Ntando Yola is a Community Engagement Lead at the Desmond Tutu Health Foundation (DTHF) in Cape Town, South Africa. He has years of experience working in the field of HIV research and its related facets, advocating for, and mobilizing communities’ participation in these processes. His work includes developing and implementing community engagement strategies, advisory mechanisms as well as forming partnerships with key stakeholders in advancing HIV prevention research. Seeing communities take empowered ownership of the efforts that seek to achieve the AIDS epidemic control, especially in sub-Saharan Africa is what energizes his work. He believes communities have a lot to offer and mechanisms to do so should be prioritized in design, discovery and delivery processes of interventions. As an AVAC Fellow, he advocated for an in-country framework as a national strategy for broad stakeholder engagement in HIV and TB clinical trials in South Africa. Through the work of his fellowship he co-founded Advocates for Prevention of HIV in Africa (APHA), an organization that safeguards communities’ interests from research to public health policy and impact.