Celebrating Youth: Engen’s Tawfeeq Adams Says Never Stop Learning



Athlone’s Mohamed Tawfeeq Adams believes that knowledge is power. “The late great Nelson Mandela said education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world, which is why I will never stop learning and challenging myself,” says the trainee data analyst based at Engen’s head office in Cape Town.



Adams, an alumnus of Rylands High School, is one of 36 new trainees enrolled on Engen’s two-year Graduate Development Programme,

“This is a fresh start for me as I come from a retail background but I’m excited and very willing to learn,” he says.

Adams lives by the philosophy: “Don’t be afraid to fail especially when you’re young, because the greatest lessons are learnt through failure.”

His advice for young South Africans following their dreams, is to choose every opportunity that places one under stress because it allows you to adapt, develop new skills and learn new lessons.

“You can take big risks while you are young, because you don’t have too much lose…we learn so much from taking risks.”

Adams graduated from TSIBA Business School with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration majoring in Finance and is currently completing a post-graduate qualification in Business Administration.

He started his career at Engen in August last year, and says he is looking forward to the rest of his learning journey with Engen.

“The experience thus far has been nothing but positive and I am excited to see what the future holds within my professional career,” reflects Adams.

The 27-year-old is proud of the man he is today.

“I have avoided getting influenced by gangsterism and drug traps thanks to my solid upbringing and supportive parents and grandparents. 

“When I lost my grandfather to Covid in 2021, as difficult as it was, his last memorable words to me were that he was proud of the man I had become and always take care of my family.”

As a newly married parent, Adams says he wants to be able to comfortably support his family and ensure that they have the things he never had growing up because of financial restrictions.

What concerns Adams most about the world today is the impact of technology. 

“It’s supposed to make us feel connected, but we are more disconnected than ever.”

Continuing to attract and grow talented young people like Tawfeeq Adamsdemonstrates Engen’s ongoing commitment to developing our countries future experts and leaders. 

Furthermore, as a company that is passionate about progress and seeks to provide opportunities for talented young adults to explore new horizons, Engen’s Graduate Development Programme offers recent graduates, valuable work experience across a broad range of business functions. 

“The aim is to ensure that all participants emerge as highly employable individuals, bolstered by enhanced confidence, workplace experience, and a comprehensive understanding of working in teams,” says Engen Skills Development Manager, Mmalenyalo Galane.

Explains Galane further: “It is Engen’s ultimate reward to help set talented people up to pursue stimulating careers that won’t only benefit them personally, but also their families and the broader economy of South Africa.

“As a company, Engen is firmly committed to building tomorrow’s leaders and if we want to ensure that the youth of tomorrow are prepared for a rapidly changing world, we need to ensure that they have the right mix of skills for them to reach their full potential,” she adds.

In 2022, Engen invested R14.7million in Learnerships and Bursaries, along with a further R33 million in other social causes, such as its flagship CSI, programme, the Engen Maths and Science Schools.

Kicking off 35 years ago, the Engen Maths and Science Schools are central to Engen’s efforts to contribute to the growth and transformation of South Africa.

Engen’s manager of Transformation and Stakeholder Engagement, Dr James Nyawera explains: “EMSS works tirelessly to help transform young underprivileged people’s lives, with a focus of creating a diverse and vibrant workforce.

“Through the programme, supplementary tuition is provided to approximately 1 800 under-privileged Grade 10-12 learners across South Africa every year.”

Engen Maths and Science Schools are based in Cape Town with classes are held at Belgravia and Manzombotho High, Port Elizabeth, East London, Cala and Johannesburg, and in KwaZulu-Natal where classes sit at Fairvale High School, Ganges High School, Hillview High School and Umlazi Commercial High School.


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Engen skills programme

The inclusion of people with disabilities is a key focus area of Engen’s social investment, with all supported projects seeking to create sustainable value for all parties concerned. Amongst various success stories, Engen’s support of the Breede Valley Association of and for Persons with Disabilities (BVAPD) to drive a new skills-based project called WeMove is bearing fruit.




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