The Team Behind the Design: Architect Sinethemba Buthelezi 

In South Africa, there is only a small group of professional architects. Sinethemba is one of them, and one of the very few black females among them besides. Given ALA’s mission to develop leaders for the future of Africa, we are delighted, not only to have the African-owned MMA Design Studio leading the architectural work for the Creative Commons, but also to have Sinethemba on the professional team.

When ALA’s old print factory was transformed into the Learning Commons we know and love today, Sinethemba worked alongside Mphethi Marojole. Her contribution was remarkable, and she was intricately involved in designing and supervising construction. In addition to the work Sinethemba has done at ALA, her portfolio of work involves design and project management for malls and office interiors, the Sasol Gas Pipeline in Komatipoort, laboratories at the Park-Town High School for girls in Park View and court buildings in Rustenburg.

Sinethemba has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in architecture and design, and is published. At university, she showed consistent leadership by taking on leadership roles such as students’ president and students’ communication head. As a professional, she is continuing that leadership journey and is an activist for women. Sinethemba has proved to be a determined, creative, and inspirational leader from whom young leaders can learn.

Architect Sinethemba Buthelezi

Sinethemba Buthelezi (supplied)

Sinethemba is intentional about development, with an articulated mission of using the built environment to close the gap between all races and all economic classes. For about the past decade, she has been a self-made entrepreneur having founded and run at least two ventures, CPCD Direct ( and Vusa Architects Africa, and created jobs in the process.

The entire ALA community is delighted to work with Sinethemba in the transformation of the auditorium and container classrooms into the Creative Commons.

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