of Cheslyn Gie etched in his heart. His future aspirations revolve around moulding South Africa's sporting landscape, believing in the transformative power of sports to change lives and communities.

Sundesh Mahes, a true lionheart, continues to inspire with his journey from the fields of East London to the forefront of the media industry, leaving an indelible legacy for aspiring athletes and media professionals alike.