Lihlumelo Toyana grew up in Sterkspruit in the Eastern Cape. She was always a very talkative and inquisitive child who had a dream of becoming a journalist one day. At her high school she became the first female chairperson of the SRC.
Toyana has been actively involved in student leadership at the University of the Free State as Chairperson of House Madelief and as a student assistant to the vice-chancellor’s office. She also works for the International Institute for Studies in Race, Reconciliation and Social Justice at the University of the Free State.
Toyana holds a BA degree in Governance and Political Transformation from the University of the Free State. She is currently doing her Post Graduate Diploma in Governance and Political Transformation. She was a participant of the Annual International Winter/Summer School on Pluralism and Development which is an initiative of Kosmpolis Institute of the University of Humanistic Studies in cooperation with the Humanist Institute for Cooperative with Development Countries (Hivos) from the Netherlands.