Sydwell graduated from Hoxani College of Education with a diploma in education before he joined SEF in 2000 as a Development Facilitator (loan officer). Prior to becoming the Regional Manager for the Eastern Cape province, he worked as a Field Supervisor, Branch Manager and Zonal Manager. He received a Microfinance Management Certificate from the University of Pretoria in 2011 as well as a certificate in Human Resource Management from the University of South Africa in 2012. He also received a Bachelor of Administration degree from the University of South Africa in 2021.
Sydwell was SEF’s Regional Manager in the Eastern Cape for eleven years and was appointed Operations Manager of the entire organisation in 2020. Apart from his native Xitsonga, Sydwell is fluent in IsiXhosa, Sepedi, Tshivenda and English.