Executive Mayor, City of Johannesburg
South African political activist Mpho “Parks” Tau is the second democratically elected City of Johannesburg Executive Mayor – the city with the highest population size in the Republic of South Africa. While coming off age during apartheid, a brutal system of racial segregation enforced from 1949 to 1994 by South Africa’s ruling white minority sparked Tau’s interest into politics at a young age of 14. This saw him grow and take up leadership roles in anti-apartheid activism organizations such as the Congress of South African Students (Cosas) and the Soweto Youth Congress. After his early exposure to grassroots organizing and activism, Tau’s political career gained momentum in the early 1980’s when he was elected President of the Soweto Youth Congress. He was from thereon elected to increasingly challenging roles in youth organizations. He took on more responsibility as he joined his political icons at the forefront of South Africa’s liberation struggle until he was eventually elected the City of Johannesburg’s Executive Mayor in 2011.