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AFRICA

FEBRUARY / MARCH 2016

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THE

MILLENNIALS

INSIDE:

The New Look


Of Entrepreneurship

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AFRICA

Contents
February / March 2016

95

4 Contributors
8 Editors Note

74

9 Inbox
10 The Brief

40 | At Midnight In Auschwitz
Paula Slier, a Jewish girl raised in Johannesburg,
travels the world as a war reporter. She is lucky
to be alive. One hundred and nineteen members
of her family were murdered in The Holocaust.
She tells us why the ghosts of her ancestors still
haunt her.

42 | Let Her Rest In Peace

14 | Africas Rich List


18 | The Millennials
The New Biz Kids On The Block
21 | Caution: Millennials At Work
30 | Change Of The Old Guard?
The ANC Womens League, which played a
critical role in South Africas liberation, turns 60
this year but continues to deal with the struggles
of women. It is now reinventing itself introducing
young blood.
By Thobile Hans

34 | Fighting An Unknown Enemy


And Winning
Liberia was declared Ebola-free at the end of
2015. Heroically leading the fight on the streets
was Mayor Cyvette Gibson.

It has been 200 years since Sarah Baartmans


death. Enslaved and paraded as a freak in a
foreign land parts of her exhibited even after
her death the icon was in the news recently
following rumors of American singer Beyonc
producing a film on her. It didnt go down well in
South Africa.

50 | All Things Big And Mall


Cheryl Ankrah-Newton was in prime property
development in Britain when she decided to
move base and revitalize the retail space in
Africas richest square mile.

Jodi Bieber loved pictures so much that she quit


a secure job and headed for trouble; it saw her
capture hell and the cover of TIME magazine.

By Peace Hyde

By Thobile Hans

52 | Claire And Her Chair

46 | Only Death Would Stop Me

Journalist Claire Robertson left the busy streets


of Johannesburg to live a quiet life by the sea.
She didnt expect this would lead her to writing
award-winning novels.

Artist-activist Zanele Muholi has spent over a


decade shooting images and showcasing them
around the world. For her latest exhibition, she
turned the camera on herself.
By Yonela Mgwali

By Jay Caboz

56 | Roll Up Your Sleeves, Walk Past


That Handbag
Ipeleng Mkhari is today a successful
entrepreneur but it was a tough ride getting
there and on flat tyres.
By Yonela Mgwali

Teenage pregnancy has risen in a post-Ebola


Sierra Leone, many cases the result of sexual
attacks and forced marriages. Girls face further
victimization at school.

58 | The Struggles Of A Screen Queen


Nambitha Mpumlwana has distinguished
herself in more than two decades in front of the
camera it hasnt been easy in the face of
prejudice.

By Peace Hyde

38 | 10 Minutes With Arunma Oteh

By Tsidi Bishop

Nigerias Arunma Oteh says she wants to be the


best treasurer the World Bank has ever had.

2 | FORBESWOMANAFRICA FEBRUARY / MARCH 2016

By Jabulile Sopete

44 | The Restless Rebellious Soul Behind


The Lens

36 | Pregnant, Blamed And Banned

Cover photo by Jay Caboz


Makeup by Revlon South Africa
Styling by Athi-Afikile Myataza

Entrepreneur Florence Musengi on what gets a


woman to the top and keeps her there.

By Yonela Mgwali

By Jabulile Sopete

By Jabulile Sopete

48 | When You Fall, Fall Forward


And Keep Crawling

62 | From Trauma To Triumph

18

89

Elizabeth Akua-Nyarko Patterson survived


an accident and seven brain surgeries before
amassing degrees and running an initiative for
differently-abled girls in Ghana.
By Peace Hyde

58

84
64 | Scents
And
Sensibility
From penury
to perfumery,
Basani Magadzi
capitalized on
her olfactory
talent to start a
business selling
fragrances and
she says success
has been sweet.
By Trust Matsilele

66 | Bag And
Forth
Akosua Afriyie-Kumi
creates handbags
reminiscent of ripe
yellow mangoes, the
rich red earth and
the deep blues of a
Ghanaian coast. They
dont come cheap but she
has takers around the world.

tricks from our tech expert to future-proof your


living spaces.
By Nafisa Akabor

88 | An Account Of Poverty And Profit


Pain and penury made Busisiwe Mdletshe
persevere. Today, she heads a successful
accounting firm in the city, and is driving change
in her little African village.
By Jabulile Sopete

89 | Does The Machine Maketh The Woman?


By Kristijan Srsa

92 | Beauty And Boulders In Bungoma


By Gareth Cotterell

93 | Is The Africa Rising Story In Jeopardy?


By Gugulethu Cele

94 | Her Zen Approach To Discipline


Never rest on your laurels, theres always
someone hotter, faster, and better, says TV

36

By Wilhelmina Maboja

68 | From A Township To A Tutu


Performing as a ballerina on international stages
is glamorous but performing to disadvantaged
communities back home is the best.
By Kitty Phetla

70 | Changing Lives One Dance Step


At A Time
Some international theater companies, when on
a global tour, arrive, deliver and depart. Not so
with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.
By Robyn von Geusau

74 | How To Work It!


Make a bold statement at work in classic
couture paired with contemporary
accessories.

80 | The Planet Of The Apes


It was deep and dark in the equatorial
rainforests of the Congo when a hulking
western lowland gorilla emerged from
nowhere and hauled himself up in front
of our travel writer. There were 15 more
behind him.
By Ramdas Iyer

82 | Blood, Sweat And Cheers


One of very few women in extreme
fighting, Shana Powers first battle was
with disease, which made her train harder
in the cage.
By Motlabana Monnakgotla

84 | Inside The House


Of The Future
In 2016, being connected means
being connected wirelessly. Tips and

52
personality Jen Su, who wants to one day launch
her own line of hats. By Jabulile Sopete

95 | The Luxe Factor


Gorgeous scents, creams and colors for the
corporate diva.

40

By Elsa Kruger

96 | Men Think We Talk About Them


All The Time
Bitches Be Back, the sequel to the 2013 show,
Bitches, will be staged in Johannesburg in
February with an all-female cast of local
comedians. South African radio personality Anele
Mdoda, who will host the show, tells us why she
thinks its still a mans world.
By Methil Renuka

FEBRUARY / MARCH 2016 FORBESWOMANAFRICA | 3

CONTRIBUTORS

AFRICA

Peace Hyde
Chairman: Zafar Siddiqi
Founder & Publisher: Rakesh Wahi
Managing Director, ABN Group: Roberta Naicker
Project Director: Sid Wahi
Executive Director: Bronwyn Nielsen
Non-Executive Director: Busi Mabuza
Non-Executive Director: Sam Bhembe

Managing Editor
Chris Bishop

Head of Sales
Quinton Scholes

Editor-at-Large
Methil Renuka

Sales Executive
Beverly Mwallo

Art & Design Director


Kristijan Sra

BDM West Africa


Patrick Omitoki

Design Consultant
Roy Thomas

Production and Distribution


Shanna Jacobsen

Journalist West Africa


Peace Hyde

ABN MANAGEMENT TEAM


Group Head of West Africa: Frederic Van de vyver
Group Head of Sales: Quinton Scholes
Group Head of ABN Productions: Alexander Leibner
Group Head of Technical Operations: Jean Landsberg
Group Head of Corporate Communications: Nola Mashaba

ABN Publishing, South Africa: 4th Floor, West Tower,


Sandown Mews, 88 Stella Street, Sandton, South Africa, 2196.
Contact: +27 (0)11 384 0300
ABN Publishing, Nigeria Ltd.: Sapetro Towers, 6th Floor, East & West
Wing, No 1 Adeola Odeku Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria.
Contact: +234 (1) 279 8034 and +234 (1) 277 8236
ABN Publishing, Kenya: University Way, 19th Floor Ambank House,
Nairobi, Kenya. Contact: +254 (20) 225 2150/1

A TV personality, journalist and media


entrepreneur, she boasts seven years
experience in West Africas formal
education sector. She is CEO of Aim Higher
Consulting, responsible for developing
policies and systems for top international
schools in Ghana and across Africa.
I believe the main challenges the young
African businesswoman faces today relates to
access to business opportunities, economic
participation and lack of capital resources
to transform their passion into business.
Traditionally, the economic empowerment of
women has not grown at a fast pace to have a
significant impact in the number of women-owned businesses. There are still
cultural and social barriers that women need to overcome. I believe the new
digital landscape emerging holds several opportunities for women in business
in terms of smaller capital investment needed to get started, as well as a
proven scalable platform with greater reach to a larger audience.
See page36 for her story on the pregnant girls of Sierra Leone.

Jay Caboz
FORBES AFRICA photojournalist Jay Caboz
can usually be found wandering the streets
of Cape Town. On his off days, he will pretty
much do the same anywhere in Africa. This
Fine Arts graduate from the University of the
Witwatersrand enjoys taking pictures and
sipping copious amounts of coffee.
I met Jodi Bieber for the first time when still
a student at the Market Photo Workshop. This
was just after she had won the World Press
Photo of the Year in 2010 for her portrait of
Aisha, who had had her nose and ears cut
off by her husband in southern Afghanistan.
Bieber noticed how stressed Aisha was to be
photographed. I remember her saying she spoke to her for a while and that she
wanted to work together to show her inner beauty and power. This was when
she got the moment. To this day the lesson stuck. Its our job as photographers
to bring out that inner person, their soul. Bieber is one of the best at it.
See page44 for Jodi Biebers profile.

Nozipho Mbanjwa
FORBES MEDIA LLC
Chairman & Editor-in-Chief: Steve Forbes
President & Chief Operating Officer: Timothy C. Forbes
Vice Chairman: Christopher Forbes
President ForbesLife: Robert L. Forbes
President, Forbes TV and Licensing: Miguel Forbes
FORBES
ISSN 2308-2739 is published bi-monthly except for occasional
extra, expanded, or premium issues.
FORBES WOMAN AFRICA EDITION is published by ABN
PUBLISHING (Pty) Ltd. under a license agreement with Forbes
Media LLC, 60 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York 10011.
FORBES is a registered trademark used under license from
FORBES LLC. Copyright 2011 ABN Publishing (Pty) Ltd.
Copyright 2011 FORBES, as to material published in the US
edition of FORBES.
All rights reserved.
Printed in South Africa by Paarl Media Cape.
4 | FORBESWOMANAFRICA FEBRUARY / MARCH 2016

As Managing Director of Akwande


Communications and an anchor and
producer on CNBC Africa, she has
moderated conversations for the World
Economic Forum (Road to Davos), World
Intellectual Property Organisation, United
Nations Capital Development Fund, United
Nations Capital Development Fund, United
Nations Womens Organisations, and an
impressive list of African corporate players.
The world is sitting up and paying attention
to The Millennials. We are the largest
generational group since the soon-to-retire
Baby Boomers. We are the engine that will
be fueling the economy in decades to come. Millennials matter even more
to Africa. Understanding Afrillennials is going to be the real determinant of
whether Africas youth bulge is going to make the continent more competitive
or lag even further behind her continental peers.
See page18 for our cover package on The Millennials.

Contents
February / March 2016

Page 18.
The Millennials

PHOTO BY JAY CABOZ

Including South African media


entrepreneur Bonang Matheba

MAKEUP BY REVLON;
DRESS: BONANGS OWN

2015 RDB

GOLDEN
MOMENTS

Golden moments happen all the time on a trip through


Rwanda. This is a the highly endangered Golden Monkey,
only found on the same slopes as Rwandas other popular
primates the Mountain Gorilla.
Rwanda is remarkable not just because of its wildlife, but also
due to the amazing birds, breathtaking and varied scenery, plus
its unique culture and fascinating history. Rwanda also provides
an uplifting view of Africas potential future.

REMARKABLE

Plan your remarkable journey full of golden moments.

TravelRwanda

TravelRwanda

@TravelRwanda

RWANDATOURISM.COM

The Canopy Walkway in Nyungwe National Park. Photo by David Toovey

Scenic View from Akagera National Park. Photo by John Dickens


Red-collared Mountain Babbler in Nyungwe National Park Forest, Rwanda. Photo by John Caddick

TOP5 TOUR

SAMPLING RWANDAS
The Volcanoes National Park
About two and a half hours from Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda, Gorillas make their
homes in and amongst the bamboo covered slopes of the Virunga Mountains in the
Volcanoes National Park in northern Rwanda. Gorilla trekking in Rwanda is often
described aslife changing and with good reason. With only an estimated 880 gorillas left
in the world, seeing these gentle creatures in their natural habitat is a truly unique
experience.
Trek to see them and you will be introduced by your expert trackers and guides to one of
the fully-habituated families of mountain gorilla and you can stay with them for an
awe-inspiring hour, often crouching just a few feet away, whilst the gorialls go about the
daily lives.
Hikes in the mountains can last anywhere from just 30 minutes to 4 hours depending on
the family allocated to your group and their location.

Lake Kivu
Lake Kivu is one of the Africas Great Lakes, surrounded by magnificent mountains and
hasdeep emerald green waters. The lake is dotted with oft uninhabited islands and from
both land and water, the scenery is simply stunning.
It provides the perfect location to relax and enjoy lakeside recreation during a tour of
Rwanda. With a surface area of some 2,730 km2, Lake Kivu sits at almost 1,500m above
sea level. Perfectly safe to swim in, the water has a warm temperature of 23-27oC all year
round. Sports and activities include fishing, swimming, kayaking, canoeing and overnight
and day boat experiences

Nyungwe National Forest


Nyungwe National Park is located in the South West of Rwanda about 4-5 hours drive
from Kigali. It is believed to be one of Africas oldest forests, staying green even through
the Ice Age, which explains its diversity. Often referred to as the birders paradise,
Nyungwe National Park is home to over 300 species of birds such as the Red-Collared
Mountain Babbler, Rwenzori Turaco, Stuhlmans Double-collared Sunbird, the exquisite
Purple-breasted Sunbird, Kungwe Apalis, Paradise Flycatcher and the White Headed
Wood-Hoopoe.

DESTINATIONS

It is also home to chimpanzees, 12 other primate species such as the Black and
White Colobus monkeys. Nyungwe is surely one of the worlds most beautiful
and pristine mountain rainforests with a canopy walkway 70 m above the ground
that give you an exhilarating view of the rainforest. Its believed to be one of
Africas oldest forests, staying green even through the Ice Age, which explains
its diversity.

Akagera National Park


It is named after the Akagera River that flows along its eastern boundary and
feeds into a labyrinth of lakes of which the largest is Lake Ihema. The forest
fringed lakes, papyrus swamps, savannah plains and rolling highlands combine
to make Akagera amongst the most scenic of reserves anywhere in Africa.
Akagera National Park is located in the north- east of Rwanda, combining well
with Nyungwe and the Volcanoes NP to create a great safari circuit, as it is
home to many large plains game species as well as species restricted to the
papyrus swamps such as the Sitatunga and the much sought-after Shoebill
Stork. Notable plains game include elephant, buffalo, topi, zebra, waterbuck,
roan antelope and eland. Other antelope are duiker, oribi, bohor reedbuck,
klipspringer, bushbuck and impala. Of the primates, olive baboons, vervets and
the secretive blue monkey are seen during the day, with bushbabies often seen
on night drives.
Of the larger predators only leopard, hyaena and sidestriped jackal are currently
still present but exciting plans are underway to reintroduce lions, as well as
black rhino in 2015, which will restore Akageras Big 5 status.

Cultural Experiences
The arts play an important role in the traditions of Rwandans. Performances
range from demonstrations of bravery and excellence, to humorous dance
styles and lyrics, to artistry and poetic based in traditional roots.
A combination of music, dance and crafts leaves you with something to take
home.

For more information visit: www.rwandatourism.com

Remarkable Rwanda Lets Talk Business


Rwanda is increasingly becoming a destination of choice by international conference and event organisers.
Rwandas tourism industry, a key pillar in the countrys Vision 2020, is one of the countrys largest
employers and foreign exchange earners.

In tandem with the Kigali Convention Centre a number of international 4 and 5-star hotel
brands are currently under development (i.e. Radisson Blu, Marriott, Park Inn, Sheraton,
Kempinski, Protea, Golden Tulip) with over 1,000 high-end rooms coming onto the market in
the foreseeable future.
In recognizing the huge potential that Rwanda holds for tourism the Government has invested
in feasibility studies that have established opportunities and projects able to provide a strong
return-on-investment for potential investors.

Rwanda is a remarkable tourism and conference destination. The country has successfully hosted a
number of high-level conferences such us the Transform Africa Summit in October 2013 (1500
delegates), the recent Africa Development Bank General Assembly (2,500 delegates) in May 2014 as
well as numerous others such as the Africa Insurance Summit
(800 delegates) in June and ITCs World Export Development
Forum (800 delegates) in September 2014.
In tandem with the Kigali Convention
Rwandas capital city is preparing to unveil the new US$ 300
million Kigali Convention Centre (KCC) due to open in first quarter
of 2016. Positioned on a hilltop in the heart of Kigali near
Parliament, the development is set to become one of the most
recognized modern structures in Africa. Encompassing a
translucent dome modelled on a traditional Kings Palace, a
multi-functional hall with a maximum capacity of 2,600, the KCC
will help position Rwanda as the leading MICE destination in East
Africa.

Centre a number of international 4 and


5-star hotel brands are currently under
development (i.e. Radisson Blu, Marriott,
Park Inn, Sheraton, Kempinski, Protea,
Golden Tulip) with over 1,000 high-end
rooms coming onto the market in the
foreseeable future.

Just 10 minutes from the city centre, the Kigali International Airport (KIA)
upgrade has been upgraded to handle 1,500,000 passengers annually
(from its prior capacity of 500,000 passengers). The nations flag carrier
RwandAir is one of the fastest growing airlines on the African continent
connecting to business hubs in East Africa, West Africa, South Africa, the
Middle East and Europe, positioning the country as a strong contender for
growth in the MICE sector as well as opening trade linkages and facilitating
investment.

For more information visit: www.rwandaconventionbureau.rw

EDITORS NOTE

A Womans Hero

I
On The Cover
Photo by Jay Caboz
Makeup by Revlon
Styling by Athi-Afikile Myataza
Outfits (except Bonang Mathebas) Karen Millen

!
e
v
o
L
e
W
t
Wha

n my two years editing FORBES


WOMAN AFRICA, I have come
across numerous rags-to-riches
stories of young women on the
continent raised by strong, single mothers
their dads lost to drink, divorce or death.
They foray into the big bad world on
their own, often taking on male roles, and
ending the familys cycle of poverty.
My heart goes out to them.
What it must mean for a little girl to
grow up without the constant, caring,
comforting presence of a father; without a
strong shoulder to rest her head on, when
she has tears, when she has fears, when
she is lonely.
It was on a warm summers night
in November last year, after attending
the Anzisha Prize awards an annual
initiative of the African Leadership
Academy celebrating the continents
youngest entrepreneurs when as one
of five judges I listened to millennials
recount their arduous career paths, that I
received news of my own fathers death,
in a land two painful flights away.
I saw his cold, lifeless body in an
icebox at home, where he lay until I
arrived; I watched him wrapped in
ceremonial red and carried away forever
from our midst.
I attended his cremation. Tradition and
the familys elders dictated the women
stay away. You are not a son, they said.
But I am his daughter, I said, and rested
my head on his shoulder, for the last time,
in the vehicle all the way to the cremation
ground, in an odd way, getting my closure.

I experienced his
love in life, and in
his death.
My heart
goes out to the
daughters who
havent known
this love, who
havent known
the valour of a dad who can mitigate any
misery or malaise as no one else can; my
heart goes out to the women who have not
known these real-life heroes.
And more for those who dont have it,
even when they do.
I recall an interview I did with Zindzi
Mandela in late 2014, a year after Madibas
passing, when she said his death meant
losing the father she had missed all her
life, the 27 years he was imprisoned by the
white government in South Africa.
I was 18 months old when my dad
went to prison. I was a grown woman
with three children when he came
back, she said. Resentment gave way to
reconciliation when he came back a free
man and lived with her family.
I gave the relationship a chance to
unfold and become what it should be. I
had my closure with him... said Zindzi.
A week after my dads passing, I
chanced upon a Facebook post I would
like to hang on to in those testing times
when I need a comforting hand on my
head.
It said: Behind every successful
woman is a loving dad.
I am not alone. FW

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Write to me
letters@forbesafrica.com
@METHILRENUKA
8 | FORBESWOMANAFRICA FEBRUARY / MARCH 2016

METHIL RENUKA, EDITOR-AT-LARGE

See us online! You can also read the stories of FORBES WOMAN AFRICA on Smart-

Woman Africa, which can be downloaded from the Google Play or Apple App stores. To
search the App stores, use SmartWoman Africa, then just register and enjoy access to
a world of expert content, social networking with other women and advice on how to
manage your life and become more confident.
Views expressed by commentators in this publication are not necessarily those held by
FORBES WOMAN AFRICA or its members of staff. All facts printed in FORBES WOMAN
AFRICA were confirmed as being correct at the time the magazine went to print.

INBOX / Connect With Us


YOUR TWITTER COMMENTS ON OUR DECEMBER 2015 /
JANUARY 2016 ISSUE with African songstress Lira on the cover:
Fatimah sankoh conte @yonigilr88
@ForbesWomanAfrica loving it, strong independent African women doing their thing
Enthuse.Magazine @EnthuseAfrica
Ohh lovely! Congrats @Miss_LIRA #AfrikanGirlsKillingIt
Vivian Onano @vivianonano
@ForbesWomanAfrica Great resolution for 2016. Happy to chime in and share
with you some great stories from the ground.
Iman Mkwanazi @ImanMkwanazi
When we made it to @ForbesWomanAfrica before 25 <3

YOU EMAILED
US AND THE
LETTER WE
LOVED! KEEP
THEM COMING!
Thank you
Ishara Naidu!
Dear FORBES WOMAN AFRICA,
So I found a copy of this magazine in my hubbys lavatory (yes!),
and found it fascinating that a chauvinist like him was reading a
Forbes edition on women, by women!
I am always grateful for literature focussed on women. As we enter
the female millennial, I am often left wondering why we ever asked
for equality, things appear more unequal than ever sometimes. Even
in conversation with the most senior executives, I am awestruck that
they still go home to the expectation that women run the house and
should know whats in the fridge turning mouldy. A good read like
this reminds me that all revolutions take time and that for the sake
of my daughter, I must continue to fight my little battle on my small
frontier so that we can one day say the war is over and we are truly
equal.
Thank you for an inspirational read, Im handing it on to hopefully
land in another chauvinists loo.
Ishara Naidu

+27 (0)11 384 0300

letters@forbesafrica.com

Jabulile Buthelezi @Jabu_Buthelezi


Great read indeed, I would even use my last R50/R100 to get a copy of these @
ForbesWomanAfrica @ForbesAfrica

The Twitter messages we received for Women Entrepreneurship Day, a


FORBES WOMAN AFRICA event held on November 19, 2015
(more about it on page 90 of this issue)
Khanyi Dhlomo @KhanyiDhlomo
I missed this Congrats Ipeleng Richly deserved! Onwards & Upwards to you @
PeleMkhari @WED_SouthAfrica @ForbesAfrica
Stella Nakatudde @StellaNakatudde
Thanks @ForbesWomanAfrica and MTNza for not only supporting but also
rewarding women entrepreneurs. Supporting women in supporting a nation.

YOUR INSTAGRAM COMMENTS ON OUR DECEMBER 2015 /


JANUARY 2016 ISSUE:
Mziyanda Luphoni
@mzi.luphoni Proud moment @miss_lira
MFS
@Glammmygail Great work Lira
Lira
@miss_Lira Proud to be on the cover of @forbeswomanafrica December 2015
wearing @sylvesterfalata
Judith Sephuma
Beautiful @miss_lira well done my love.

@forbeswomanafri

forbeswomanafrica

Forbes Woman Africa

Now you can enjoy reading FORBES WOMAN AFRICA through:

ACCRA

Distributors:

www.discovery.co.za

FEBRUARY / MARCH 2016 FORBESWOMANAFRICA | 9

TRENDING
End Child Marriage
The African Union has embarked
on a campaign with Zambia to end
child marriage in Africa, pledging to
enforce 18 as the minimum legal age
for marriage.
[Source: AllAfrica.com]

Africas Emmy Win


Miners Shot Down, the South African
documentary directed by Rehad Desai,
won the Best Documentary award at
the International Emmy Awards in
Los Angeles at the end of last year.
It depicts the Marikana Massacre
through the eyes of the miners.

TIME TITLE
FOR A
WOMAN
AFTER 30
YEARS
German Chancellor
Angela Merkel is the
first woman in 30 years
to be named TIMEs
Person of The Year; she
was on the magazines
cover in December 2015.
The last woman to be
honored was Corazon
C. Aquino, the President
of the Phillipines and
a prominent figure in
1986s People Power
Revolution.
To date, only five
women in history have
received the title.

GOOD

[Source: TIME]

ROMANCE IS IN THE AIR


Former CEO of South African
Airways, Sizakele Mzimela, launched
an airline Fly Blue Crane in September
2015, operating from Johannesburg to
destinations around the country, and
soon expanding routes to Botswana,
Namibia, Zimbabwe and the DRC.
Speaking to CNBC Africa, Mzimela
said her objectives with Fly Blue is
to reintroduce romantism to flying
which is why her airline doesnt
distinguish between economy and
business classes.

The latest McKinsey Report titled


Women in the Workplace estimates
the pace of progress over the past
three years has been so sluggish it
will take another 100 years for gender
parity to be achieved in the upper
reaches of US corporations. In South
Africa, currently women hold 13% of
executive roles in the basic resources
sector, compared to 87% of men. The
financial services sector maps this
disparity with 85% of men dominating
the board level decision-making.

Albinism killings in Malawi


Killings and attacks against people
with albinism in Malawi have
increased abruptly in 2015. This
indicates the governments failure to
protect the right to life for personal
security of such a minority, reports
Amnesty International.

[Source: CNBC Africa]

NEW UNDERWEAR FOR


AFRICAN SCHOOLGIRLS
According to the UNICEF, one in 10
schoolgirls in Africa skip school during
menstruation. To curb this statistic,
American-born product designer
Diana Sierra and her company, Be
Girl, have created an underwear to
keep girls in school. The idea was
born after a graduate internship Sierra
completed in Uganda. The underwear
and reusable sanitary pads include
waterproof pouches that can be
stuffed with any absorbent material,
like cloth, cotton or toilet paper. When
a pouch is full, the girls can replace the
old material with new. The underwear
and pads can be easily washed and
dry quickly. They are only available in
Uganda for now, but the objective is to
roll them out across Africa.
[Source: Good Magazine]

10 | FORBESWOMANAFRICA FEBRUARY / MARCH 2016

Angela photo courtesy TIME magazine; Ethiopian Airlines photo by EQRoy /


Shutterstock.com; Viola photo by Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com

BAD

Another 100 years for


gender parity?

THE BRIEF
SOUTH AFRICAS PLUS FOR HIV

GENDER GAP WIDE

According to the 10th edition of District Health


Barometer, an annual publication that provides a
detailed breakdown of public health services in the
country, South Africa has shown impressive progress
in HIV treatment.
Life expectancy has leapt from 52.1 in 2003 to 62.5
in 2015. Mother-to-child transmission of HIV has
dropped to 1.5%, lower than the 2% national target
rate. The report also notes that even though there has
been improvement, new infection rates among young
women remain frightening.

According to the World Economic


Forums Global Gender Gap Report
2015, the global gender gap across
health, education, economic
opportunity and politics has closed
by only 4% in the past 10 years, with
the economic gap closing by just 3%,
suggesting it will take another 118
years to close this gap completely.
The Nordic countries still dominate
the Global Gender Gap Index.
Ireland is the highest-placed
non-Nordic country, ranking 5th.
Rwanda (6), Philippines (7) and
New Zealand (10) are the only
non-European countries in the top
10; and the United States falls eight
places to 28th.

[Sources: Conversation.com]

ETHIOPIAS ALL-WOMEN
FLIGHT
Late 2015, Ethiopian Airlines launched its firstever flight operated by an all-female crew, both
inside the aircraft and on the ground.
[Source: NY Times]

YOU CAN CHANGE


THE ACADEMY,
BUT IF THERE ARE
NO BLACK FILMS
BEING PRODUCED,
WHAT IS THERE TO
VOTE FOR?

WIKI FOR WOMEN


Wiki Loves Women is a
knowledge project that will
roll out in four countries
across sub-Saharan Africa.
A 15-month collaboration
between WikiAfrica at
the Africa Centre and
the Goethe-Institut,
it coincides with the
celebration of 15 years of
Wikipedia, and will include
more information on Africa
and its women.

American actress Viola Davis on the Oscars


diversity issue.
The 88th annual Academy Awards will be held on
February 28.
FEBRUARY / MARCH 2016 FORBESWOMANAFRICA | 11

THE BRIEF
BARBIE GETS MAKEOVER

MALALA RAISING $1.4 BILLION

Recently, toy major Mattel unveiled


curvy, petite and tall versions of its
iconic fashion doll whose unrealistically
thin shape has attracted criticism for
decades. But as of 2016, when it comes
to Barbies body, it will no longer be one
size fits all. The newly-unveiled toys
will also be sold in an assortment of
skin tones, eye colors and hairstyles.

Malala Yousafzai is a woman on a mission. The


Nobel laureate brought together world leaders
in London to raise $1.4 billion towards the
education of the children of Syrian refugees.
[Source: Reuters]

[Source: The Guardian]

VIRTUAL REALITY
In 2016, there will be many ways
to enjoy Virtual Reality (VR).
Global electronics brands such
as HTC, Sony and the Facebookowned Oculus will each release
their own VR headsets, VIVE,
PlayStation VR and Oculus
Rift, respectively. The much
anticipated Oculus Rift is set to
hit shelves from April 2016.

Malala Yousafzai

ROWING 257 DAYS FOR


CHARITY
After 257 days at sea, circled by sharks, a sixwoman team of British rowers became the first
female crew and the only first crew rowing
four at a time to cross the Pacific Ocean.
The women started their trip hoping to raise
more than $500,000 for charity and had
managed around $77,500 by the time they
arrived in Australia. Their proceeds will go
to Breast Cancer Care and veterans charity
Walking With The Wounded, which helps ex
service personnel.

NETBALL CONTEST AIMING FOR


GENDER PARITY

12 | FORBESWOMANAFRICA FEBRUARY / MARCH 2016

International Womens Day is being


observed on March 8, and the theme
for this year is Pledge for Parity.
In the spirit of equality and unity,
FORBES AFRICA and FORBES
WOMAN AFRICA have sponsored
the Eastern Gauteng U13 invitational
Netball team to participate in the Interprovincial Indoor Netball tournament
at the Midrand Action Sport Arena in
Midrand, Gauteng, from March 28 to 31.
The young athletes have already shown
potential on the sports field and events
like the IPT can grow confidence and
comradery, laying the foundation for
future success.
So if you find yourself in the Midrand
area, support the Eastern Gauteng girls
and lend your voice to the call for parity.

Netball photo by Andrew Herd

[Source: The Guardian]

Compiled by Jabulile Sopete

50
FORBES LIST

Africas

RICHEST
2015

Slumping commodities prices helped push the


total net worth of Africas wealthiest down by a
combined $15 billion in the past year.

REPORTED BY ZINA MOUKHEIBER, MFONOBONG NSEHE, AND KATE VINTON WITH


ADDITIONAL REPORTING FROM CHRISTOPHER HELMAN AND FORBES AFRICAS
ANCILLAR MANGENA EDITED BY KERRY A. DOLAN

fter several years of


steady growth in Africa,
some sectors of the
economy hit a wall.
Lower prices for oil and
other commodities led
to a smaller number of African billionaires
than a year ago on Forbes new list of Africas 50 Richest 23 billionaires this year,
down from 28.
As a group, the continents wealthiest
50 are worth $95.6 billion, a decline of $15
14 | FORBESWOMANAFRICA FEBRUARY / MARCH 2016

billion from a year ago. Aliko Dangote of


Nigeria retains his spot as number one
richest African for the fifth year in a row,
but his $16.7 billion net worth is nearly $5
billion lower than a year ago, a result of a
drop in the stock price at his Dangote Cement and a weaker Nigerian currency.
Number two on the list is Nicky Oppenheimer, whose estimated $6.6 billion
fortune stems from the stake he inherited
in diamond miner and marketer De Beers.
In 2012, Oppenheimer sold the De Beers

stake to mining giant Anglo American for


$5.1 billion in cash. He moves up the ranks
from the number three spot in 2014.
South Africans made the best showing on the Africas richest list this year,
occupying 16 spots, up from 11 last year.
Nigerians had a smaller representation,
with 10 members of the list, down from 13.
Eight members hail from Morocco, 7 from
Egypt, 3 from Tanzania and 3 from Kenya.
There was one each from Algeria, Angola
and Uganda.

RICHEST
MAN IN
AFRICA

sidor and Regina. In 2002 at the World Summit on Sustainable Development, Nicky Oppenheimer, who was then chairman of De Beers, helped
launch the Diamond Route. The initiative set aside 250,000 hectares
of land surrounding diamond mines, including property owned by De
Beers and Oppenheimer, for tourism and conservation. But in October
2015, three years after he sold his familys stake in De Beers, Oppenheimer announced at a Diamond Route research conference that he was
uncoupling Oppenheimer land from the diamond route.
3. King Mohammed VI
$5.8 billion
Morocco
From his late father King Hassan, King Mohammed VI of Morocco inherited a 35% stake in Societe NationaWle dInvestissement
(SNI), a holding company that has stakes in several publicly traded
companies, including the countrys largest bank, Attijariwafa; mining
company Managem Group; sugar producer Cosumar; and dairy
firm Centrale Danone. Forbes estimate of the kings net worth is up
significantly from a year ago due to new information about the value
of SNIs assets.

1. Aliko Dangote
$16.4 billion
Nigeria
Despite a weaker Nigerian currency and strife in the northern part
of Nigeria, Aliko Dangote is still Africas richest man by far, even
after a net worth decline of nearly $5 billion in the past year. In 2015
his Dangote Cement, Africas largest cement producer, launched
new cement plants in Cameroon, Ethiopia, Zambia and Tanzania.
In total, Dangote Cement produces more than 30 million metric
tons annually, with a plan to double capacity by 2018. Dangote owns
nearly 91% of publicly-traded Dangote Cement through a holding
company; this percentage exceeds the 80% ownership ceiling set
by the Nigerian Stock Exchange. A note in Dangote Cements 2014
annual report states that controlling shareholder Dangote Industries Limited has continued to reduce its holding in Dangote Cement
towards the NSE-required level of 80% or less but Dangote doesnt
appear to have sold many shares this year. Other companies in the
Dangote Group which is active in 15 African countries include
publicly-traded salt, sugar and flour manufacturing companies.
2. Nicky Oppenheimer & family
$6.5 billion
South Africa
Nicky Oppenheimer, who inherited his familys stake in diamond giant
De Beers, exited the business in 2012 and has kept a relatively low
profile since then. For 85 years, the Oppenheimer family occupied a
controlling spot in the worlds diamond trade; in 2012 Nicky sold his
40% stake in De Beers to mining conglomerate Anglo American for $5.1
billion in cash. Anglo American, which Nickys grandfather founded, controls 85% of De Beers; the government of Botswana owns the
remaining 15%. Nicky Oppenheimer served on Anglo Americans board
for 37 years through 2011, and retains an estimated 1.8% stake in the
company. His E. Oppenheimer & Son entity controls investment arms
Stockdale Street Capital and Tana Africa Capital, a joint venture with
Singapore government-owned investment firm Temasek. Tana Africa
Capital holds minority interests in African food manufacturers Proma-

4. Christoffel Wiese
$5.7 billion
South Africa
In a year when many moguls in Africa saw their fortunes shrink,
South African retailing tycoon Christoffel Wiese is flourishing. His
net worth has risen by more than $1 billion in the past 12 months.
In February 2015, two companies in which he held stakes Pepkor
and Steinhoff struck an agreement whereby Steinhoff, a furniture
and home goods retailer, agreed to purchase Pepkor, a clothing and
footwear seller, for $5.7 billion in cash and stock. Wieses resulting
17% stake in Steinhoff is now his largest asset, worth $3.7 billion as of
mid-November 2015. His other investments include 15% of publicly-traded Shoprite Holdings, which controls supermarkets, furniture
stores and fast food outlets in 15 countries across Africa and the
Indian Ocean Islands; and stakes in private equity firm Brait, industrial products company Invicta Holdings and mining-sector investor
Pallinghurst. Wiese has had his eye on the U.K. In Spring 2015, he
acquired British fashion retailer New Look for $1.23 billion and gym
chain Virgin Active for $1 billion.
5. Johann Rupert & family
$5.4 billion
South Africa
Johann Rupert chairs listed Swiss luxury goods firm Compagnie
Financiere Richemont, best known for the brands Cartier and
Montblanc. He created the company in 1988 after spinning off international assets owned by Rembrandt Group Limited (now Remgro Limited), a South African company his father Anton founded
in the 1940s as a tobacco manufacturer. Rupert owns a 7% stake in
Remgro, which he chairs, as well as 25% of Reinet, an investment
holding company based in Luxembourg that has a stake in British
American Tobacco. He also owns part of the Saracens English
rugby team and Anthonij Rupert Wines, named after his deceased
brother. In recent years, Rupert has been a vocal opponent of plans
to allow fracking in the Karoo, a region of South Africa where he
owns land. At a luxury conference in Monaco in June 2015, Rupert
said income inequality exacerbated by the rise of tech and automation was one of the biggest concerns for the luxury industry,
because it makes luxury goods customers afraid to publicly display
their wealth through the fancy goods they purchase.
6. Nassef Sawiris
$4.2 billion
Egypt
Egypts richest businessman, Nassef Sawiris, is pressing ahead with
investments in his country. In November 2014 he partnered with Abu
Dhabis International Petroleum Investment Co. to develop a coalbased power plant in Egypt. His company OCI, which decamped from
FEBRUARY / MARCH 2016 FORBESWOMANAFRICA | 15

FORBES LIST
RICHEST
WOMAN
IN AFRICA

the Egyptian stock market during Mohamed Morsis Islamist regime


in 2013, formally split in February 2015. Its construction arm, Orascom
Construction, now trades on Egypts exchange and Nasdaq Dubai;
while OCI, the fertilizer and chemicals business, trades on Euronext
Amsterdam. Sawiris also owns nearly 5% of LafargeHolcim, making
him one of the largest shareholders. The two cement giants merged in
July 2015. In October, he emerged as the biggest individual shareholder
in Adidas with a 6% stake worth more than $1 billion. A University of
Chicago graduate, Sawiris donated $20 million to the school in March
2015 to establish a scholarship program named after his father Onsi,
also a billionaire. The funds will benefit Egyptian students.
7. Isabel dos Santos
$3.5 billion
Angola
Isabel dos Santos is the oldest daughter of Angolas longtime president
and, by virtue of her investments in Portugal and Angola, is Africas
richest woman. Though her representatives deny that her holdings
have any connection with her father, Forbes research found that her
father, President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, transferred stakes in several
Angolan companies to her. Her assets in Angola include 25% of Unitel, the countrys largest mobile phone network, and a stake in a bank,
Banco BIC. In Portugal she owns a nearly 7% chunk of oil and gas firm
Galp Energia (alongside Portuguese billionaire Americo Amorim), and
nearly 19% of Banco BPI, the countrys fourth-largest bank. She is also
a controlling shareholder of Portuguese cable TV and telecom firm Nos
SGPS (formerly called Zon). In June 2015, media reported that she spent
slightly more than $200 million to buy a stake in Portuguese equipment
firm Efacec Power Solutions. In October 2015, four members of the
European Parliament publicly called for an investigation into Isabel dos
Santos investments in Portugal, questioning the legality of the purchase,
saying that the method of payment a transfer of funds by the Angolan
government raises the possibility the Angolan State is indirectly and
illegally financing private investments of his daughter Isabel dos Santos.
A spokesperson for Dos Santos did not respond to an email requesting
comment on the allegations.
8. Issad Rebrab & family
$3.1 billion
Algeria
Issad Rebrab founded Algerias biggest privately held conglomerate, Cevital. It owns one of the largest sugar refineries in the
world, with an annual output of 1.5 million tons; it also produces
vegetable oil and margarine. Rebrab has been diversifying by buying European companies in distress. In 2014, he acquired (for an
undisclosed amount) Groupe Brandt, a large French-based maker
of appliances which had filed for bankruptcy protection. Cevital
has invested more than $200 million to build a Brandt plant in
Algeria which will employ 7,500 people. Rebrab is betting that his
country can compete with China for cheap labor. We have huge
potential; we can make up for lost time very quickly, he said at a
conference in Algeria in February 2015. Rebrab, whose five children work at the company, is the son of militants who fought for
Algerias independence from France.

Isabel dos Santos

16 | FORBESWOMANAFRICA FEBRUARY / MARCH 2016

9. Naguib Sawiris
$3 billion
Egypt
Naguib Sawiris captured world headlines in September 2015,
when he offered to buy an island from Greece or Italy to settle
refugees fleeing the war in Syria. A picture of the lifeless body
of a Syrian boy on an Turkish beach prompted the gesture. I am
serious with my intentions, he told FORBES. However, so far
he has not purchased an island. Sawiris, who built his fortune in
telecom, runs Orascom Telecom Media & Technology (OTMT),
a publicly traded company in Cairo. It has investments in mobile

phone, media and technology companies in Egypt, Lebanon and


Pakistan, but earlier this year exited the cell phone business in
Egypt when it sold its stake in Mobinil to Orange, a multinational
telecom firm formerly known as France Telecom. In North Korea,
OTMT operates Koryolink, the countrys only 3G mobile telecom
firm. Sawiris, who owns liberal TV station ONTV in Egypt, added
to his media holdings by recently buying a majority stake in
Frances news channel Euronews.

Isabel photo by Gisela Schober / amfAR15 / Getty Images; Folorunsho photo by Chris Townend

10. Mike Adenuga


$2.9 billion
Nigeria
Mike Adenuga, Nigerias second richest man, built his fortune in
telecom and oil production. His mobile phone company Globacom
is now the second largest operator in Nigeria with more than 30 million subscribers and operations in Ghana and the Republic of Benin.
In May 2016, Globacom made a $600 million bid for Ivorian mobile
telecom operator Comium Cote dIvoire, which has been grappling
with debt and cash flow problems; the outcome of the purchase offer
is still pending. His exploration outfit, Conoil Producing, operates
six oil blocks in the Niger Delta; weaker oil prices have led to a lower
value for the private company. Adenuga studied in the United States
in the 1980s, getting an MBA at Pace University in New York, where
he worked as a taxi driver to support himself. He returned to Nigeria
and made his first fortune trading lace and Coca-Cola. Along the way
he made friends with Nigerian military bigwigs who awarded him
lucrative state contracts, those formed the foundation of his fortune.

Top 10 Female
Billionaires
in 2015
1. Christy Walton & family (USA)
$41.7 bil #8 Wal-Mart
Age 67 widowed
2. Liliane Bettencourt & family
(France)
$40.1 bil #11 LOreal
Age 93 widowed
3. Alice Walton (USA)
$39.4 bil #66 Wal-Mart
Age 65 divorced
4. Jacqueline Mars (USA)
$26.6 bil #22 candy
Age 76 divorced
5. Maria Franca Fissolo & family
(Italy) $23.4 bil #32 Nutella,
chocolates
Age 98 widowed
6. Laurene Powell Jobs & family
(USA)
$19.5 bil #45 Apple, Disney
Age 52 widowed
7. Anne Cox Chambers (USA)
$17 bil #53 media
Age 96 divorced
8. Suzanne Klatten (Germany)
$16.8 bil #54 BMW,
pharmaceuticals
Age 53 married
9. Iris Fontbona & family (Chile)
$13.5 bil #82 mining
Age 73 widowed
10. Abigail Johnson (USA)
$13.4 bil #85 money
management
Age 54 married

Folorunsho Alakija

13. Folorunsho Alakija


$1.7 billion
Nigeria
Folorunsho Alakija is the Vice Chair of Famfa Oil, a Nigerian oil exploration company that has a 60% participating interest in block OML 127, one
of Nigerias most lucrative oil fields--part of the larger Agbami field. Its
partners include Chevron and Petrobras. Her first company was a fashion
label that catered to Nigerias elite women, including the wife of former
military president, Ibrahim Babangida, who awarded Alakijas company
an oil prospecting license. Alakijas net worth has fallen in the past year as
a result of lower oil prices. FW
FEBRUARY / MARCH 2016 FORBESWOMANAFRICA | 17

COVER STORY THE MILLENNIALS

The
New Biz
Kids On
The
Block

They came of age during the


global financial crisis. They
have seen the twin towers of
capitalism torn down by terror, and
are not willing to take success for
granted. They have grown up in a
digital world, roaming with apps
and aptitude in their back pockets.
The Millennials, or Generation Y
(born 1980 to 2000), are scripting
a new lexicon of business, and
Africa Inc. is in the midst of a
quiet transformation as a young
army of start-up entrepreneurs
are shifting paradigms with their
(disruptive) ideas in a sharing
economy. Our cover package
delves into the world of the
millennials, and why they matter.
18 | FORBESWOMANAFRICA FEBRUARY / MARCH 2016

FOCUS
From left; Thato
Kgatlhanye, Claire
Reid, Aisha Pandor,
Sara-Jane Blackie and
Mmabatho Mokiti

PHOTOGRAPHS BY JAY CABOZ


STYLING BY ATHI-AFIKILE MYATAZA
OUTFITS FOR ALL THE ABOVE MILLENNIALS
PHOTOGRAPHED FOR THE FEATURE WERE
PROVIDED BY KAREN MILLEN
BONANG MATHEBAS OUTFITS: HER OWN
MAKEUP BY VUYO VAROYI FOR REVLON
HAIR BY MOLAMUDI MOTSAMAI
SHOES BY NINE WEST

COVER STORY THE MILLENNIALS

t was controversial feminist writer,


Maggie Young, who in describing
her generation, best captures the
DNA of the millennials.
We lost the genetic lottery. We
graduated into terror attacks and wars.
We are often more educated, experienced,
informed, and digitally fluent than prior
generations, yet are constantly haunted
by the trauma of coming of age during the
detonation of the societal structure we
were born into. We will have less money to
buy the material possessions that entrap
us. We will have more compassion and
empathy because our struggles have taught
us that even the most privileged can fall
from grace. Our hardships will obligate
us to develop spiritual and intellectual
substance. Maybe having roommates and
buying our clothes at thrift stores isnt so
horrible as long as we are making a point to
pursue genuine happiness.
Corporates and governments are
tripping over each other trying to understand Youngs generation. The manual on
millennials has proven to be somewhat
elusive with tons of studies on this generational group that despite reporting on some
common themes, have not nailed what
makes millennials tick.
What we do know is that the term
millennial is about as old as the average
millennial, coined in 1991 by Neil Howe
and William Straus, in their co-authored
publication: Generations: The History
of Americas Future 2584 to 2069. They
described millennials as people born

20 | FORBESWOMANAFRICA FEBRUARY / MARCH 2016

The New
Biz Kids
On The
Block
WORDS NOZIPHO MBANJWA

between 1980 and 2000. This generation is


also commonly referred to as Generation Y.
Millennials matter because they make
up the worlds largest generational group
since the soon-to-retire Baby Boomers. The
first cohort of millennials is in their early to
mid-30s, at the beginning of their careers,
and will become an invaluable engine of the
global economy in decades to come.
Millennials matter even more in Africa.
The African Development Bank has
reported Africa has more than 200 million
people aged between 15 and 24, about 65%
of the continent is made up of millennials,
making it the youngest continent in the
world. Demographic forecasts show that
this figure will double by 2045.
In just four years, three out of every four
people in Africa will be on average 20 years
old in Africa.
While millennials may be dismissed as a
generation obsessed with selfies, they also
seem to be intent on being part of finding
solutions to the worlds biggest problems.
The 2015 Deloitte Millennial Survey
highlights millennials are tuned into the
purpose of a business what it should do
as much as they are tuned to the impact
of the business what the business is
actually doing.

Millennials are increasingly disconnected


with traditional approaches to the
workplace. They are easily turned off by
stiff corporate structures and working
within silos. They want dynamic work
environments, they are not keen on putting
in the slog of years working the corporate
ladder, they believe in rapid succession, and
they value mobility over the bum-on-seats
approach. These insights are pulled from
extensive research done through a survey
administered to over 4,000 graduates across
75 countries by KPMG to understand what
millennials want from the workplace.
Although the survey was done in 2011, the
insights will continue to shape corporate
talent strategies for years still.
What millennials want out of the work of
experience is like nothing before that. Top
of the list of headaches is that old reward
and recognition systems arent retaining
millennials in their positons. Millennials
subscribe to loyalty-lite, happily hopping
between employees.
The unparalleled access to the internet
and mobile phones is part of the millennial
DNA. This generation has no concept of
the world before technology. They take as
a given that you can have a movie theater,
your next taxi ride, and your diet all in your
back pocket.
The Wall Street Journal in Millennials:
Love Them Or Let Them Go reported millennials dont just view social networks as a
communication tool but as a global language
that embeds them in various communities.
Interestingly, despite the uptake of social
media connectedness, millennials still value
family and friends even though they will
overwhelmingly engage with them on social
media platforms.
Millennials value education and are
more likely to spend more time investing
in their education than the previous
generations. The manual on millennials is
still missing but if the statistics shared by
the World Economic Forum that millennials
are increasingly becoming the biggest
influencers in the world, that more than
50% of the worlds population is under
27 years old and rising to 70% in Africa, it
needs to be written. Yesterday. FW
The writer, a millennial herself, is a
senior anchor on CNBC Africa, and presents
the show Young Money on the channel.

Caution:
Millennials
At Work
We brainstormed for
weeks to put together this
list of profit- and impactdriven South African
millennials, also going to
prestigious corporates
and organizations
committed to developing
entrepreneurs, for their
recommendations. This
compilation is but a small
sub-set of a generation
characterized by their
proclivity to take risks
and be their own bosses.
Bonang Matheba, 28
Media entrepreneur

She beams down from billboards in South


Africa, is a presenter on two premier TV
lifestyle shows, was voted the most stylish
and sexiest celebrity in the country,
travels the world rubbing shoulders with
the rich and famous but if fate hadnt
intervened, Matheba would be teaching
pre-school children English. That was her
dream, even with a distinction in matric.
I am a Cancerian, I am a nurturer at
heart. I love children and I just wanted
to work with them but the wind blew
me in a different direction and Im really
grateful, now I cant imagine my life doing
anything else.
Matheba grew up in Mafikeng, in
the North West province, surrounded
by a family of academics. Her mother, a
business executive, a stepfather lawyer
and her professor father, were initially
concerned when she didnt follow the
academic route but eventually made

Entertainment
has a very
short life
span.

COVER STORY THE MILLENNIALS


Claire Reid, 29
peace with her choice when they saw her
focus and passion.
I used to sing and dance and I loved
being the center of attention from the
age of seven or eight. I got attention
from everyone, including my aunts and
uncles, because I was the only child and
grandchild for the longest time.
At age 15, destiny would see her enrolling for a television presenting course. She
was ushered into the world of television
through SABC2s Manhattan Fantasy but
it was the music show Live on SABC1,
with seven million viewers, that launched
her career. She became a regular voice on
YFM radio, and is now on MetroFM. Her
popularity and exposure would soar to
such heights that she became the first face
of Revlon outside the United States.
None of this came easy for a woman
with over a million followers on Twitter
and over half a million on Instagram.
She was turned down at least 25 times
on auditions before her first break. Live
rejected her six times, YFM ignored seven
of her demos and Metro four.
Top Billing as well, I went through
an audition after an audition after an
audition. You know with me Im very
resilient. Theres always a voice at the
back of my mind that says push, push.
People say no to me so many times but
Ive learnt that they are not rejecting me
as a human being, its just that at that
particular time Im not what they are
looking for, says Matheba.
She also runs Bonang Matheba
Entertainment (a production company)
and has a lingerie line with Woolworths.
Entertainment has a very short life
span. For me, longevity has always been a
very big part of it. The only way you do it
is by expanding [your business] because,
lets face it, I wont look like this for the
rest of my life and I understood that from
a very young age.
The year 2016 for Queen B, as shes
known, is about giving back. She is
sponsoring a young lady who wants to
study her masters. In September, she will
be taking girls from across the country to
a seven-day motivation camp.
Tsidi Bishop
22 | FORBESWOMANAFRICA FEBRUARY / MARCH 2016

Founder, Reel Gardening


South Africa is experiencing the worst
drought since 1982, leaving farmers in debt
worth billions of rands. Could Claire Reids
gardening solutions be the answer?
Reid discovered her revolutionary
planting method at the age of 16 when
trying to earn pocket money growing a
vegetable garden and selling the crop to
her parents. Thats when she realized
gardening was no childs play.
I would put more seed than
necessary, I didnt know how far apart or
how deep it was. The whole thing was
frustrating, she recalls.
Frustration gave way to fortune.
Her teacher encouraged her to enter a
competition simplifying gardening, based
on marking small areas of ground with
biodegradable color-coded paper strips
encasing organic fertilizer and seeds at
the correct depth and distance. The paper
helped save up to 80% of water. The
project won her a gold medal.
The Department of Water Affairs sent
Reid to Stockholm, where she became the
first South African to win an international
award, beating 28 other countries.
All of a sudden I was being sent
overseas to represent South Africa and
being given an award by Thabo Mbeki
[former South African president]. It was
quite a whirlwind time being nominated
for Checkers Woman of the Year while I
was only 17.
Reid studied Architecture, Geology
and Civil Engineering at the University of
Pretoria. While on internship, she landed
a project with Anglo American that took
her to Marikana, an area that needed her
gardening skills. She pitched the idea to
Anglo American that gave her a start-up
loan to form her company Reel Gardening
in 2010. A social enterprise that employs 10
mothers from diverse backgrounds, it has
been rolled out in 280 schools. Though its
focus is online, new mom Reid has recently
set up operations in Kenya. The company
has sold products in the UK and plans to
expand to the UAE, Japan, South Korea,
Canada and the US. In November last year,
she also made it to BBCs 30Under30 list.
Tsidi Bishop

Aisha Pandor, 31

Founder, SweepSouth
With Aisha Pandors down-to-earth
demeanour, you would never guess how
much she has achieved at such a young
age. Her tiny physique is just as deceptive. She was the Vice Chairperson of the
Karate Club in 2006 at the University of
Cape Town, where she completed her
PhD in Human Genetics.
Pandor, the daughter of South Africas
Science and Technology Minister, Naledi
Pandor, and Sharif Pandor, received the
David and Elaine Potter Fellowship and
the South African Women in Science
Award for her thesis on retinitis pigmentosa, a type of hereditary blindness,
and research on a therapy that may cure
other hereditary diseases.
Because she has powerful parents,
some might feel Pandors achievements
were handed to her.
My mother was the minister of science [when I received an award], but she
had become the minister of science after
I started studying science. My mother
didnt write my thesis for me. I sleep four
hours a night; my mother doesnt sleep
for four hours doing my work. I work
incredibly hard, says Pandor.
My parents were activists and
teachers. I didnt grow up rich but I
have parents who believed in empowering their children. Its the nature
of the upbringing, I feel, that put me
at an advantage, not the label behind
my mother.
In 2013, Pandor dumped her
management consultant job to
start a business with her husband,
Alen Ribic, who is a software
developer. They formed
SweepSouth, an online
service that provides
domestic workers and
cleaning products at the
click of a button.
The business had
a rocky start with no
external funding for
more than a year, forcing
Pandor to sell her house
and car.
I had a negative bank
balance multiple times.

I have a child and I was honestly worried


if I was going to be able to pay school fees,
and you cant keep asking family to help
you. There were times, from an emotional
point of view, where I felt like I cant do
this anymore, admits Pandor.
She eventually got funding after
pitching the business to angel investors
at a conference in Cape Town. In June
last year, the couple spent four months
in the United States after being selected
to join a business accelerator program
offered by global venture capital seed
fund, 500 Startups. SweepSouth has
created thousands of job opportunities
for women, the vast majority of whom
were unemployed.
After successfully navigating her way
past various pitfalls, Pandor wants to be
a role model. She wants to mentor young
South African women who want to clean
up with their businesses.
Tsidi Bishop

Thato Kgatlhanye, 23
CEO, Rethaka

One day, when you wake up to a rubbish


bin that tells you when it's full and needs
to be emptied, it will probably have been
designed by Thato Kgatlhanye, CEO of
Rethaka. This is her wish. Her company
already produces recycled schoolbags
that double as solar-powered lights
children can use to study in the evening.
From Mogwase, a small town 40
minutes outside Rustenburg in the
North West province, shes in the
process of creating a business empire
out of waste.
She founded Rethaka at the age of
18. It now employs 20 people, with nine
volunteers, and supplies its products
to the likes of Standard Bank, Red Bull,
PricewaterhouseCoopers and Unilever.
The company exports to Namibia,
Turkey, the UK and Brazil. The aim is to
expand to 24 African countries.
Our company is set up to be a leader
in Africa, in the transition towards a
circular economy, where we look at
waste as a resource and use it to remanufacture products. At Rethaka, we say
were resourcing Africas future, says
Kgatlhanye.
Her mother is a nurse who managed
clinics in their district. Her father is a
taxi owner and driver.

COVER STORY THE MILLENNIALS


The quiet tension between their
careers built something in me way
before I knew who Thato would be,
she says.
Yes, I am an entrepreneur like
my father, but I also have a social
conscience and that can be attributed
to my mother. Im not just in business
for profit; Im in business to do good.
Kgatlhanyes parents had to deal
with her independent mind at a very
young age when she chose all the
schools she attended from grade four
onwards.
After graduating from the Vega
School of Brand Leadership, Kgatlhanye was offered an internship in New
York with marketing guru Seth Godin.
This changed my life. It gave me
a perspective of what was possible. I
think being in a city like New York, you
start thinking of yourself being capable
of doing anything. All you have to do is
make a decision on what is it youd like
to do, and kill it, she says.
Kgatlhanye is killing it. She has
won several awards, from the Samsung
Student Excellence Award in 2014,
third place in the SAB Foundation
Social Innovation Award, to finalist of
the Cartier Womens Initiative Award
in 2015.
With this bright young mind,
anything is possible. Get ready to listen
to your rubbish bin.
Tsidi Bishop

2020,

Here They Come


According to the 2015 PricewaterhouseCoopers study, The Female Millennial: A
New Era Of Talent, the female millennial
has a different career mind-set and
is more career-ambitious than any of
her previous generations. Meanwhile,
female millennials alone are estimated
to form approximately 25% of the global
workforce by 2020.

Sara-Jane Blackie, 32

Managing Partner, Bloss & Co


After a degree at the University of
Cape Town, she lived in London
for five years, starting her career in
digital advertising, but didnt find it
too glamorous, so returned to South
Africa, and with a little help from
a family member (who she has
to repay in five years), bought the
Bloss & Co business in 2014, turning
entrepreneur at 30 and building it up.
Her affordable luxury handbags
are available in tony boutiques in
Parkhurst and Dainfern. They are also
at her Parktown North showroom,
and their USP, she says, is personalized service, the cappuccino and
warm environment.
A company of three employees,
including two other partners, they
source the leather and metalware
from markets in China. Going forward,
there are plans afoot to manufacture in
South Africa and collaborate with local
talent, as they did most recently with
South African botanical artist Kelly
Higgs, who designed beach bags for
them, showcasing South African fauna
and flora.
Blackies structured posh totes
in bright colors are the most
sought-after.
Our vision is bright colors and
versatility a backpack that can be
used as a clutch and sling bag; a clutch
that also turns into a cross-body bag.
What we have found is that the SA
market does not follow what happens
in the catwalks of London and Paris.
It comes down to practicality They
are bags that look luxurious but dont
cost R50,000 ($3,120). A genuine
leather Bloss & Co bag would only
set you back R2,499 ($156), so its
worth a look.
Blackie married a commodities
trader in December last year, but she
has a busy year planned: to roll out a
luxury range in Lagos, and a sophisticated Afro-chic line in London.
Methil Renuka

24 | FORBESWOMANAFRICA FEBRUARY / MARCH 2016

Mmabatho Mokiti, 31

Founder and CEO, Mathemaniacs

The South
African market
is about
practicality,
and colors.

In 2011, Batho, as she is called, took a leap


of faith and started Mathemaniacs, to put
the fun back into STEM (science, tech,
engineering, maths) teaching, drawing
R500 ($31) from her savings.
Raised by a single parent her father
passed away when she was five her
mother was insistent she and her brother
received quality education. Every night,
Batho watched her entrepreneur-grandfather do his accounting work and also
spend quality time with the family. That
was the life she wanted.
She loved numbers, noting down
every numeral in sight barcodes, house
numbers, telephone numbers in a secret
book. While at university, she had to pay
her own petrol bills, so applied to be a
private tutor, teaching mathematics to
three students; soon she had 20, mostly
through referrals.
I tell my students your brain is a
muscle you need to exercise every day. I
have had to work hard for it to be at that
particular level, says Batho.
She speaks about mathematics as a
child would talk about video games.
I spot maths in everything I do. I
love coding, algorithms. I keep asking
what makes an app an app, what is the
algorithm that makes DSTV work? I feel
blessed to fuse education and business
together to do something I love. Its
fulfilling knowing I have given someone
the key to change their life through
education, to break the cycle of poverty.
She used her R500 capital to
buy text books, and drove to her
clients, mostly in the higher-income
bracket. In 2012, she found a
partner willing to invest, and
started employing other university students who would tutor in
the afternoons.
A two-hour tutoring session
is anywhere from R500 to
R700 ($44), but Batho does not
want an admin-heavy business,
or a 100 students. She wants a
company with low operating costs and

high profit margins, meaning more


money in the bank. Since its inception,
Mathemaniacs has been able to impact
over 1,000 learners.
Part of her modules is a leadership
development and career guidance course
to create future leaders.
She was among the Mail & Guardians
200 Young South Africans in 2013, was
part of the President Obama Mandela
Washington Fellow Young African
Leaders Initiative (YALI) class of 2014,
and is a World Economic Forum Global
Shaper.
Her ultimate dream is to build maths
and science schools across rural Africa.
Methil Renuka

Mandela Most Admired

The Global Shapers Annual Survey


2015 of millennials worldwide
showed that Nelson Mandela
is the leader millennials most
admire, with Pope Francis and Elon
Musk in second and third places
respectively.

Linda Mabhena-Olagunju, 32
Managing Director, DLO
Energy Resources

She is the fresh face of renewable energy in


Africa. By a twist of fate, this young lawyer,
who grew up with her grandmother by
candlelight, is now spearheading Africas
dash for energy.
Ive always known I was going to go
into resources. I just didnt know if it was
going to be mining or oil and gas... The
biggest thing for me is why Africa, which is
so well-endowed in resources, remains the
poorest continent. I always hated injustice,
growing up in apartheid South Africa, she
says. Her deals have put two wind farms
and two solar photovoltaic (PV) farms
onto the barren landscape of De Aar in the
Northern Cape. Two deals she patched
together that will contribute 254MW to
South Africas energy grid.
Olagunjus childhood was far from
electricity. She grew up in Matatiele, a
village in the Eastern Cape 782 kilometers
from the boardrooms of Sandown where
she now works and lives with her Nigerian-born husband.
This may be a drop in the ocean but its a
very important one. Renewables have been
a saving grace. According to Olagunju, 39 of
these projects are up and
running, supplying
2,050MW to the
South Africas
energy grid.
Jay Caboz

COVER STORY THE MILLENNIALS


Nothando Moleketi, 32

Bonolo Mataboge, 21

COO, ReWare

Founder, AfriBlossom

Who does not need a smartphone? But


its cost can be prohibitive to many in
Africa. Seeing a demand for high-quality affordable cell phones, Nothando
Moleketi started ReWare offering
certified pre-owned smartphones to
South Africans.
Being a self-starter and taking
initiative, learning and absorbing
information as quickly as possible are
traits I truly value, says Moleketi.
The Harare-born entrepreneur
toyed with the idea of her own
start-up after working in telecom
major Cell C.

It is a business born out of boredom and need.


From the age of 12, Mataboge enjoyed
making money selling clothing design
sketches. At 15, she began making clothes
from her own designs. At 16, she hosted her
first fashion show.
For years, she had struggled with
Blounts disease a growth disorder of
the shin bone that causes the lower leg
to angle inward, resembling a bowleg. An
emergency operation forced her to drop
out of the LISOF fashion design school in
Johannesburg.
I was in so much pain and I had to
leave school. While I was home, I got very
bored and decided to do what I always
loved, she says.
Inspired by a previous student-exchange
visit to the US, where Mataboge discovered
shopping for the curvy was much easier
than it is in South Africa, she founded
AfriBlossom an Afro-chic clothing range
designed for curvy women.
My struggle will not become my
identity. I have learned to love myself
despite my physical differences and I hope
my clothing will enable others to do the
same, says Mataboge.
The designs are influenced by African
culture.
She says being a young female entrepreneur isnt without its troubles.
People dont expect young people like
me to know exactly what they are doing.
Its hard to be taken seriously as a young
person because investors are sometimes
unsure because they think it is a
hobby. It is important to do things
towards the business yourself
first before you approach
anyone. This
will help
investors
and
sponsors see
how serious you
are, she says.
Mataboge
is building her
brand one stitch
at a time.

Smartphones are a key enabler in the


South African and African markets,
by providing access to transacting,
banking, healthcare, and education
which are imperatives in the social
and economic growth of our country
and continent.
Her work ethic comes from her
mother, Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi,
the Special Envoy on Gender at the
African Development Bank.
My mother is a true example that
one can pursue more than one career
in a lifetime while doing the greatest
good for the greatest number of
people.
Aviwe Mtila

Ancillar Mangena

Amy de Castro, 25

Owner, Bamboo Revolution


Amy de Castros Bamboo Revolution was
born out of an assignment for a postgraduate degree in entrepreneurship at the
University of Cape Town. With R50 ($3.12)
as seed capital and a team of five other
classmates, her bamboo watch was created.
We knew we wanted to take a functional object and redesign it something
people use but incorporates the idea of
sustainable fashion At that point, we had
never seen a bamboo watch being made

before. I didnt even own a watch until


then, says de Castro.
The team set on the idea of selling
coffee on campus to finance their project.
Within a couple of days, their capital
became R21,000 ($1,311).
They designed a simple wristwatch
with a bamboo face and a leather strap.
They created a prototype, found a
Chinese factory on the internet and
placed an order for 500 pieces. The team
assembled the watch themselves and
launched it at a stall on campus. They
sold 100 watches in the first four hours.
With a degree in hand, de Castro
bought out her partners to become
sole owner of Bamboo Revolution in
February 2013. She turned her project
into profit, and was a finalist representing sub-Saharan Africa at the Cartier
Womens Initiative Awards in 2014.
Her watches are now distributed
in seven countries across the world. A
part of her profits go to charity greening
initiative GreenPop.

Kim Whitaker, 31

Co-founder, Once In Cape Town


Kim Whitaker, a Cape Town-based
entrepreneur, co-founded hospitality
company Once In Cape Town, a combined
backpackers lodge and luxury hotel.
Whitaker acquired a struggling two-star
lodge and turned it into a poshtel.
A Stellenbosch University graduate,
she obtained a post-graduate certificate
in marketing and communication at Red
and Yellow in Cape Town. During the
holidays, she worked in ski resorts in
Austria and saved money to start her own
business.
Last year, Whitaker was named
Sanlams Emerging Entrepreneur of the
Year. The Tourism Grading Council of
South Africa recognizes Once In Cape
Town as four-star accommodation.
Her hotel employs 25 permanent staff,
and has a guest ratio of 1:5, well above the
international hostel average of 1:8, which
she thinks is necessary for quality and
attentive service.

Sunita Menon

Naadiya Moosajee, 31

Co-founder, WomEng, Cape Town Hub


Ten years ago, Naadiya Moosajee came up with a plan to put 10,000 women engineers into
Africa. Ten years on, she wants to see a million by 2025.
We had a very different look when we were going into an industry that wasnt very
progressive. When I was a student, there was an incredible lack of female role models. We
were 20 years old.
Now the Cape Town-bred engineer, also a World Economic Forum Global Shaper, has
fought tooth and nail to see women in this male-dominated industry.
It we think about economic development in Africa we think
about energy, power and water. The only way to do that is through
engineering and mega structure projects. For that we need
capital, for that we need engineers. Currently in engineering,
gender parity on the African continent is less than 10%. Which
means we are under-utilizing resources, says Moosajee.
With 50% of the African population being female, interest
is key. In order to attract young capable females, she runs
projects for high school girls to make engineering sexy.
It has been a 10-year journey for Moosajee, but she is
starting to see the fruits of her labor from the other side of
the fence.
We started a revolution before revolutions were
popular, says Moosajee. On a continent that desperately needs engineers and infrastructure, many people
would agree.
Jay Caboz

Thobile Hans

There have been


some interesting
studies recently
where they have
compared what
millennials actually
value compared to
what we think they
might value. Whereas
employers often
believe is they value
high wages and all
the perks, what they
tend to value is more
meaningful work, and
the ability to make a
difference. And we are
seeing that a lot.
Futurist Roger Hamilton to
FORBES WOMAN AFRICA
on millennials at The Wealth
Movement summit in Johannesburg in October last year.
FEBRUARY / MARCH 2016 FORBESWOMANAFRICA | 27

Katherine-Mary Pichulik, 28
Founder, Pichulik

The Cape Town-based artist started Pichulik in September 2012 after a trip around
India. Her jewelry is a bespoke range of accessories handcrafted in The Mother City.
Being an entrepreneur in my twenties in South Africa is exciting because it gives
me agency to cultivate a new conscious way of doing business, based on sharing and
kindness. Being young with no dependents or high personal expenses, I can use my
capital and energy to be creative and innovate, she says. She feels South Africa has
room for growth and endless possibilities for young people.
There is a Phoenix rising feeling of hustling, bootlegging and a community
of young courageous creatives forging a new South African identity in the global
circuit. We are not accepting that its over and boarding the ship to Australia. We
are revelling in our complications and diversity and making magic in response to
it, says Pichulik.

Mogau Seshoene, 26
CEO, The Lazy Makoti

Seshoene is founder and CEO of The Lazy Makoti,


a cooking start-up that teaches women to conjure
up epicurean magic in the kitchen. She started the
business in 2014 when she had to teach a friend to
make traditional meals.
A friend of mine was getting married and she is a
typical Sandton girl who grew up with a helper and
didnt know how to make traditional food. She knew
she had to go to her soon-to-be in-laws in the rural
areas for two weeks and learn to cook. She searched
for cooking schools for African food but she couldnt
find any and she asked me to help her, says Seshoene.
Through word of mouth, her lessons turned into a
business.
There are shockingly so many people who dont
know how to make South African foods. It is also hard
to find a traditional food recipe book; so I knew that I
had to concentrate on traditional food although I do
other cuisines too, she says.
She also sells branded chopping boards, recipe
journals, aprons and tea-sets.
Innovation is not only building a
spaceship and being in the information technology field but also
having an eye for what problems
are around you and think of ways
that you can solve them while you
make money from it.
She holds a degree in Consumer
Science from the University of
Pretoria. She swapped her
nine-to-five job as an
intern auditor at
KPMG to pursue
her dream and its
paying off. FW

Ancillar Mangena

Scale And
Q Speed
Is What
& Inspires
A
Matsi Modise, Managing Director
of South African entrepreneurial
initiative, SiMODiSA,
on the millennial entrepreneur:

What distinguishes millennial entrepreneurs


from the generations before?
Millennial entrepreneurs are globally plugged
in and connected, so they see the world beyond
just a regional but in a global context. Scale
and speed is what inspires them and profits
must be accompanied by care for people
and the planet.
What are the biggest challenges entrepreneurs are up against?
The world is rapidly moving towards the
4th Industrial Revolution, underpinned
and enabled by technology. Many African
entrepreneurs are still living in environments
that emulate former industrial revolutions, i.e.,
not much access to enabling infrastructure
(cannot get from one point to another with
ease), energy (have no access to electricity) and access to the internet is
still expensive. So the biggest challenge is how will young Africans lead
the 4th Industrial Revolution, instead of having to play catch up with the
rest of the world?
You are one of the leading voices on entrepreneurial ecosystems. How do they work?
Entrepreneurial ecosystems are all the individuals, organizations and institutions that contribute towards creating an
enabling environment for entrepreneurs to thrive. All the
different parts of the ecosystem must be consolidated and
properly facilitated.
Interviewed by Nozipho Mbanjwa

Presented by:
By Mark Haefele Global Chief Investment
Officer at UBS Wealth Management

MARKETS DO NOT YET


UNDERSTAND CHINESE

he heightened sensitivity of
financial assets to Chinese
policy is a relatively new
phenomenon, which has important implications for understanding
risk and reward in markets today. We
can see how even relatively small falls
in the Chinese yuan ( just 1.5% against
the US dollar in the first four business
days of 2016) have had a major impact
on global markets. Despite confirmation of a modest global expansion in
some December economic data, Chinas
increased risks and wide credit spreads
lead us to believe it is prudent for investors to review their exposure to stocks.
We have reduced our exposure to equities overall to a neutral position.
China has not yet developed a
market-acceptable way of dealing with
either its equity market interventions or
its currency depreciations. In suspending the circuit breaker mechanism
in its stock market in the first week of
2016, China has demonstrated that its
policymaking can be both pragmatic
(the move was received positively) and
erratic (it was only put in place on the
first business day of the year).
With respect to the currency, our
base case remains for an only-modest
depreciation of the yuan, to 6.80, over
the next 12 months. However, uncertainty over the governments policy
choices has risen. With China already
experiencing relatively weak nominal
growth, a risk scenario of sustained
depreciation in the yuan could push
sales growth for global companies in
China into low single digits (in US
dollar terms), a major change from the
double digit growth of recent years. Ad-

ditionally, the use of circuit breakers


to stymie daily losses on the onshore
A-share market had counter-productive
effects, forcing investors to sell out of
the offshore H-share market.
Furthermore, increased China risks
come at a time when credit spreads, particularly in the US, have widened in recent
months. Spreads have remained relatively
stable year-to-date. But we should note
that the higher cost of debt, not only in the
energy sector, is creating more restrictive
financial conditions. While we expect
lower US credit spreads in our base case,
recent moves have increased the risk of a
broader slowdown driven by higher corporate borrowing costs.
To be clear, we do not believe that
risky assets have peaked for this market
cycle. We think that the year will end
better than it started. The US, Europe,
and Japan are all making economic
progress, earnings growth should be decent, and low oil prices should ultimately aid consumer spending. Global monetary policy remains loose by historical
standards, and China should have
enough domestic policy tools (such as
interest rate cuts, fiscal flexibility, and
scope to cut bank reserve requirements)
to deal with its issues, even if these
tools have been used ineffectively so far.
Within equities our favored markets
remain the Eurozone and Japan. Both
should benefit from earnings growth
improvements, relative to underweight
positions in the UK and emerging market equities, which have less support
from central bank stimulus, yet exposure to the risks related to China and
to commodity prices. We reaffirm our
neutral stance on US equities.

We also maintain an overweight position in European high yield credit,


which is well-positioned to benefit
from improving Eurozone economic
data, relative to high grade bonds.
Last, in currencies we continue to
hold an overweight position in the
Norwegian krone relative to the euro.
We expect the krone to strengthen,
as an improving economy and rising
inflation lead the central bank toward
more hawkish policy.

CHINA HAS NOT YET


DEVELOPED A MARKETACCEPTABLE WAY OF
DEALING WITH EITHER
ITS EQUITY MARKET
INTERVENTIONS
OR ITS CURRENCY
DEPRECIATIONS.
For investors with a long-term time
horizon, the recent sell-off could represent an opportunity, in particular for
those who have been awaiting the right
time to put cash to work in financial
assets. However, over our six-month
tactical investment horizon, we believe
that the new uncertainties over China
and credit markets will create turbulence. Additionally, sustained periods
of equity market volatility, as experienced over the past three quarters,
could leave markets more vulnerable to
further bad news.

FOCUS ANC WOMENS LEAGUE

Change
Of The
Old
Guard?
The ANC Womens
League, which
played a critical role
in South Africas
liberation, turns
60 this year but
continues to deal
with the struggles
of women. It is now
reinventing itself
introducing young
blood.
WORDS THOBILE HANS
30 | FORBESWOMANAFRICA FEBRUARY / MARCH 2016

The ANC Womens League launched its Young Womens Desk with a fashion
show in Bloemfontein in January

he African National Congress (ANC), the oldest political party


on the continent, was formed on January 8, 1912, in Bloemfontein, South Africa. It took more than 40 years to recognize
women in its ranks. The ANC Womens League was born in
1956 the same year it led 20,000 women on a march, against
apartheid pass laws, to the Union Buildings, in Pretoria.
Their image has changed little in 60 years.
Fast forward to 2016 and the Womens League is desperate to modernize
its image. On January 7, in Bloemfontein, the eve of the ANCs 104-year-anniversary celebrations, Womens League members launched the Young Womens
Desk to rejuvenate itself. On the night of the launch, 5,000 women saw a
glamorous fashion show instead of a march.
The Womens League is fundamentally conservative; it is structured in a
way that is not open to the voices of these young women. It has a kind of an

ANC launch photo by Leon Sadiki / City Press / Gallo Images /


City Press; Thoko photo by Motlabana Monnakgotla

Tokozile Xasa

old notion of respect for age and hierarchy.


But thats politics that are not going to
work anymore. These young women are
not scared of anybody. You saw them in
students marches. And theyre certainly
not going to hold back demands in order
to be polite and respectful, says Shireen
Hassim, a political science professor at
the University of the Witwatersrand in
Johannesburg.
We identified a need for integrating
young women within the ranks of the
organization, so that we could make them
politically conscious; understand why
women have to be part of the struggle at a
young age, says Tokozile Xasa, spokesperson of the Womens League, who admits it
took 15 years to come up with a plan.
In the past, the Womens League has
been the butt of jokes and criticized for
lacking vibrant ideas to improve the
circumstances of women. Last year, a
cheeky artist, Ayanda Mabulu, painted an
image of President Jacob Zuma naked and
sexually assaulting a woman. The Womens
League reacted with a protest march to the
Union Buildings to protect the image of the
president it was a flop.
But there are many issues that they
could take up. It could take up the issues
of the feminization of poverty. It could
be marching to demonstrate its concern
about gender-based violence in society. It
could be talking about not the indignities
put upon the body of the president but
indignities put upon black women every
day. This is a complicated politics that is
hard to understand, says Hassim.
I just dont think, as a collective
leadership, they have a clear and firm set
of priorities. Thats why you get a lot of
waffling from the leadership, they havent
strategized properly about what their core
message is and how they are going to move
forward. I dont think individually theres a
weakness it is collective weakness. They
are caught between always wanting to be
supporting the men. They need to be much
more assertive about womens leadership,
says Hassim, the author of the book The
ANC Womens League: Sex, Politics and
Gender, published in 2014.
A few weeks after the youth desk launch,
FORBES WOMAN AFRICA met Xasa, who

is also the Deputy Minister of Tourism, at


her home in Waterkloof, Pretoria.
Today, we pride ourselves that young
women are breaking into the domain of
men We are able to say this is how far
we have gone, relating to issues of our
(misogyny) history. If you were following
the (university) students fees protests
(in South Africa), we have more young
women who are unafraid to take up
leadership. This made
us realize that these
young women are
really going through
stuff in those institutions. This desk is able
to create platforms to
engage them politically
in their respective
sectors, says Xasa.
The Womens League will continue
to play a leading role in transformation,
especially on issues that our heroines
maam Lilian Ngoyi, Gertrude Shope,
Charlotte Maxeke fought for.
Sixty years after the famous march to
the Union Buildings, 800,000 of the 1.2
million ANC members are women. Yet,
there are few at the top.

We constitute a majority of membership


but men still make it to the top positions,
some of them literally use women to get
to those positions. We are still grappling
to ensure women take positions because it
is not an event to change a mindset We
are challenged daily, patriarchy haunts us
everywhere. Girls are not brought up as
equal as boys, even in homes and schools,
says Xasa.
Despite this, she
thinks theres hope
for young women. She
defied ukuthwala (a
traditional arranged
marriage) as a teenager
in the deep rural town
of Libode, in the
Eastern Cape.
Xasa is the face
of the Womens League. She, the sixth of
seven children, lost her mother when she
was 10 years old and there was no money
to study after school. She became a general
factory worker for less than a year, but a
few years later, Xasa qualified as a teacher
and taught for nine years. In 1994, Xasa was
part of the first group of ANC councillors
and then the first female mayor in the

These young
women are
not scared of
anybody.

FEBRUARY / MARCH 2016 FORBESWOMANAFRICA | 31

FOCUS ANC WOMENS LEAGUE

Today, we pride ourselves that young


women are breaking into the domain of
men We are able to say this is how far
we have gone.
Eastern Cape. In 2001, she was a member
of parliament in provincial legislature in
Bhisho, Eastern Cape, and then the Deputy
Minister of Tourism in 2010. She has a
masters degree in public administration.
The former MEC for social development
raised concerns about the limited access of
young women to tertiary education.
When they dont have these fees to pay
they will go to sugar daddies. Theres an
unconfirmed report that the prevalence of
HIV/Aids infections in these institutions is
at an alarming rate. But what went wrong,
because we have been preaching safe sex?
she says.
While there are tangible attempts to
reclaim the Womens Leagues space in
present day politics, elements of moral
decay still exist. A week after the Young
Womens Desk launch in Bloemfontein, a
group of irate women stormed the ANC
office in Pretoria, protesting against an
outcome at their branch meeting in the
northern Gauteng township of Hammanskraal. They made the front page of local
newspapers baring their buttocks.
We were appalled. They denigrated
all women. No action of that nature
can justify any anger or dissatisfaction.
Their demonstration was in bad taste
and displayed a moral decay. If they are
members of the Womens League they will
be subjected to disciplinary processes,
says Xasa.
She also expressed disappointment
in the media. Xasa decried the lack
of patriotism in the newspapers that
published the naked women.
Here we are trying to build a nation.
Those are mothers, they have children.
Its all about journalists positioning
themselves and polarizing themselves
against the ANC. The level of journalism
is disappointing. Its not about promoting
one organization, its about nation
building You could have denounced
the womens actions without using the
pictures.
32 | FORBESWOMANAFRICA FEBRUARY / MARCH 2016

The ANC is losing the support of feminists.


Even though its the party that delivered
equality, it has not been strong in implementing what feminists would see as substantive
equality going beyond having women in
positions of political power As we know
theres gender division of labor, its women
who end up having to bear gender-based
burdens. The government leadership is not
seen on that front, it not effectively putting
systems in place, says Hassim.
Xasa disagrees.
Democracy allows people to say things
in their own way, so I dont know how
somebody regards herself being a feminist
more than others. As the Womens League
we are the only womens organization that
is the voice of women, she says.
Despite the challenges, the Womens
League prides itself on the achievements
of their own. Early this year, the ANC
National Chairperson and Womens League
leader, Baleka Mbete, was awarded the
King Legacy Award in the United States.

The award was named after Martin Luther


King Jr, an American human rights activist.
It recognizes people who make a significant
contribution in race relations, justice and
human rights. The former United Nations
Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, and former
US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, are
previous recipients.
We are proud of Sis Baleka.
No South African had received this
award. Shes the first woman in Africa. This was due to her demonstration
of leadership qualities, says Xasa.
Xasa also reveres Nkosazana
Dlamini-Zuma, the Chairperson of
the African Union Commission. She
is the first woman in that position and
had served as a minister under three
presidents in her country.
In the African Union, Dlamini-Zuma is going to leave behind a
remarkable legacy. As we speak now,
we are talking Agenda 2063, it came
through her. We are changing the
perception of Africa, uniting Africa.
We have many more women coming
behind them, says Xasa.
With all these achievements, since
1994, the Womens League failed to
nominate a woman to be president of
the country a topic that is taboo in
its ranks.
We have a fresh mandate from
the 2015 conference that women are ready
to take up leadership of the country and
leadership of the organization. Women
have grown and demonstrated they have
capacity. When the time comes, we will put
forward a candidate. The name cannot be
mentioned but we are ready to challenge
men.
Xasa says they have a mandate beyond
South Africa. They host other women
from the continent at their empowerment
programs.
If you look into the wars on the
continent and the impact they have on
women and children, it calls for us to
really get our house in order to support
those women. We were fully behind the
campaign to return the Nigerian abducted
girls by Boko Haram. Unfortunately those
girls have not been freed.
Sixty years after the march to the Union
Buildings, apartheid was defeated but the
struggles of women continue. FW

Fighting An
Unknown
Enemy
And Winning
Liberia was declared Ebola-free at the end
of 2015. Heroically leading the fight on the
streets was Mayor Cyvette Gibson.
WORDS JABULILE SOPETE

34 | FORBESWOMANAFRICA FEBRUARY / MARCH 2016

FOCUS LIBERIA

n late 2015, Liberia was declared Ebola-free.


On the frontline of the fight against the
disease was Cyvette Gibson, the Mayor of
Paynesville, Liberias largest district.
Gibson (pictured right) personifies
style and confidence, accompanied by a warm,
infectious smile.
FORBES WOMAN AFRICA caught up with
her in Johannesburg, South Africa, on the
sidelines of the 2015 Africities Summit.
For the last three years, Gibson has served as
the Mayor of Paynesville, a city with a population of 400,000. The Ebola outbreak was the
toughest test she has yet faced. The virus killed
more than 11,000 in West Africa, with around
4,800 of those from Liberia.
It felt like an enemy had sort of descended upon
us in the middle of the night. We didnt even know
what this enemy was, all we knew was that it was wiping
people out, says Gibson.
The most painful thing was watching my citizens die and
being unable to assist initially and eventually figuring out that
a simple thing such as a touch which is something all human
beings do, no matter what culture, to console someone when
theyre ill we could no longer do.
When the outbreak was at its peak, Gibson faced the
problem head on and started by cleaning the streets. She
enlisted the help of everyone she could find. Everyone, even
the homeless and drug addicts, who had helped to rid her
town of litter.
Gibson deployed block leaders to educate people, monitor
their behavior and trace potential Ebola victims before the disease spread further. In addition, there were posters on every
street corner showing the dangers and symptoms of Ebola.
Radio jingles, television commercials and community vehicles
blared with information 24 hours a day, throughout the city.
Ebola was a fight Gibson fought until the very end.
Outside of every public building in her city are washing
stations; it is compulsory to wash your hands thoroughly with
chlorinated or soapy water before entering.
Gibsons sanitizing campaign ensured community leaders
were around to supply information and medical services to
locals, while monitoring signs of the virus spreading.
Community leaders had a constant engagement with the
people, every morning they would go house-to-house, check
peoples temperatures, make sure all the names are on the list,
their ages and check for unfamiliar people walking about the
areas, says Gibson.
The power was within the community.
Part of Ebolas danger was that it could be contracted
with just one touch, as a result many families lost their
breadwinners.
In some instances, according to Gibson, a mother would
have to sit in a room and watch her child die without being
able to touch the child for fear of contracting the disease.

IF I EXPECT PEOPLE
TO DO SOMETHING,
I MUST EXEMPLIFY
IT AND EXHIBIT THE
SAME BEHAVIOR.

Our healthcare workers


were dying like flies. We already
lacked doctors and nurses and
we were just losing more. It was a
very difficult time but we had to put our
boots on and get onto the streets.
Despite being the most difficult period in her career, Gibson
believes it made her stronger.
Alongside her on the frontline in the war were many
international organizations who helped with medical supplies,
awareness campaigns and funding.
We are also very thankful to our families and friends in
organizations in the diaspora for their support and solidarity
during this time. If it hadnt been for them, we would not have
reached where we are today.
Gibson is the youngest mayor to serve in Liberia. When not
buried by paperwork in her office, youll find her on the streets
engaging with the community. She believes in leading by
example and says that constantly engaging with her citizens
builds a strong and united community.
If I expect people to do something, I must exemplify it and
exhibit the same behavior. Also, as a leader, I truly believe one
must be humble, especially when you are serving the people,
she says.
Going forward, Gibson has formed partnerships with
organizations around Liberia which will continue to assist
in building a stable healthcare system. With donations from
abroad, she has managed to increase capacity within community clinics and has trained more nurses and doctors.
I can say now we can respond timeously to anything,
even if we have an outbreak, we are able to deal with it by
containing it as we already know the signs and symptoms.
We still have a long way to go but we are headed in the right
direction, she says.
Gibson also plans to support neighboring countries still
recovering from the disease.
With Gibson leading the charge, even Ebola didnt stand a
chance. FW
FEBRUARY / MARCH 2016 FORBESWOMANAFRICA | 35

FOCUS SIERRA LEONE

Pregnant,
Blamed And

BANNED
Teenage pregnancy has risen in a postEbola Sierra Leone, many cases the result
of sexual attacks and forced marriages.
Girls face further victimization at school.

Sixteen-year-old Yaema lives in Kenema,


a major city in Sierra Leone, with her aunt
who raised her after both her parents
passed away when she was still a little
child. Around six months ago, one of her
uncles sexually assaulted her when he
came home drunk. Her aunt dismissed the
incident when Yaema told her about it the
following day.
I was warned by my aunty to think
carefully about my future before making
such an evil accusation, says Yaema.
Along with the emotional trauma she
had to endure after the rape, Yaema now
also has a physical reminder of it; she is
pregnant. Her aunt will not accept that
her brother is guilty. She accuses Yaema
of sneaking away from school to play
husband and wife with her boyfriend.
There is no respite at school either.
Yaema goes through a rigorous routine of
strapping a bandage across her stomach
and wearing oversized cardigans to hide
her pregnancy. The strapping, with the
help of her friend Hassanatou, takes
about an hour each morning. Although
36 | FORBESWOMANAFRICA FEBRUARY / MARCH 2016

the strapping could be detrimental to


the health of Yaema and her baby, it is
something she is willing to do so she can
realize her dream of finishing school and
becoming a lawyer one day.
If my teachers find out I am pregnant
I will not be allowed to sit my BECE
exams this year because of the ban, says
Yaema.
In April last year, the Sierra Leone
government banned pregnant girls from
attending school and sitting exams. The
Basic Education Certificate of Examination (BECE) qualification is needed to
attend senior secondary school.
Hassanatou and Yaema have been best
friends since they met in primary six. This
year they hope to pass their BECE exams
and attend the Modern High School in the
countrys capital Freetown.
It is so unfair that Yaema might
not get to graduate this year because of
something she had no control over, rues
Hassanatou.
The ban sparked outrage from human
rights organizations around the world.

Photo for representational purposes only

WORDS PEACE HYDE

The blame is really being put on girls


rather than the government. There is
a limited amount of sex education in
schools, which is not consistent...
This is very disturbing for Amnesty
International because this stigmatizes
over 10,000 girls, destroying their future
life chances, says Sabrina Mahtani,
West African Researcher for Amnesty
International.
The ban comes at a time when children
in Sierra Leone have already missed nine
months of school due to the Ebola outbreak.
This is a practice that predates Ebola
and it was more of an informal practice
in some schools, but now this informal
private practice has been turned into a
formal government policy, says Mahtani.
According to Amnesty International,
the Ebola crisis led to young girls
becoming victims of sexual attacks and
forced marriages. The National Strategy
for the Reduction of Teenage Pregnancy,
introduced by the government of Sierra
Leone in 2013 and cited in the Amnesty
International report, states that 28% of
girls between the age of 15 and 19 are
either mothers or pregnant.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which was set up after the war in
2004, said that the exclusion of pregnant
girls from education is discriminatory
and archaic and we think the ban of the
pregnant girls is a missed opportunity
to correct the previous wrong, says
Mahtani.
There are some who vehemently
support the ban though. A teacher, who
wishes to remain anonymous, says the
classroom is no place for a pregnant girl.
These young girls are at a vulnerable
time in their lives and, unfortunately, they
learn from each other. If we encourage
pregnant girls to come to school, others
will think it is normal and will follow
suit, he says.
Those against the ban argue that it
fails to take into account the high levels
of sexual violence in Sierra Leone. Yaema
attests she is not the only victim of rape.

Two years ago, one of my good friends


was sexually attacked by a group of men
on her way home and unfortunately she
did not survive the incident, she says.
The fear of stigmatization prevents
young girls from speaking out. In a
statement to Amnesty International,
Moijueh Kaikai, the Minister of Social
Welfare, Gender and Childrens Affairs,
says there has to be consequences for
the girls that refused to adhere to the do
not touch instructions issued during the
Ebola outbreak.
Yaema, along with many other victims
of sexual violence in Sierra Leone, is
caught in the crossfire. Needless to say,
their plight is agonizing.
The blame is really being put on
girls rather than the government. There
is a limited amount of sex education in
schools, which is not consistent or comprehensive across all of Sierra Leone and
banning pregnant girls from schools does
nothing to tackle the underlying causes of
teenage pregnancy, says Mahtani.
Even girls that arent pregnant are
being humiliated. There are no official
provisions for testing whether girls
are pregnant. Teachers touch the girls
stomachs and breasts inappropriately,
while some are forced to take urine tests.
The question that needs to be asked
is what is the government doing about
those who subject these poor girls to rape
and other forms of sexual violence? What
punishment is being given to them? Education should be a right for every single
one of these girls and not a privilege that
can be removed at any time, says Gloria
Ngozi, a human rights expert who works
on childrens rights.
Only six in 10 girls between the ages
of 15 and 24 in Sierra Leone are literate,
according to a government health survey
in 2013. With this ban, these figures will
only get worse. FW
FEBRUARY / MARCH 2016 FORBESWOMANAFRICA | 37

Photo by Chris Ratcliffe / Bloomberg / Getty Images

INTERVIEW

10 Minutes With

Arunma
Oteh...

Nigerias Arunma Oteh


says she wants to be
the best treasurer the
World Bank has ever had.

he is African and holds one of the


most powerful jobs in the world.
Known as Nigerias Iron Lady,
she was appointed the World
Banks Vice President and Treasurer in
September last year. Prior to that, Oteh
served as Director General of Nigerias
Securities & Exchange Commission
(SEC), where her tough decision-making
skills helped transform the countrys
capital markets.
In November, she was honored with
the Impact in Leadership award by
FORBES WOMAN AFRICA.
Oteh, who was also a nominee for the
FORBES AFRICA Person of the Year 2015,
tells us successful women should pave the
way for others.

How has it been working at the World


Bank, in Washington DC?
Its been amazing, If I had to live
anywhere away from home, it would
definitely be in Washington DC.
First and foremost, it is such a great
time to be returning to development,
because between the time I left [the
United States], back in 2005, and now,
Ive seen significant progress in the
world.
I also think we need lots of resources
to address development challenges. In
July 2015, global leaders got together and
said, we need to move from talking about
millions to trillions and the fact that
people recognized that is important, this
is what we need to do something about.
The second thing is, the World Bank
is truly the leader on all these issues.
The world is looking at it because its
an institution that is AAA-rated; it has a
footprint across the world.
38 | FORBESWOMANAFRICA FEBRUARY / MARCH 2016

Theyre also looking at the World Bank,


not just to use its own resources, but
to be able to carry the people along, to
capitalize the private sector to be involved
in development. Innovation and creativity
are very important.

Considering the recent commodity


slump in a few African countries, how
can African economies see sustained
economic growth without an over-reliance on natural supplies?
We are in transition in Africa, our leaders
recognize our economy must be diversified
and understand our most important aspect
is our people and not what we dig out of
the ground. Our leaders are focusing on
how we can make sure we diversify our
economy, how do we make sure we focus
on manufacturing and other things that
will enable us and protect our country
from depending on one sole commodity.
In a sense, even though its been a
difficult period for a lot of oil-exporting
countries, we are in a period where
leaders have been very focused on
ensuring that in the future we can be
more dependent on other things and not
just oil and other natural resources. Its a
real opportunity, thats how I see it.
We have the youngest population in the
world; at least 62% of Africans are below
the age of 40. Investing in young people is
very important because its what ensures
that entrepreneurs who are making a
difference are able to continue to do so.

Your take on the recent revelation that


it will take over 100 years to close the
global economic gender gap?
I dont know why it would take 100 years,
I pray it doesnt. I think theres been such

significant progress made by women in


leadership positions demonstrated by
capacities; weve global leaders, such as the
World Bank VP, whos very keen to give
women an opportunity; women like Indra
Nooyi, who has managed to distinguish
herself, Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton,
who has been an amazing candidate.
The point is when we are given tasks as
women, we do a good job, and the impact
made by women in society is much more
than an impact of investing in her. Weve also
had supportive men at different levels and so
Im certain it shouldnt take 100 years.

How do feel about receiving the


Impact in Leadership award?
Its very special. There are a lot of women
who have distinguished themselves across
Africa and its really an honor to be named
a woman who has had significant impact
in Africa.

Your advice to young women who


want to be where you are today?
First, seek to be the best and only that the
best is good. Secondly, always remember
that integrity is key, never compromise
on your standards, and never compromise
on your values. Thirdly, invest in yourself,
crave knowledge, read, read and read.

Plans for the future?


Ive just started my dream job and I want
to focus on being the best treasurer the
World Bank has ever had.
I want to make sure I do my bit in
ensuring the World Bank achieves its
goals. Im looking forward to an even
greater year in 2016. FW
Interviewed by Jabulile Sopete

AZURI MAURITIUS
COASTAL ALLURE, THE ESSENCE
OF BEACHSIDE LIVING
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With a prime location on the sea, the Riviera Villa
development marks the fourth phase at Azuri. Its site
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which 6 are directly overlooking the ocean and 10 are
set back slightly, while still offering views of the sea as
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INVEST IN MAURITIUS
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Life at Azuri is a collection of experiences.


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HISTORY THE HOLOCAUST

At Midnight
In Auschwitz
Paula Slier, a Jewish girl raised in Johannesburg,
travels the world as a war reporter. She is lucky to
be alive. One hundred and nineteen members of her
family were murdered in The Holocaust. She tells us
why the ghosts of her ancestors still haunt her.

e all carry the


stories of our
ancestors. I walk
among the victims.
Others my age
are weighed down by the burden of the
perpetrators.
In 1942, an 81-year-old Dutch Jewish
woman was dragged from her home in
Amsterdam, sick and frail, and forced
onto a train to Westerbork transit camp.
The Nazis were rounding up Jews, among
them my family. My great-grandmother,
Betje, hardly survived the train journey.
She died a few days later. Perhaps she was
lucky.
One hundred and nineteen other
members of my family found their
deaths in the gas chambers of Auschwitz,
Sobibor and Treblinka. I sit with the death
certificates of nine of them. Seventy one
years after the end of World War II and
40 | FORBESWOMANAFRICA FEBRUARY / MARCH 2016

we, the second and third generations, are


still haunted.
Rainer Hoess shows me the number
tattooed on to his chest. Its the same
number Eva Mozes Kor, a holocaust
survivor, had tattooed on to her arm when
she was herded into Auschwitz as a child.
Her parents and two older sisters died
there. She and her twin sister miraculously survived the murderous experiments
conducted on them at the camp.
Hoess has adopted Kor as his grandmother. Except that he isnt Jewish. Far
from it. His grandfather, Rudolf, was the
commandant of Auschwitz. Each day, hed
oversee the murder of several thousand
people, then come home to play with his
children.
Hoesss grandfather ordered the death
of my great-grandmother and my entire
family, bar a second cousin who survived
while in hiding.

I meet Hoess at the entrance to Auschwitz. We stare through the barbed wire
at the ruins of chimneys where Jewish
inmates were forced to burn the bodies of
people whod just been gassed.
It is a difficult decision for me to meet
you, I confess.
He understands.
I cannot forgive or forget, I whisper.
He says hes not asking me to. Only
survivors can do that and most have
chosen not to.
Were almost the same age but whereas
I grew up in South Africa with a handful
of stories about all the great aunts and
uncles and cousins I lost, he grew up in
Germany among former SS (Schutzstaffel)
officers who would visit his house
frequently.
It was only when he was a teenager
that he understood his grandfather had
been responsible for the murder of one

Slier at the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp


talking to holocaust survivors

Main photo by Sean Gallup / Getty Images; Black & white photo by
Chronos DokumentarfilmGmbH / ullstein bild via Getty Images

AUSCHWITZ WAS
HELL. AUSCHWITZ
IS HELL. AND TO
EXPERIENCE HELL
AT NIGHT WHEN
EVERYTHING IS
DARK, WHEN THERE
ARE SHADOWS
EVERYWHERE
AND WHERE THE
AIR IS STILL AND
QUIET, IS VERY
FRIGHTENING.
million people and he decided to break
all ties with his family. But he keeps the
surname Hoess to show that every person
has a choice in life.
What my grandfather did was wrong,
he says. But if we as the future generations dont come together, how we can we
stop something like The Holocaust from
happening again?
The ghosts of my dead ancestors haunt
me.
It is midnight in Auschwitz. Im filming
a documentary for Russia Today TV about
Flip Slier, a 19-year-old second cousin
who was gassed in the Sobibor death
camp.
Just over a decade ago, a foreman
was renovating a house in Vrolik Straat,
Amsterdam, not far from where my
great-grandmother was taken when he
came across a box of letters hidden in the
roof.

They were written by Slier to his parents


from a labor camp in the early years of the
war when Jews still did not know the fate
awaiting them and the Nazis were trying
to keep up a front of normality.
In 86 letters and postcards, he
encourages his parents to keep courage,
promising that they will all be together
again one day. Slier never saw his parents
again. They too were gassed. The letters
remained hidden for more than a half a
century.
Auschwitz was hell. Auschwitz is
hell. And to experience hell at night
when everything is dark, when there are
shadows everywhere and where the air is
still and quiet, is very frightening.
I meet the post lady who at 85 years
old still remembers, as a little girl, hiding
the letters Slier gave her through the
barbed wire under her skirt so she could
post them to his parents. I meet the wife
of his best friend, Karel van Der Schaaf,
who smuggled food into the camp for him.
I meet the son of a pastor who encouraged
every family in his village to risk their
lives during the war and hide a Jewish
person. Not one of them is Jewish and not

FOCUS

A concentration camp in Auschwitz, Poland

one of them thought twice about what


they were doing.
We each have a choice. I walk with
the victims but choose to move on. Their
stories guide the way. FW
Slier is an award-winning war
correspondent, CEO of NewshoundMedia
and Middle East bureau chief of Russia
Today. Her grandfather, Isak, was a
diamond cutter who immigrated to South
Africa from Holland in the early 1920s.

EACH DAY, HIS GRANDFATHER, RUDOLF,


WOULD OVERSEE THE MURDER OF SEVERAL
THOUSAND PEOPLE, THEN COME HOME TO
PLAY WITH HIS CHILDREN.
FEBRUARY / MARCH 2016 FORBESWOMANAFRICA | 41

Let Her Rest


In Peace
It has been 200 years since
Sarah Baartmans death.
Enslaved and paraded as
a freak in a foreign land
parts of her exhibited even
after her death the icon
was in the news recently
following rumors of American
singer Beyonc producing a
film on her. It didnt go down
well in South Africa.
WORDS YONELA MGWALI

42 | FORBESWOMANAFRICA FEBRUARY / MARCH 2016

t was the saddest moment


of my entire existence, not
even my mothers death
was as sad as getting Sarah
Baartman home, says Chief
Jean Burgess of the Ghonaqua First
Peoples, one of the tribes of the Khoikhoi
community in South Africa.
Sadness haunted Baartman until the end
of a life of misery and exploitation. She was
paraded and abused before rich Europeans
and went to an early grave.
It took more than a century for her remains
to be brought and buried into the red soil of
Africa, the land of her birth.
Baartman was born in 1789, at the Gamtoos River
Valley, in the Eastern Province of South Africa, into the
Ghonaqua sub clan, part of the Khoikhoi.
When she was two, her mother died and her father, a
cattle driver, died when she was a teenager.
Death followed her young life.
At 16, Baartmans fianc was murdered by Dutch colonists.
Soon after, she was sold into slavery to a trader, Pieter Willem Cezar,
who took her to Cape Town, where she became a domestic servant to his
brother, Hendrik. It was during this time that she was given the name Saartjie,
a Dutch diminutive for Sarah, according to South African History Online.
It was here she met William Dunlop, a British ship doctor, who persuaded
her to travel to London with him. She signed a contract but couldnt have
known how her large buttocks would be ruthlessly exploited to make a fortune
for Dunlop.

Photo by Gallo Images / Getty Images

HISTORY SARAH BAARTMAN

Khoisan leaders carry the coffin of Sarah


Baartman to a burial place in the Gamtoos river
valley, where she is believed to have been born

She was called by the stage name


Hottentot Venus, which means Khoisan
sex symbol. She was displayed as a
freak, used as a scientific curiosity and
kidnapped in a cage that was the life and
struggle of the icon.
Five years in a foreign land, after
enduring humiliation and exploitation
and before her death, Baartman underwent scientific experiments by French
scientist Georges Cuvier who wanted to
prove she was the link between human
and animal. He concluded she was not
human yet.
In 1815, at only 25, she died of an
unknown illness, thousands of kilometers
from home, with no means of getting
back.
Nobody knows the exact date she
died because she was surrounded
by people who didnt care about her.
Their aim was only to exploit her, says
Burgess.
In life, and in death, she was treated
as an exhibit. Her remains were displayed for 159 years after she passed on.
After her death, a plaster cast was
made of her body. Sarahs brain and
genitals were placed in jars which were
displayed at the Muse delHomme,
which means Museum of Man, in Paris,
until 1974, says South African History
Online.
Sadly, Burgess had to place her
remains in a coffin.
To us, she is a woman who suffered
immensely, says Burgess.
She wore an apron and was mostly
half-naked. When asked about Baartmans clothing, Burgess refuses to discuss
it. She says discussing her clothing and
body is an insult to her spiritual strength
as an Indigenous First Descendent.
Two hundred years later, Baartman
is still being talked about, following
reports that American singer and Drunk
In love hit maker, Beyonc Knowles, was
producing a film on her life, even though
this is unlikely to happen.

Jack Devnarain, Chairman of the South


African Guild of Actors, says as a producer
Beyonc has the right not only to tell the
story, but also to include herself in whatever capacity she sees fit in a production.
But Devnarain says the story of
Baartman is a painful episode in South
African history and should be about more
than creating a showpiece for the skills of
an actress intent on earning accolades.
We believe that any attempt at
capturing the character, her treatment
as carnival showpiece and as an object
of perverse fascination is an endeavor
that demands thorough research and
a sensitive, respectful approach to the
issues and the person, says Devnarain.
Julie Wells, Head of the Isikhumbuzo
Applied History Unit at Rhodes University,
in Grahamstown, says a film about Saartjie
should be done thoughtfully and sensitively.
There is a general uneasiness about
Beyonc playing Saartjies life. She
strikes me as an unlikely person to do
justice to the characterthere should be
an inclusion of local actors in the film,
says Wells.
Wells is wary of Americans who wants
to play South African icons.
Burgess believes if an American artiste
played the role of Baartman, the story
would lose its spiritual sensitivity.
No one has the right to portray
Sarahs life... I would never support
another person from another country
who wants to tell our stories. It is
not theirs to tell. We have local
actors who have the understanding, insight and sensitivity to
do justice to the role, says
Burgess.
In March 2002, her
remains were finally
returned to South Africa, her
homeland. She was buried
on August 9, Womens Day,
at Hankey on the Gamtoos
River Valley, in the Eastern
Cape, her place of birth.

One of the people who helped bring


Baartmans remains back to South
Africa is Diana Ferrus, a writer, poet
and storyteller of mixed Khoisan and
slave ancestry, who wrote a poem in
1998 in Utrecht, The Netherlands.
I wrote the poem for her, when I
felt home sick and knew she wanted
to go home. Her longing to be home,
the physical home where she would
feel safe and away from the mocking,
exploitation and abuse, says Ferrus.
Ferrus believes Baartman should be
made a part of South African history.
Her body was used to write racial
theories that followed us for centuries. She suffered for us, she says.
At last she is resting in peace in her
mother country, where she belongs,
says Ferrus. FW

SHE
SUFFERED
IMMENSELY.

- Jean Burgess

AFRICAN PHOTOGRAPHERS

The Restless
Rebellious
Soul Behind
The Lens

Jodi Bieber loved pictures so much


that she quit a secure job and
headed for trouble; it saw her capture
hell and the cover of TIME magazine.
WORDS THOBILE HANS

t was the dangerous days


leading up to South Africas
first democratic elections
on April 27, 1994. Jodi
Bieber, a newspaper rookie
photographer, was sent on assignment
to cut her teeth in a violent Ulundi,
in KwaZulu-Natal, a warzone for the
African National Congress and Inkatha
Freedom Party.
I definitely knew I was not the war
photographer because we witnessed quite
a few violent situations in Ulundi. At one
time we slept on the floor of our hotel, we
thought we might be assassinated, says
Bieber, then freelance photographer at
The Star, in Johannesburg.
In KwaZulu-Natal, Bieber suffered
rough times documenting the tragic
tale of the dead and wounded on the
44 | FORBESWOMANAFRICA FEBRUARY / MARCH 2016

painful path to
democracy.
When I was
not freelancing
for the newspaper, I created bodies of
work about different subjects; one of my
first projects was the crime prevention
unit in Hillbrow. I spent six months with
police who worked undercover, she
says.
Right from the early days, Bieber and
her camera tempted fate. She survived to
win the prestigious World Press Photo of
the year in 2010, for the photograph of a
violated young woman in a refugee camp
in Kabul, Afghanistan.
The picture spoke a thousand horrifying words. It captured the 18-year-old
Bibi Aisha who was dragged by her angry
in-laws to a mountain where her Taliban
soldier husband cut off her nose and ears.
She was left for dead as punishment for
running from her marriage to escape
years of abuse. Aisha survived and ended
up in the refugee camp where Bieber
found her in 2010.
It took the photograph in a very
plain room. When I created the picture
I asked Bibi through an interpreter to

close her eyes and think about her inner


beauty and her inner power and look at
me. She did that and I took the photo.
Thats the photograph they used. But
I was very worried because I took her
very empowered photograph. I thought
I had failed because TIME would want
something more vulnerable. TIME said it
was the most iconic photograph they had
seen. And it went on to win the award. For
one year I traveled to about 20 countries
and I gave talks to universities. I was in
front of the cameras for the first time,
says Bieber.
Biebers photograph changed Aishas
life. In August 2010, TIME magazine ran
it on the cover. A family in the United
States read the story and adopted Aisha
and the Grossman Burn Foundation is
paying for a reconstructive surgery on her
nose.
When I choose projects, its because
I identify with the subject. Because I
identify, I relate to it, thats really why I
want to do it. Hopefully through what I
do I am also learning something from it.
Yes, the aesthetic for me is as important as
the content, definitely. I like to touch on
the subjects that have some relevance to
me, says Bieber.

The iconic image of


Bibi Aisha

When FORBES AFRICA met Bieber


in late November, she was going on a
two-week assignment to Papua New
Guinea to photograph women and
children scarred by violence. Doctors
Without Borders commissioned this
project. A week earlier, South African
National Gallery had closed an exhibition
of her work called Between Darkness
and Light; what she calls a mid-career
retrospective. It ran for three months.
Bieber says she creates relationships
within the communities, because theres
always an element of danger.
For me, people are people even if they
are criminals, if they know you they wont
touch you, they wont try to hurt you. I
went to Iraq but I never felt fearful but
you always know that something might
happen. But when I was attacked, I was
photographing outside a restaurant in Cape
Town. So you never know when you could
be attacked. Life is not as predictable.
Thats why my book is called Between Dogs
and Wolves, a title from French phrase
entre les chiens et loups, says Bieber.
Work is a world away from where
Bieber was born in 1966, in Hillbrow,
central Johannesburg. She grew up in
segregated South Africa and went to
all-white schools. The system fostered
rebellion in her soul.
I dont think art was embraced when
I was growing up but I used to question
things. I had a history teacher I am friends
with now. He opened our eyes to what
was happening in South Africa at the time.
Remember in 1976 was when we first got
television. It was a completely different
time, but I remember seeing those
yellow nyalas [a military vehicle], I knew
something was not right in our society. So,
I was very rebellious at high school. I had
an opinion and I had a voice, I was not
just following the crowd, she says.
In 1993, aged 23, Bieber took a parttime course at Market Photo Workshop
in Johannesburg the training ground for
many successful African photographers
while she worked as a media planner
for an advertising agency in Sandton,
north of Johannesburg. After the course,
Bieber left her job for a three-month
trainee post at The Star. In 1996, she was
one of 12 young world photographers
selected for a weeks training in a

World Press Masterclass in


Rotterdam, Holland. This led
to myriad awards at home and
internationally.
Biebers expeditions are
recorded in books: Real
Beauty; which challenges
stereotypes of beauty in
South Africa, Soweto;
about ordinary life in
South Africas biggest
township and Between
Dogs And Wolves:
Growing Up With
South Africa, which
documents the country
for over a decade.
All my work deals
with issues relating to
broader society and
lots of it challenges
the stereotypes that exist in
the media, says Bieber.
For two decades, Biebers
work changed lives around the
world and she vows to document
the injustices. Her camera and her
soul agree. FW

When
I choose
projects, its
because I
identify with
the subject.

Silence of the Ranto twins

Father and son trapeze act, Newtown

AFRICAN PHOTOGRAPHERS

n a balmy Johannesburg
morning, we meet South
African photographer
and activist Zanele
Muholi at the Stevenson
Studios in Braamfontein, a colorful
cultural hub north of the city. Here,
we are surrounded by her collection of
self-portraits. Everywhere you look is
Muholi, each image stark in mood and
meaning.
You turn to the real Muholi the
award-winning photographer known
for her work exploring gender, race
and sexuality in flesh and blood, lost
in thought, just like her portraits.
Incidentally, blood has been a
prevailing topic in some of Muholis
works.
For her collection, Visual
Sexuality: Only Half the Picture, she
photographed herself in front of the
mirror, portraying her first experience
of puberty, trying to figure out what it
meant to be a woman. Understandably,
it was a difficult shoot.
It was perceived as taboo to talk
about periods, whereas people could
easily speak about rape and other issues
affecting women, says Muholi.
Before I am anything in the
world, I am a woman.
The last of five children,
Muholi, 43, was only a few

months old when her father died. Born


and schooled in Durban in the South
African province of KwaZulu-Natal,
those initial years were difficult.
Muholi earned her first salary
at a factory producing linen in
KwaZulu-Natal. Destiny tempted her
in the form of a camera. She left the
factory job hoping to bus it to the city
of Johannesburg to study film and
videography at the Film and Allied
Workers Organization.
Unfortunately, her interview was
unsuccessful and she wasnt admitted
to the program.
She ended up braiding hair at her
tiny flat in Century Plaza, Johannesburg, to make ends meet. She realized
she was quite creative at it.
But braid after braid, she was
getting closer to her dream.
In 2003, she completed an Advanced
Photography course at the famed
Market Photo Workshop in Newtown,
Johannesburg, only three kilometers
from the Stevenson Studios, where
she now displays her
self-portraits.
In Newtown,
she held a
camera for
the first
time.

I have always wanted to tell human


stories like lesbian, gay, bisexual,
transgender and intersex [stories].
I noticed there was a lack of visual
material that spoke to our needs and I
wanted to capture that, says Muholi.
In 2009, she completed a Master of
Fine Arts degree in documentary media
at Ryerson University in Toronto.
One of her portraits, Hlengiwe
(pictured below) is a tell-all on hate
crime and discrimination.
It refers to the number of cases that
I have heard, especially from hate crime
victims and survivors who didnt have
the courage to report it to the police
because they were going to lose it [the
case] anyway. As much as its a beautiful
image, its one of those painful and
exhausting stories, says Muholi.
Passionate about visual history and
women, Muholi says photography is her
life. And she has always wondered why
there were few female photographers
especially in history.
There were so many historic
moments and stories around us, but I
didnt see any woman capturing those`
moments I asked myself why women
are not drawn to this career. If we could
have female bus drivers, why would it
be difficult for women to carry cameras? I mean a camera is not too heavy,
says Muholi.

Only Death
Would
Stop Me
Artist-activist Zanele Muholi has spent over
a decade shooting images and showcasing
them around the world. For her latest
exhibition, she turned the camera on herself.
WORDS YONELA MGWALI

In 2012, she faced a serious setback in


her career when intruders broke into
her flat in Cape Town and made off with
her hard drives containing five years of
unpublished photographic work. She
believes it was sabotage.
Those people knew what they were
doing, theyre were trying to slow me
down, she says.
Calling herself the first black lesbian
to tell her life stories through a series
of black and white self- portraits, the
highlight of her career she says was
displaying these portraits at a solo
exhibition in Brooklyn, New York, in
2015.
I felt I had arrived, I couldnt slow
down and that only death would stop me
from doing what I love, she says.
One thing that people dont know
about me, I cry a lot and get really
frustrated when I cannot be creative. So,
I guess photography makes me happy.
Currently busy with a new collection
of photographs, Somnyama Ngonyama,
meaning hail, the dark lioness, she has
four published books and hopes to have
at least 10 publications under her belt by
2020. And she wants to leave a legacy,
like some of South Africas icons.
I want to leave a mark just like the
legendary Brenda Fassie and Miriam
Makeba did with their music, she says.
Life taught her resilience. Photography taught her about connecting. With
the world. And herself. FW

Photo by Jay Caboz

I ASKED MYSELF
WHY WOMEN ARE NOT
DRAWN TO THIS CAREER.
IF WE COULD HAVE
FEMALE BUS DRIVERS,
WHY WOULD IT BE
DIFFICULT FOR WOMEN
TO CARRY CAMERAS?

MUHOLI HAS
BEEN ACTIVELY
WORKING IN THE
LGBTIAQ+ COMMUNITY
IN SOUTH AFRICA
AND ABROAD FOR
SEVERAL YEARS.
HER PHOTOGRAPHS
ARE NOT MERE
DOCUMENTARY. THEY
ENGAGE IN A LEVEL OF
COLLABORATION AND
PARTNERSHIP THAT
NOT ONLY CALLS INTO
BEING NEW AUDIENCES
FOR FINE ART, BUT
ENSURES A PARTICULAR
KIND OF AGENCY AND
MOBILIZATION, WHICH
REFLECTS HOW ART
CAN BE USED AS A TOOL
FOR SOCIAL CHANGE.
Stacey Vorster, Curator of the Constitution Court of
South Africa Art Collection and associate lecturer at
the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.

FEBRUARY / MARCH 2016 FORBESWOMANAFRICA | 47

BUSINESS TIPS

Entrepreneur Florence Musengi on what gets a


woman to the top and keeps her there.

mong several other roles,


self-made South African
businesswoman Florence
Musengi is founder of
WAYAM Communications Consulting
and the owner of an apparel company,
WAYAM Clothing, specializing in African
garments. She recently released her
book, Woman At The Top, and shares her
survival tips:

Every woman has a dream but few


pursue them, why so?
Procrastination and lack of vision seem a
part of why some women do not pursue
their dreams. Some women fear failure.
Unless you start, you wont know the
greatness in you.

Do you think women approach entrepreneurship differently from men?


Generally women tend to follow the same
trajectory in corporate success that men
have carved over the years. This is partially because of the patriarchal nature of
traditional boardrooms. I however argue
that women do not have to follow the
same trajectory. The strength of women
in business is in their uniqueness that is
intrinsically different from men. Women
need to leverage their innate qualities and
capabilities to propel themselves upward
in business in the same way they do when
it comes to other spheres of their lives,
such as social cohesion, parenting etc.

Does being at the top define success?


No, I believe being at the top is another
layer to achieving your goals.
Success is not generic. It is subjective and
relative to an individuals ambitions and
48 | FORBESWOMANAFRICA FEBRUARY / MARCH 2016

capabilities. Success to one person is not


necessarily success to another. If being at
the top is the milestone that an individual has set for themselves to determine
attainment of significant objectives,
then it can be regarded as success.
Success is not a summit that you
reach and then from there any
movement is downhill. It is
rather a phase in the process
of self-improvement in various
aspects of ones life. The
intention is to stay within the
phase (which is not static
but dynamic) through
continuous input of
effort.

Its cold and lonely


at the top, what are
your survival tips for
aspirants?
The climate at the top
is a function of how
you get there. If you
have reached the top
through collaborative
efforts with colleagues
and other stakeholders,
then it shouldnt be that
cold. However, if the
process you utilized to
get there included
tramping on others, and achieving
at the expense
or detriment
of colleagues,
friends and
family, then you
are likely to get

Your top three investment tips?


Avoid investing in anything whose formula
for prosperity you do not understand. There
is no such thing as accidental success, there
should be clear inputs and conversion
processes that lead to the output of success.
If you do not understand this, then you
wouldnt really know how you achieved
the returns on investment, except that you
closed your eyes and picked a name.
Do not stand on one leg. Diversify to
spread your risk and increase portfolio
versatility. Industry sectors react
differently to a particular economic
climate, and hence a diversified
portfolio stands a better chance of
survival in trying economic times
than a one-legged pot.
Understand that at some
point you may have to
invest in a profitable
business idea that is not
necessarily your first
love, in order to generate
enough returns at an adequately rapid rate to pursue
your passion. Entrepreneurs
have to be both passionate
and discerning. The road to
success requires sacrifices,
compromises and
trade-offs.

The greatest
advice youve
received?
When you fall,
fall forward
and keep on
crawling. Your
future is in your
hands and your
destiny in Gods
hands. FW
Interviewed by
Jabulile Sopete

Photo supplied

When You Fall,


Fall Forward And
Keep Crawling

cold. The idea is to take as many people


as possible to the top with you. Provided
they have the right attitude and determination to get there.
A friend once said to me that even
pilots in the air need people on the
ground for safe landing. To get to the
top one needs to listen, learn, aspire and
inspire others.

ENTREPRENEURS

All
Things
Big
And
Mall
Cheryl Ankrah-Newton
was in prime property
development in Britain
when she decided
to move base and
revitalize the retail
space in Africas
richest square mile.
WORDS PEACE HYDE

ow words can
hurt.
Four years
into her
graduate course
studying property law at Kingston University London, Cheryl Ankrah-Newton was
tritely told, to her utter dismay, that she
may have to give up her dream.
I am not sure this is the route for
you, said her personal tutor at their final
career-planning meeting.
It is not the type of industry that is
suited to a woman.
The lecturers words, though hurtful,
were not entirely misplaced. Ankrah-Newton was one of only five females in a class
of over 100.
Fast forward a few years, and Ankrah-Newton is glad those words didnt
dissuade her from her chosen path.
She now owns a property consulting
firm and has played a role in recognizing
the importance of and helping bring
big brands, like international clothing giant
ZARA, to South Africa.
I was quite nave in the beginning. I
did not realize the challenges that come
with this industry is that it is a very
male-dominated industry, especially a
white male-dominated industry, says
Ankrah-Newton. There was no way she
was going to give up.
The eldest of three children, she had
to set an example for her siblings. Born in
Britain to a mother of East Indian heritage
from Trinidad and Tobago, and a father
from Ghana, Ankrah-Newton spent 10
of her formative years in Trinidad and
Tobago and visited Ghana at least twice a
year from the age of 16.
Africa was always on her mind even
though she says in passing she was once
crowned Miss Trinidad and Tobago.
Her parents told her no matter what
she chose to do, she must do it to the best
of her ability.
My uncle was the one who gave me the
advice to be a surveyor. So I looked at the
top schools for property law. Kingston was

number one for surveying and they also


had a decent law school. So I thought that
if I go there and do surveying and I dont
like it, after a year I will just switch to law.
Ankrah-Newton enjoyed the course so
much she decided to do it full justice. She
studied management, tenant law, land law,
investment and development. She landed
her first internship with Jones Lang
LaSalle, a leading commercial real estate
development and investment services
company.
I went in very fearful because of what
the lecturer had said to me, but when they
hired me it gave me confidence because
everyone wanted to work for them. It was
an amazing experience because it made me
realize that the property industry could be
fun.
But Ankrah-Newtons lecturer was
right; the industry was patriarchal. She
secured her next position with Land
Securities, Britains largest commercial
property company, to help develop one of
Britains largest shopping malls.
The funny thing was the tutor who
told me I couldnt do it, taught me shopping center development but had never
worked for such a prestigious company,
says Ankrah-Newton.
She also soon gained experience at
another top real estate firm, Hammerson,
before deciding to shake things up. She
had an interest in retail development,
where she developed a passion for being
creative, and yearned to be part of something bigger.
Even though I had worked with such
prestigious organizations, I could not
really say I built this building in Birmingham, because I was really a small part in
such a big engine, she says.
Her husband, who at the time was
moving to South Africa for his new role
with Google, helped her decide on making
the move to Africa. She took this as an
opportunity to explore her entrepreneurial
side. She had realized she had it in her
when organizing events in Britain to earn
extra money.

EVEN THOUGH I
HAD WORKED WITH
SUCH PRESTIGIOUS
ORGANIZATIONS,
I COULD NOT
REALLY SAY I BUILT
THIS BUILDING IN
BIRMINGHAM.
It led to her starting her own property
consultancy firm, Illuminate Africa Group.
Consumers are still not given enough
choice when in Africa. I believed we
needed an infusion of some competition
and the best way to do that was to bring
some international brands into the mix
because the African consumer is ready for
change and diversity, she says.
Although South Africa has a market for
luxury retail, she says it lacks properties
to house formal retail trade. She believes
international brands will no doubt provide
more choice for high-end shoppers, but
she also understands the limitations of this
model.
You will still get the ones who will fly
off to London to shop and unfortunately
we wont be able to bring those shops
here yet, but there is scope to bring the
big international brands, once we get the
basics right.
And where better to build on this hope
than in Sandton, Africas richest square
mile?
Ankrah-Newton currently works
with Liberty, the owners of Sandton City,
one of the largest shopping centers in
sub-Saharan Africa. She was also a part of
the malls Diamond Walk project, featuring
exclusive, high-end stores.
Ankrah-Newton is determined to claim
her rightful position in an industry she was
told she did not belong in. FW
FEBRUARY / MARCH 2016 FORBESWOMANAFRICA | 51

INSPIRING WOMEN

Claire
And Her Chair
Journalist Claire Robertson left the busy streets of
Johannesburg to live a quiet life by the sea. She didnt
expect this would lead her to writing award-winning novels.
WORDS AND PHOTOGRAPHS JAY CABOZ

here is not much to do in


the quiet village of Simons
Town, Cape Town, best
known as where South
Africas naval fleet lies. It
is the sort of home where you go fishing,
walking on the beach, or else watching
the penguins waddle onshore. Its the
sort of place where a news headline is a
handful of break-ins over Christmas.
Thats just the way journalist Claire
Robertson, 2014 Sunday Times Fiction
Prize and a South African Literary Award
author of The Spiral House and The
Magistrate of Gower, likes it.
It feels like you are hiding away from
life here, but then you write a book and
you get dragged back into life, she says.
It shocked me rigid with all the
attention... I thought I am not selling my
writing to anyone anymore. I am writing
for myself. I started doing that in my
journalism, instead of writing the news
story.
A news story is Nelson Mandela
made his long-awaited return to Robben
Island yesterday, this time surrounded by
a company of international news media.
52 | FORBESWOMANAFRICA FEBRUARY / MARCH 2016

The real story is we trailed him around


the island, and when we got to the quarry
that had damaged his eyesight, where he
worked for so many years breaking stones
and the reporters yelled out dance for
us. You saw him sigh and sink slightly
and then he started his shuffle into this
expected shosholoza dance. That is
actually what happened. When you get
old enough you start writing it.
Meeting Robertson at her home, on the
slopes of Jackson Road, is a real treat. We
sit under the shade of a grape vine with
sunbirds flitting through the leaves to the
sounds of dustbin men at work.
For the 54-year-old, standing at the
edge of the gentle lapping shoreline
of Waters Edge Beach, a few hundred
meters downhill from here, was the
defining moment that led her to abandon
the stressful urban streets of Melville,
Johannesburg, five years ago.
[Melville] was getting tough to go
walk around at any time of the day or
night, which is what I like to do. It was
getting less and less safe. You know that
feeling when your freedom is being curtailed in South Africa. Certainly everyone

has a bloody minded moment and you


cant bear being hemmed in. I thought I
wanted to find a place that I can walk at
any time of the day, and it was here.
The quiet life here is a world away
from the height of Robertsons career as a
hard news political journalist in the 1980s.
To be a reporter during the height
of the dying days of apartheid in South
Africa was the greatest privilege in my
personal profession. There was nothing
like it. Every story mattered, she says.
Some stories where harder to write
than others, one of them being the
reclassification of races which under The
Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act and
the Immorality Act, had denied families
living together.
Already as a young person you are
trembling at the injustices of the world.
Meanwhile you are working in a society
where this is just being thrown at you
all the time. Following that through to
watching a country talk about how it is
going to shape itself, she says.
Then you are reporting something like
the Dutch Reformed Church not allowing
black people to join in a service. They

would open the [priests] garage for the


services and shove the old tyres aside as a
Christian duty.
Other stories send a chill down
Robertsons spine on this hot Simons
Town morning.
I remember meeting with the commandant in the Pretoria Central prison
and hearing this unearthly singing. And
he said oh, that it was condemned men
singing on the night before they are due to
be hanged. I remember shaking.
Robertson lived the reshaping of South
Africa; she cradled her firstborn daughter
the day Nelson Mandela walked out of
prison; she also covered the negotiations
at Kempton Park which led to South
Africas Constitution.
These days, its the calm of Simons
Town. Robertson, the novelist, has just
come back from a walk on the beach with
her Scottish terrier, Henry, and a family
breakfast. Her mind is more focused on
her third book. The Magistrate of Gower
(2015) a prisoner of war in the South
African War, disgraced in an illicit affair,
who is now forced to confront his past as
a magistrate 30 years later is sold out
and is now in its second edition.
Its about the rise of nationalism and
what is the response when you see it
rearing its head again. Its very seductive.
It takes the good that people have, in this
instance the noble suffering during the
Boer War and heroes of the Great Trek,
it takes part of that and twists it into
something else, which is what happened
in Afrikaner Nationalism.
It is rare to find an award-winning
author who doesnt punt their novel with
pride. But Robertsons pride is a small
wooden chair in her lounge, finished by
her own hand.
Its quite comfortable actually and
its made from some very cheap wood.
I wanted to test out the design before I

IT SHOCKED ME RIGID WITH ALL THE


ATTENTION... I THOUGHT I AM NOT SELLING MY WRITING
TO ANYONE ANYMORE. I AM WRITING FOR MYSELF...

INSPIRING WOMEN

IT WAS SUDDENLY FOUR IN THE


MORNING. I WAS WORKING FURIOUSLY
AWAY AT MY LAPTOP AND I HEARD THIS
GUGUGUGGUGUG, IT WAS THE FISHING
BOATS HEADING OUT BEFORE DAWN.
made one from oak. I am quite happy to
say that no one has broken it yet either.
She points to a wall of saws and power
tools, glinting in the skylight, where the
chair, two book shelves and a wardrobe
were crafted by her from lumps of wood; a
hobby she picked up at her parents knee.
Included in this home of self-made
furniture is a portable writing board; filled
with scribbles and doodles, one reading
push towards the problem, and a sticker
of a porcupine.
Its something prickly, thats low slung
who is just determinately going about on
his way.
Only a journalist would feel the need to
say they write their stories longhand, like
its a bad habit picked up after years of
writing shorthand.
I get lovely notebooks and sit down
and write it in longhand. If you start
by typing it out you are going to keep
correcting yourself, you lose all your
momentum and you have no record of
your ideas. Things have to be aesthetically
pleasing.
What I do is start with an idea. With
The Spiral House, what was it like on a
South Africa slave plantation when these
54 | FORBESWOMANAFRICA FEBRUARY / MARCH 2016

two ideas of science and enlightenment


are clashing. It was told through a French
naturalist in my head, but what it became
was a young female freed slave, whose
voice spoke out.
Robertson has always gone for the road
less traveled. She was one of the first South
Africans to go to Soviet Russia on a South
African passport in 1988. The trip came
after one of Robertsons stories published
in The Washington Post. She asked American teenagers what they thought Russia
looked like, and Russian teens, in Moscow,
what they thought America looked like.
The newspaper liked the story so much
they nominated it for a Pulitzer.
You could see the world was
changing. You could see that the ANC was
starting to talk to people in South Africa.
We thought lets just try it.
One thing that stuck, was in Leningrad, on one of the big roads, there was
a department store. There in this glass
case, enfolded in red satin, was a single
disposible razor. It loooked like it had
been carved out of a lump of Bakelite.
They could build space rockets, and
amazing awful armaments, but they
could not bring a milk Glut and the

cereal Glut to the market at the same


time. Everything was just screwed up. It
was that kind of economy. People wanted
consumerist stuff so badly they would
spend a fortune on American jeans and
sneakers.
Her journey through the Siberian
tundra also foreshadowed where she
would end up.
I found recently an old diary from
the late 80s. I said what do I want to do?
I want to live by the sea, sub-edit and
then write. I had completely forgotten
about that. Having got down, unpacked
my books to discover I wrote this blissful
thing. Clearly I was working this through
my system.
Working on her first novel, through the
night at her brothers home overlooking
the sea in Kalk Bay was also an existential
moment.
I remember the book going so well
and being so wrapped up in the book. It
was suddenly four in the morning. I was
working furiously away at my laptop and
I heard this guguguggugug, it was the
fishing boats heading out before dawn.
When you have made a big change in life,
and things are uncertain, and you dont
know how things go, it feels like you are
getting some form of confirmation. If
you are working and the fishermen are
working.
It has been a long journey to a favorite
chair in Simons Town, from the raging
streets of Africa, to walking with Mandela, to a razor in Leningrad. FW

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ENTREPRENEURS

Roll Up
Your
Sleeves,
Walk
Past That
Handbag
Ipeleng Mkhari is today a
successful entrepreneur but
it was a tough ride getting
there and on flat tyres.
WORDS YONELA MGWALI

Photo by Motlabana Monnakgotla

Do you want to be an employer or do you


want to be an employee? Fifteen words
that changed Ipeleng Mkharis life.
We meet Mkhari, one of the founders
and CEO of Motseng Investment Holdings,
at her offices in Sandton, Johannesburg.
She walks in and fills the room. Mkhari has
bravura, elegance and a firm handshake.
Born in Umlazi, KwaZulu-Natal, along
the east coast of South Africa, Mkhari
completed her studies in Industrial
Psychology and Sociology at the University
of KwaZulu-Natal in 1996.
She had a good start in life; her mother
was a doctor, her father an attorney.
In 1986, her parents divorced. Mkhari
describes it as a tragic and painful time.
At the end of 1996, her mother died.
It was the darkest moment in my
life, losing everything at that time was
extremely hard for me and my siblings,
says Mkhari.
In the holidays, Mkhari worked for
Eskoms marketing department at its
headquarters in Megawatt Park just down
the road from where she now works. This
gave her a taste of the world of business.
Fresh out of university, she landed a job
as marketing director at Phosa Iso CCTV an electronic security system company.
When I met the owners of the
company, the power question the
gentleman asked me was Do you want
to be an employer or do you want to
be an employee? I said I want to be an
employer, she recalls.
It was a great experience for me; I
didnt know anything about electronic
security. I became a black economic empowerment partner, because the business
needed to transform but white businesses
were not prepared to sell equity for their
businesses to transform but created joint

ventures outside the businesses to see how


it works.
A year later, seeing a gap in the market
for black businesses, she started her own
CCTV business.
In September 1998, she teamed up with
former schoolmate and friend, Sandile
Nomvete, to found Motseng Investment
Holdings that proved to be her fortune.
The 41-year-old has been through some
pretty tough times.
When I got a CCTV contract with
Kunene Brothers and with no money
to buy equipment, I had to get bridging
finance. I approached one of the banks and
said Here I am, with a business plan and a
contract. The contract was what secured
the finance. I had to pay the money back
within a month, I had made sure that I
delivered on time and installed on time
with no snags.
As an entrepreneur you have to
remember there is no success without
struggle.
At 23, Mkhari attended meetings where
she was the only black woman, but took it
head on.
According to Mkhari, it takes a
special breed of human being to be an
entrepreneur.
In business you lose, you win, but you
lose more than you win, but youre satisfied with that because youre learning.
The self-made millionaire believes its
important to heed these lessons of failure.
Success is a terrible teacher, she says,
quoting Bill Gates powerful words.
Her biggest inspiration was her parents
and two late grandmothers.
Today, she owns 70% of the shares in a
solely black-owned property management
company that has operational expertise.
Mkhari believes in grooming up-andcoming women entrepreneurs.
I am passionate about women in
business, I strive to see them grow and
shine in the industry.
She highlights the importance of
affirmation.
Affirmation and confidence are two
peas in a pod. If you are an affirmed
individual, by those who loves you, it
boosts your confidence and tells you that
you are good at something. One of the

most fundamental ingredients in life is


confidence. When I started my business I
was confident enough to walk into scary
situations, but I would open my mouth, set
about presenting the story of my life and
why I needed their business. No schooling
system can teach you that but you need
that affirmation at home, from people who
believe in you.
She has been an entrepreneur for two
decades and won accolades: Cosmopolitans Mover of the Year Award in 2006;
CEO Magazines Most Influential Women
in Business in 2008; and FORBES WOMAN AFRICAs Pioneer Woman of the Year
Award in 2015.
Mkhari has seen a transformation in
entrepreneurship in the last decade.
Today, the narrative and support for
women in business is massive.
Things werent easy in the last two
years.
The person I have started business
with, we decided to part ways. The biggest
challenge has been actually making
sure that the business continues to be
sustainable. Mkharis advice to aspiring
entrepreneurs?
Change your entire lifestyle, be
prepared to roll up your sleeves, walk past
that handbag.

SUCCESS IS
A TERRIBLE
TEACHER.
I get people who say they want to be like
me, but you werent there when I had no
money, when I couldnt replace my car
tyres because they were so flat. You dont
know that story. What you see on magazines is the end of 17 years, says Mkhari.
She is not just a hardcore businesswoman, but wife to entrepreneur Given Mkhari
and mother to four daughters.
From the only black woman in boardrooms, to fixing flat tyres, Mkhari has
come a long way. She is the kind of person
who makes you wonder where shell go
next. FW
FEBRUARY / MARCH 2016 FORBESWOMANAFRICA | 57

ENTERTAINERS

58 | FORBESWOMANAFRICA MARCH 2016 / APRIL 2016

FOCUS

The Struggles
Of A Screen

ueen

Photos by Motlabana Monnakgotla

Nambitha Mpumlwana has distinguished


herself in more than two decades in front
of the camera it hasnt been easy in the
face of prejudice.
WORDS TSIDI BISHOP

e arrive at the studios of Ashes To Ashes around lunchtime; the busy set of
one of Africas popular soap operas is quieter than expected. We are told to
wait for Nambitha Mpumlwana, South Africas award-winning actress, as
she is applying make-up; 15 minutes and were ushered in.
The woman herself is in black tights and a matching flowing chiffon
blouse with slippers like she is watching TV instead of appearing on it.
This set is indeed a home from home for Mpumlwana, who spends most of her life here
portraying the owner of a funeral parlor and the matriarch of the Namanes, the family around
which this TV drama revolves. She offers a tour; every inch means a lot to her.
We make our way to her comfortable dressing room. She points to a wall full of notes.
This is very important to me. I put up my schedule for month, week and day so that I know
what Im doing. I also put up directors notes, she says.
I am curious about why this dressing room is so important to her. She alludes to her difficult
past when black leads were few.
For Nambitha to say where is my dressing room? They had to say how badly do we want her?
Then somebody said, you want her? Build her a dressing room. However, if I was a white lead, I would
not have to have that conversation, because its expected that I would want my privacy, she says.
This was one of the many skirmishes when she arrived home from Canada and a lifetime of
political exile. Mpumlwana was in politics by the age of 12 and in exile, in Lesotho, at 13.
Somebody decided I should go to Lesotho. It was the most traumatic time of life. For the first
time in my life, I discovered that there are black people who dont speak Xhosa and I discovered
that there was a language called Sesotho. I was shocked, she says.
I am in boarding school and I learned Sesotho within a few months; Im 13 years old and Im
trying to figure out everything. Easter holidays people go home and I didnt have anywhere else to
go and that was it. Im in exile and didnt know what that meant until I had nowhere else to go.
At the age of 15, she flew to Canada to live with a mother she didnt know.
Ive never lived with her before, Ive met her a few times, she says with a deep belly laugh.
I am 15 now, shes going to live with a teenager she doesnt know?...I was the elder child living
with the siblings that I had never lived with and didnt know, with a mother I wasnt familiar with,
she wasnt a very available parent especially to a teenager, its a recipe for disaster.
Her mother was a full-time psychology student who worked full-time. Mpumlwana was in high
school and working.
I started working by the time I was 16 years and havent stopped since. I was working as a
babysitter to put food on the table. I dont think there was ever a time when I knew that I could do
this professionally. I think when I saw my first play I was four years old and I noticed the power of
the stage and what they were communicating and how they made me feel sitting in the audience.
FEBRUARY / MARCH 2016 FORBESWOMANAFRICA | 59

ENTERTAINERS
I remember getting up on stage in King
Williams Town when I was about 10 or
12, somebody was supposed to perform
but they didnt pitch and somebody said
well she can sing and they got me on
stage to sing. As soon as I started performing, they were still, when I became
aware of that I froze and I forgot the rest
of the song. I flew off the stage, she says
through a chuckle.
She never stopped entertaining, from
Ndlamo (Zulu) dancing in the streets of
King Williams Town to marching with
drum majorettes. Another watershed
moment came in exile, in 1985, when
she visited Moscow and saw jazz
musician Jonas Gwangwas Amandla the
globe-trotting anti-apartheid musical.
I saw the way they transformed on
stage, I saw the magic.
Mpumlwana wanted to run away to
join the show, but instead started a dance
school in Canada. Her career took off
when she returned to South Africa in the
first flush of democracy, in 1994, to take a
job as a TV presenter.
I got advice that if you want the
audience to know you, you have to be
on television, thats how South African
audiences work, they dont go to theatre,
they dont read reviews. So I took a job as
a continuity presenter on SABC3before
I worked at television, they didnt look at
my resume, which was really strange.
It wasnt easy, but it worked.
Mpumlwana has played numerous lead

60 | FORBESWOMANAFRICA FEBRUARY / MARCH 2016

roles on television over the years: Justice


for All, Saints, Sinners and Settlers, and
award-winning Yizo Yizo and 7de Laan.
Her role as Pearl Luthuli in The Lab
won her Best Actress at the SAFTAs in
2007. For years, she played Mawande,
a hardcore business woman in South
Africas longest-running soap opera
Generations; this despite a vow never to
act in soap operas.
I turned Generations down about five
times then I said okay God, what are you
trying to say to me?

I WAS THE
ELDER CHILD LIVING
WITH THE SIBLINGS
THAT I HAD NEVER
LIVED WITH AND
DIDNT KNOW, WITH
A MOTHER I WASNT
FAMILIAR WITH.
I only turn down roles if I feel that
the story is not genuine, I dont expect
everything to be in perfect condition but I
expect growth where I go.
On the big screen, she acted in the
Oscar-winning film Tsotsi and alongside
Hilary Swank and Chiwetel Ejiofor in
the award-winning Red Dust a South
African tale of the healing of its painful
past.
I remember being
on a set and doing a
read-through and Hilary
Swank walked in and
said, hi Im Hilary, Im
so sorry, Im running
late. It was aboutI
acknowledge who I am,
Im not going to impose
who I am on you. Theres
a very big difference
between the two. You are
my colleague and thats
all there is to it.
She danced with
Mandela, played by
Morgan Freeman, in the
film Invictus, which also
starred Matt Damon.
Then with Angelina Jolie

in Beyond Borders. The latter film taught


Mpumlwana to stand up for her rights.
The story goes she had left her son behind
for the shoot, only to find a fellow actress
had been allowed to bring hers.
She plucked up courage and asked
her producer for equal treatment. The
producer agreed, then a family tragedy
struck.
Mpumlwana (this and below) on the sets of
Ashes to Ashes in Johannesburg

Half-way through [the shoot], my father


was quite ill and he passed away. When I
went to bury my father in Port Elizabeth,
they flew me down, rented me a car,
looked after me basically from beginning
to end. When I flew back, they flew my
son back with me, and when I came back,
they had hired a nanny who was going to
educate him during the day. My trailer
had all the amenities we needed and he
had a homeI came back, then I was a
problem, again, because I said wait a
minute; I wasnt wrong.
A problem was how she was often seen.
Mpumlwana fought for make-up on set to
suit black skin. She clashed with directors
when she questioned why they insisted
black actors put energy in their lines yet
not ask the same of white actors.
Mpumlwana also refused lines she felt
werent realistic.
People have gone around calling me
diva and prima donna. Then I say you
do know that the prima donna is the first
lady, dont you? You know that diva is a
woman of destiny? So thank you.
Then I embrace that, I teach that,
and this platform gives spread, more ears
to reach and more hearts to reach, more
souls to free, it might be stifling in some
way but I think Im preaching the gospel
of significance, so I dont regret it.
Diva or prima donna, clearly one of the
few to see life beyond the greasepaint. FW

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AGAINST ALL ODDS

From Trauma To

TRIUMPH
Elizabeth Akua-Nyarko Patterson survived an accident
and seven brain surgeries before amassing degrees and
running an initiative for differently-abled girls in Ghana.
WORDS PEACE HYDE

n a regular school night


in Pennsylvania, United
States (US), Elizabeth
Akua-Nyarko Patterson
set out to attend a friends
birthday party with six other students.
Chauffeured by their high school
teacher, she bantered and laughed with
them unaware her life as she knew it was
about to change forever.
The van met with an accident, flipping
over several times. By the time it landed
on its head, everybody except Patterson
had been hurled out on to the street.
They were luckier.
Patterson was trapped under the
weight of the van, waist down.
Only 18 years old at the time, she
suffered severe brain injury and for the
best part of the ensuing year, had her
skull removed and placed in a fridge due
to the consistent swelling in her brain.
She underwent seven head surgeries,
suffered a stroke and walks with a limp.
Yet, despite three years of relentless
hospital visits, unfathomable trauma and
the most trying circumstances, Patterson
managed to pass high school, and
successfully.
What motivated her to complete it,
when most people would have given up
any shred of hope?
Because that is the reason we left
Ghana for the US, says Patterson.
62 | FORBESWOMANAFRICA FEBRUARY
MARCH 2016
/ MARCH
/ APRIL2016
2016

Born in Kumasi, the cultural epicenter


of Ghana, Pattersons upper middle class
parents, both of whom were bankers, did
everything possible to provide the best
for her and her sister.
In 1995, when her mother won the US
visa lottery, a big deal in Ghana, they left
everything they had worked for behind
in their country in search of a better
education for their daughters.

When Patterson was 10, her parents


enrolled her in private school in the US,
whilst the family of four shared a room in
the basement of a friends home.
From being an outstanding student
taking up to six classes, after the
unfortunate mishap, Patterson had to now
cope with special tutors and deploy a tape
recorder for her studies. She had to request
extended time to complete her exams, in
seclusion, away from her classmates.
My confidence was affected along
with my sense of self and I kept asking
myself do I belong here? But whenever
I get those doubts, the grades come, I get
an A and it validates everything and I say
ok lets keep going, recalls Patterson.
She eventually overcame these
challenges she didnt allow herself to
have a choice and enrolled for college
in New York where she finished in three
years as opposed to the standard four
years a Bachelor of Arts in political
science and business management.
After working for a short period
as a teacher, both in Ghana and New
York, Patterson could not cope with the
physical demands of the job on account
of her condition, so had to stall that
career. She returned to what she loved
most studying further, obtaining a
masters degree in public administration.
As a child, she had wanted to be like
her idol Barbara Walters, the American

Photos by Robert Bernstein

broadcast journalist, author and TV personality. However, a thesis she did on education
reform policies in Ghana, during her first
degree, led her down a different path.
It was only natural she felt deep empathy
for children who couldnt cope in school.
There was a student who was struggling
in school when I was teaching in Ghana, but
her parents thought she was possessed by
the devil and proceeded to take her to church
to cast out the devil in her, says Patterson.
She decided to take control of the
situation and gave the student one-on-one
tutoring for a month. The young girls
grades improved dramatically. Patterson
also attended a conference on girls
education in South Africa (SA) as part of
her research. While in SA, she realized girls
with learning disabilities were discriminated against and not getting access to the best
education in the country.
Pattersons epiphany led to the Girls
Education Initiative Of Ghana (GEIG) that
she founded in Ghana with a mission to provide academic support for girls with special
needs so they accessed higher education and
benefitted from better professional opportunities. In just over a year and a half since
inception, her organization supported 13
girls in the greater Accra and Ashanti regions
by providing 90-100% academic scholarships
with support all year round.
After overcoming the initial challenge
of bureaucracy to set up GEIG, fundraising
is a hurdle the organization is still battling
with. Most of its start-up capital was
raised predominantly through Pattersons
personal savings and support from friends
and family abroad.

She is determined to keep pushing for the cause no matter


the roadblocks.
At Ghanas prestigious Vlisco Womens Month Awards,
which celebrate exceptional women in Africa, Patterson
was crowned winner last year (below). She strongly believes
Africa needs to develop its youth.
I believe that right now, about 40 per cent of the African
population is the youth between 18 and 35. We are vibrant,
we are entrepreneurial and I believe we need to harness
that to help the youth of Africa and Ghana advance.
The youth in her country only need turn to Patterson for
advice and inspiration. FW

My confidence was affected


along with my sense of self and
I kept asking myself do I belong
here? But whenever I get those
doubts, the grades come, I get an
A and it validates everything and
I say ok lets keep going.

ENTREPRENEURS

Scents
And

Sensibility
From penury to perfumery, Basani
Magadzi capitalized on her olfactory talent
to start a business selling fragrances
and she says success has been sweet.
WORDS TRUST MATSILELE
64 | FORBESWOMANAFRICA MARCH 2016 / APRIL 2016

Photos by Motlabana Monnakgotla

here is little chance Basani


Magadzi will forget the
smell of squalor and poverty that characterized her
childhood in rural Giyani in
South Africas Limpopo province.
Yet the air of her humble home was
always redolent with the sweet scent of
the citrus and lavender of her mothers
favorite fragrance, so reminiscent of
childhood for Magadzi even now.
She didnt know then she would one
day take her olfactory obsession and turn it
into profit.
Magadzi is the founder and owner of
Baneli Perfumes in Johannesburg, far
away from her village. Today, she talks
about names like Richard Branson and
Steve Jobs (her role models), Coco Chanel
and Jo Malone (the brands she wants to
compete with).
The road from Giyani to Johannesburg,
from penury to perfumery, was a challenging one.
She had displayed a talent for entrepreneurship early, buying and selling sweets,
which she called Funny Faces, while still
in primary school. Her precociousness
saw her taking on a degree in commerce
specializing in banking at the University of
South Africa. She then went on to work at
Nedbank in Braampark, Johannesburg.
It was only a matter of time three
years before she gave up a stable job with
a regular income for the highs and lows of
entrepreneurship.
I knew I had it in me to go into
business, says Magadzi, 30 now.
She swapped calculators for the flacon
(ornamental perfume bottle). Three years
on, she believes she made the right choice.
Whats the point of staying in a place
when you know you are unhappy? she
says of her short-lived banking career.
Dipping into her R40,000 ($2,471) savings, slowly but surely, she developed her
perfume business cultivating a network of
suppliers and establishing a good rapport
with them, whilst also getting trained and
learning from them.
I am still young and do not have much
responsibility. I realized it was the right
time to take the risk and venture into my
passion.
With hard work, she took her
business from an informal enterprise to a

IF SOMEONE
TAKES THIS FROM
ME I WOULD BE
FINISHED. I HAVE
TURNED DOWN
INVESTORS WITH
BIG PAY CHECKS
AS I WANT
AUTONOMY.

large-scale manufacturer and supplier of


perfumes. She makes 5,000 50ml bottles
a month.
Magadzi launched Baneli Perfumes
in 2013 in the backroom of a church.
Her business has since grown to include
orders from Namibia, Zambia and the
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Opportunities came in the least likely
places.
When I visited the DRC, I bumped
into a woman who operates a number of
businesses. She smelled a perfume I was
wearing and asked where I had bought [it
from]. I told her I made the perfume and
she said she would want to order [them]
from me, she says.
Magadzi says selling perfumes is more
than a business for her, its her life.
If someone takes this from me I
would be finished. I have turned down
investors with big pay checks as I want
autonomy.
She says she also has another objective
job creation.
I also see this business as a vehicle
for empowering people. If I open shops, I
fear this will take agents out of business. I
feel like its part of my calling to empower
people.
Magadzi considers herself a protg of
leading business icons.
I like reading articles and books by
Richard Branson and the late Steve Jobs. I
am positive that with the knowledge I am
gaining, by 2035, Baneli Perfumes will be
a household perfume [for] 90 per cent of
Africans.

She also has big plans for the short-term.


By December 2017, the business will be
valued beyond one million rand as I intend
to migrate from manual production into a
highly-mechanized platform.
Whatever she does, she says she will
never be a salaried employee again because
she believes the workplace limits creativity.
She is also now focused on broadening
her understanding of perfumes.
I have always loved perfumes because
it stays in ones memory forever, says
Magadzi. Just like the citrus and lavender
of her mothers scents that set off all the
right notes of success. FW

FEBRUARY / MARCH 2016 FORBESWOMANAFRICA | 65

ONE TO WATCH

Bag
And
Forth

It was just a
basket being sold
by the roadside,
and nobody had
moved it on.

she completed her studies at Oxford Brookes


University and Kingston University, graduating in
2009. By the time she was ready to return to Ghana
in 2013, she had interned for luxury womenswear
label Peter Pilotto and British designer Matthew
Williamson.
By then, she had already been toying with the
idea of creating woven bags.
I knew that there was basket-making in Ghana. Before, I was thinking Ill stay in the
UK and do it from there, then realized its best if I [go back], says Afriyie-Kumi.
It was me really coming to Ghana and seeing baskets around, and I felt [that]
nobody has reinvented this product. It was just a basket being sold by the roadside, and
nobody had moved it on.
I felt I would be the best person to do that with my fashion background, to be able
to push it to another level, and make it more [about] luxury.
Returning to Ghana to start a business wasnt easy though: she had to travel to the
north of Ghana, almost 12 hours way from her home in the south, with no guarantee the
weavers would be able to bring her vision to life.
Ghana, like many other African countries, may not be vast in size but makes up for it
with its multiple languages.
Twi is more widely spoken in the south of Ghana, and Frafra is its equivalent in the
north, which meant conversing with the weavers was a challenge for Afriyie-Kumi. And
they were also used to weaving with straw, as opposed to raffia, the core material of her
handbags.
Despite the initial hurdles, Afriyie-Kumi launched her brand in 2014; the handbags
are handcrafted by women from 100% local material sourced in Ghana.They are stocked
in stores in the UK, United States, South Africa and Kenya. The retail price for a small
AAKS bag starts at 67 ($98), and from 210 ($306) for a larger piece. Whoever said
there was no money in indigenous natural fiber? FW

Akosua Afriyie-Kumi creates handbags reminiscent of ripe yellow mangoes, the


rich red earth and the deep blues of a Ghanaian coast. They dont come cheap
but she has takers around the world.
WORDS WILHELMINA MABOJA
66 | FORBESWOMANAFRICA FEBRUARY / MARCH 2016

Photo by Nana Gaza photography

hat makes a
made-in-Africa handbag desired by women
around the world?
Its the ingenuity of the designer, who
works craft into commerce, and elevates
an age-old street art to the realms of
global fashion. Akosua Afriyie-Kumi,
founder of AAKS (pronounced axe)
luxury handbags in Ghana, has done just
that, slowly reviving a Ghanaian craft and
taking the colors of Africa to the world.
The timing couldnt be more perfect,
as African fashion, design and art are now
center stage internationally.
An AAKS handbag is vibrant; its
creator infuses it with hues reminiscent
of the rich red earth, the sweet yellow
ripeness of mangoes, or the deep greens
and blues of an African coast.
Being a creative had long been a part
of Afriyie-Kumis life in Ghana, where she
was born and grew up until the age of 19.
Fashion was a logical choice for her,
but it proved difficult to study it in Ghana
as the country offered no formal means of
education in the arts at the time.
Afriyie-Kumi chose to study in
the United Kingdom (UK), where

CULTURE

68 | FORBESWOMANAFRICA FEBRUARY / MARCH 2016

From A Township
To A Tutu

Performing as a ballerina on international stages


is glamorous but performing to disadvantaged
communities back home is the best.
WORDS KITTY PHETLA

Photo by Chris Townend

n a decade of dancing, Ive


experienced so many magical
moments; it leaves me wondering
what else I can contribute in my life
and career. One of those moments
was a surreal juncture in my fledgling dance
profession. I stepped onto the stage of one
of the most beautiful theaters in the world. I
was asked to represent my nation as Holland
played host to a meeting of greats. At a tender
age of 20, I was center stage.
In 2002, the South African embassy in The
Hague hosted the Faranani! concert at the
Royal Carre Theatre in Amsterdam, at which
the late Nelson Mandela was the guest of
honor. Faranani!, meaning togetherness in
the Venda language, was a concert promoting
peace, reconciliation and unity between South
Africa and the Netherlands, a relationship
spanning 350 years. I danced for Madiba and
the Dutch royal family with a company of
acclaimed South African artists. Through the
arts, these two nations commemorate the past.
For the royal family and the rest of the Dutch
audience I might have been a symbol of the
unusual, the unexpected act of an African
woman in Europe dancing a Russian classic.
In my heart, however, I was dancing for
Mandela and South Africa. I felt like a cultural
ambassador crossing borders, inviting audiences
to journey with me until the last few breaths
of The Dying Swan. As a ballerina, this honor
represented my countrys struggle against a
colonial past as well as my struggle to beat the
odds as a black woman on pointe in a tutu.
It was a high point in my career and the
wonderful memories stick with me to this
day. A sense of duty stirs inside of me, sparked
by the opportunity to dance for a global hero
while on a mission to unite.

Today, a world away, I find myself fulfilling


this duty at a dusty makeshift primary school
in a township I called home. Alexandra, in
Johannesburg, sets the stage for another kind
of Faranani! concert in schools for thousands
of culture-hungry children electrified by ballet
performances in their playgrounds. This is part
of my journey as I keep working to take my
art and craft outside the garlanded stages of
glamorous theaters.
As we mourned the passing of the father of
South Africa, I felt the weight of history on my
shoulders. That service to my country, which
began at the age of 20, continues in celebration
of Mandelas legacy. Inspiring children in the
townships is a humbling responsibility I take
with pride. The future of these children will be
determined by the choices they make and the
freedom to believe they can achieve whatever
they put their heart and mind into. Following
your passion and working towards a dream
becomes possible when the struggle of the past
is broken. I hope that I can help the children
realize that the destitution of a township can
result in the beauty and grace of a ballerina.
Touring the world and dancing for
dignitaries has its allure, but the shows in
Johannesburg are the ones that are most
fulfilling. Ballet helps to develop the image
of South Africa, a country once segregated
from the rest of the world, and entices an
international flair to Johannesburg.
Making history is dancing on home soil as
the only South African ballerina in galas with
the New York City Ballet. Forging peace and
unity is dancing on a stage with friends from
Kiev and Moscow amid the recent unrest
between Ukraine and Russia. Coming home
is my affirmation of a passion for a nation that
can use ballet to create Faranani!. FW
FEBRUARY / MARCH 2016 FORBESWOMANAFRICA | 69

CULTURE

Changing
Lives One
Dance Step
At A Time
Some international theater companies, when on a
global tour, arrive, deliver and depart. Not so with
the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

I EXPERIENCED
SOMETHING SO
TRAUMATIC THAT I MADE
A DECISION NOT TO
SPEAK. DANCE IS WHAT
GOT ME TO SPEAK.

70 | FORBESWOMANAFRICA FEBRUARY / MARCH 2016

Photos by Richard Calmes

WORDS ROBYN VON GEUSAU

Photo by Paul Kolnik


AAADTs Boykin and
Aisha Mitchell

Photo by Andrew Eccles

will never again say I cant do anything!


declares 14-year-old Kyle Grant from Mitchells
Plain, a crime-riddled township of Cape Town.
This young dance student has just witnessed
the exhilarating New York-based Alvin Ailey
American Dance Theaters (AAADT) mini-performance
for school children at the citys largest theater.
Similar sentiments were repeated by youngsters
throughout the weeks this modern dance company
was on tour in South Africa. By night, the professional
dancers performed to standing ovations by paying
audiences. By day, the artistes, many who have
danced on the biggest stages of the world, taught
in cramped classrooms and community halls.
They traveled into townships to welcome groups
of wide-eyed youngsters into theater rehearsal
studios for hour-long lessons.
Over and over they would repeat the maxim
which company founder, the late Alvin Ailey,
who in 1958 created the dance company rooted
in African-American culture, lived by: Dance
came from the people. We must take it back to
the people. The dance company does just this.
It moves past the plush seats and well-heeled
audiences and down the byways to halls with
broken windows and children with holes in
their socks but dance in their souls.
On a damp spring morning at Bonga
Primary School in Gugulethu, a township

Aileys 2015 tour to


South Africa Boykin
taking a master class

20 minutes from the Cape Town city center,


children crowd into a studio created in a small
shipping container. Young students of iKapa
Dance Theatre gaze at the elegant form of Samuel Lee Roberts, company dancer and former
student of the prestigious Juilliard School in
New York. His energy is infectious and soon he
has them doing head rolls, rises and turns.
Are we having fun? You guys are brilliant,
when I leave you are going to take my job! he
says to the bouncing, and giggling, children.
Artistic Director, Robert Battle, whose
elegant shoes fill the huge ones left by Ailey and
his successor, the acclaimed Judith Jamison,
watches from a corner.
This tour is his first to Africa and one that
has touched him.
The community outreach program has been
cathartic. Its definitely the most crystalized
and distilled version of what Alvin Ailey wanted
the company to be about. Every dancer has
just cried or been completely transformed and
informed about what they can be. This lets us
know that what we do matters, he says.
Down a corridor, former gangster, Yamkela
Bambata (21), is helping AAADT dancer, Michael McBride (21), translate his instructions
into Xhosa. He eases between arching arms
and squeezes past desks pushed against the
wall. A senior dancer with iKapa, Bambata
has a moment of disbelief that he is assisting
AAADT dancers.
This means a lot to me. Ive been Googling
them and watching their videos When I saw
them arrive I thought: Is this real?
Bambata, who says he was born to dance, was

Photo by Andrew Eccles

CULTURE

Boykin in front
of the Orlando
Towers
in Soweto

caught at the age of 13, like many other township


children, in the violent grip of a gang. But dance
would prove to be his escape.
It gave me the power of knowing what I want.
When I dance everything just goes from my mind.
Whatever you are going through, dance will help you
get through it, he says.
It is something that is unwittingly echoed by
AAADT dancer, Jeroboam Bozeman. Tall and
muscular, he co-teaches a class of Amoyo Performing
Arts Foundation dancers at another venue the
following day.
When did you start dancing? asks a student after
the teaching session.
Bozemans story floors the children.
For years I didnt speak. I was mute. I was silent.
I experienced something so traumatic that I made a
decision not to speak. Dance is what got me to speak
nothing is more fulfilling than what dance brought
me. But you have to be constantly working, every day,
24/7 to be great, he says.

72 | FORBESWOMANAFRICA FEBRUARY / MARCH 2016

This is the beauty of the dance theaters program.


It reaches out and offers something beyond how to
extend a leg and balance on tiptoe. It gives children
hope. It also imprints the fact that with effort there is
much to gain. Its a message that Revelations, Aileys
masterpiece, with its theme of moving from slavery to
freedom, does every time it is performed.
Hope Boykin, a company dancer for 15 years, may
be short in stature but she is a giant in spirit. The
downbeat exterior of the hall in Gugulethu, where
she is conducting a masterclass to senior students,
belies what is happening inside. Boykin is guiding
them through a series of moves from Revelations.
This is your drama, your fears, your troubles
and you are going to get through them, she urges.
And ladies, make sure you dont get stuck behind.
Remember: small is a state of mind!
And with that, heads lift, confidence grows and
the energy shifts from people being told what to do
to dancers finding their own feet and wings to fly
through the air.
Theo Ndindwa, co-founder of iKapa with his
wife Tanya Arshamian, reflects on what the AAADT
program means.
Its like seeing ourselves in the future. We want
the children to get that from seeing them. I trained
in the townships through NGOs. Ive been down that
route. Dance has the power to change individuals. It
teaches discipline. Its very hard work. We come from
a hard country. The government must provide rooves
over our heads, but it is art that fuels the individual to
carry a community.
Four days later, the citys Artscape Theatre is
brimming with hundreds of schoolchildren. The
velvet curtain rises revealing a dancer slowly moving
in a twinkling dress to Duke Ellingtons rhythms.
Yoh! shouts a youngster. Is it real? I cant
believe it!
Chrishande Maarman, 17, who has traveled
overnight on a bus from a small town 500 kilometers
away, is ecstatic.
It was amazing to see them live. It has inspired us
to be and do better. If I work hard I know I can do it.
It is these moments that transform lives. Thomas
Cott, AAADT Senior Director of Marketing and
Creative Content, knows this and is a happy man. He
has watched Aileys vision unfold in South Africa.
Even if just one child walks away and thinks
maybe I can be creative we have succeeded. If we
can help them think of other possibilities and just
give them the self-confidence, it has worked. FW

FORBES FASHION

How To Work It!


Make bold statements at work in classic couture
paired with contemporary accessories.
STYLING BY ATHI-AFIKILE MYATAZA PHOTOGRAPHS BY MOTLABANA
MONNAKGOTLA MODEL DOMINIQUE REEBY MAKEUP BY KELLI ROSEN

STAIRWAY TO SUCCESS

Sheer organza white dress with slip, Kluk CGDT,


R3,100 Blush pink tote bag, Ted Baker, R3,699.95
Beige patent pumps, Europa Art Shoes, R2,290

FORBES FASHION

BRIGHTEN UP
THE BOARDROOM

Floral sweater, Ted Baker, R2,199.95


Navy pencil skirt, Kluk CGDT, R2,200
Brown leather belt, Tiger of Sweden,
R2,199 Brown suede block heel,
Tiger of Sweden, R5,499

WE MEAN BUSINESS
Brown tweed jacket, Luisa Spagnoli,
R6,100 Brown tweed pants, Luisa
Spagnoli, R3,230 White blouse, Jo
Borkett, R499

DECEMBER 2015 / JANAURY 2016 FORBESWOMANAFRICA | 77

FORBES FASHION

BREAKING THE
GLASS CEILING

Grey tweed jacket, Jo Borkett, R999


Black formal pants, Jo Borkett, R699
Red bag, Europa Art Shoes, R5,590,
Black patent pumps, Ted Baker, R2,300

EARNING
YOUR STRIPES

Navy knit tee, Tiger of Sweden, R3,099


Charcoal pearl necklace, Jo Borkett, R199
Navy and grey striped pants, Tiger of
Sweden, R3,999 Light blue mules, Europa
Art Shoes, R2,490

For stockists, turn to page 94

DECEMBER 2015 / JANAURY 2016 FORBESWOMANAFRICA | 79

MY TRAVELING LIFE

t was just after the crack of dawn


that my tracker and I were hacking
our way through the thick undergrowth of the Odzala-Kokoua
National Park in the Republic of
Congo (also Congo-Brazzaville). Soon we
could sense the presence of a large group
of gorillas. They were foraging for roots,
shoots and termites while a few were
high up in the trees in search of fruits.
Out of nowhere, a pair of brown eyes was
suddenly gazing at us from behind the
undergrowth. It was a young juvenile male,
also very curious. He stared, blinked and
then emerged from his seclusion, almost as
though he wanted to greet us in his abode.
This moment could not have happened
but for over 17 years of hard work by
researchers who have helped habituate
gorillas to human presence. This difficult
process has been accomplished by the
sheer skill of the famous BaAka (pygmy)
trackers. Unlike with the mountain
gorillas, the habituation process of western
lowland gorillas has proven difficult
because of several factors: limited visibility

in the lowland forests, difficulties following


gorilla tracks through the dense forest and
across the long distances that they travel.
The Odzala park in Congos remote
north-west is one of Africas oldest. It
is 13,600 square kilometers of pristine
rainforest and an integral part of both the
Congo Basin and the TRIDOM Transfrontier Park overlapping Gabon, Congo and
Cameroon.
Covered in forests, rivers, marshes and
swamps, the park receives 1,500 millimeter
of rain annually. The TRIDOM is the
first three-country transboundary area to
become a World Heritage Site and is one
of the largest blocks of pristine tropical
lowland forest in the world.
As the juvenile gorilla approached me,
two other members of the group, a young
female and another male, peeked through
the undergrowth. The three of them were
fast approaching me. While my heart was
pounding with excitement, I was reminded
by the tracker and forest companion
Zephron that we had to maintain a seven
meter distance from the animals, lest

The Planet
Of The

we transmit human diseases. So I had to


backtrack with a heavy heart while still
covering my face with a surgical mask.
My tracker understood their
movements and soon positioned me in a
different location. His tracking experience
came to play as the huge silverback male
emerged right in front of me. Known as
Neptuno by the researchers, he was 35
years old, handsome, big and 380lbs to
boot. He managed his group of 16 gorillas
by leading, protecting and showing them
prime feeding grounds. Neptuno was
keeping a check on me while ensuring his
groups safety. Soon, the other 15 members
filed past me. Some stopped to look, others
rushed while a few sat down to observe
me. Neptuno was with the young and
either led the group or stopped to ensure
their safety. He was known to charge
human beings when threatened.

Apes
It was deep and dark in the equatorial
rainforests of the Congo when a hulking
western lowland gorilla emerged from
nowhere and hauled himself up in front of our
travel writer. There were 15 more behind him.
WORDS AND PHOTOGRAPHS RAMDAS IYER

80 | FORBESWOMANAFRICA FEBRUARY / MARCH 2016

Odzala Camps was launched in 2013,


boasting the highest density of gorillas
in Africa including seven habituated
western lowland gorilla families (about 105
gorillas). Visitors encounter 11 species of
diurnal primates including chimpanzee,
De Brazzas monkey, putty-nosed monkey,
grey-cheeked mangabey, crowned monkey,
colobus monkey and moustached monkey.
The area includes birdlife and herds of
forest elephant and dwarf buffalo.
I am one of less than 750 visitors to
have experienced this park. Access was
impossible prior to 2013. It took a long
time for Spanish primatologist Magda
Bermejo to win the trust of the Ndzehi
people as they had seen western lowland
gorillas in the rainforest being poached,
hunted for trophies, or shipped off to zoos.
Eventually, when she earned their respect,
the Ndzehi packed up their whole village
and moved with Bermejo to Lossi, home
to the largest population of gorillas in the
Congo, to help her with her research. Their

intimate knowledge of the rainforest and


gorilla-tracking skills proved invaluable to
Bermejos work.
A recent census of the gorilla populations in equatorial Africa was thought to
be 100,000. In 2004, there was an Ebola
outbreak in Odzala wiping out 90% of the
resident population of 10,000. Because of
these outbreaks, the International Union
for Conservation of Nature updated the
status of western lowland gorillas from
endangered to critically endangered.
The gorillas are still being hunted for
their bush meat and the young sold as pets;
five percent of the species is killed each
year. Commercial poaching of chimpanzees, forest elephants, and western gorillas
results from increased amount of commercial logging and infrastructure. The
Wildlife Conservation Society is working
in the Congo and surrounding countries to
limit the bush meat trade by enforcing laws
and also helping the local people find new
sources of protein. FW

THE GORILLAS ARE STILL BEING HUNTED FOR THEIR


BUSH MEAT AND THE YOUNG SOLD AS PETS; FIVE
PERCENT OF THE SPECIES IS KILLED EACH YEAR.

MILLENNIAL IN SPORT

Blood, Sweat
And Cheers

One of very few women in extreme fighting,


Shana Powers first battle was with disease,
which made her train harder in the cage.
WORDS AND PHOTOGRAPHS MOTLABANA MONNAKGOTLA

hey call her Titanium


because she is tough.
Three years ago, doctors
diagnosed South African
extreme fighter Shana
Power with a pulmonary embolism; she
had 28 clots in her lungs and was lucky
to be alive. Never do any form of training,
you are on a drug for life, they said.
Warfarin was the drug prescribed for her.
Its a very serious drug and you have
to be very careful when you are on it, says
the 23-year-old Power.
82 | FORBESWOMANAFRICA FEBRUARY / MARCH 2016

Three years after that disturbing diagnosis, in late 2015, the crowds cheered
under the bright lights of the cage at the
GrandWest Casino and Entertainment
World in Cape Town as she landed a
spinning back fist to knock her opponent
to the ground.
It had been a long fight for Power, her
first win was against the odd disease. She
thankfully opted for a second opinion that
changed her life forever. She was told the
infection was not genetic and that she was
going to be able to overcome it afterall.

Thereafter, Power, born and raised


in Johannesburg, trained hard for a
year, and made her boxing debut as an
amateur in 2013.
That boxing fight wasnt just a boxing
fight, it was a fight that I had fought for
my life, I had overcome adversity and I
still was able to do something that people
told me I could never do, says Power.
In 2014, in Cape Town, Power made
her amateur debut in extreme fighting, a
platform for Mixed Martial Arts (MMA),
turning professional as one of very few
women.
She had always enjoyed sport like
hockey and soccer, and being the only
female, finished high school playing in the
boys team.
It is nothing new to me, being the only
female at Fight Fit Militia gym. The gym
in Sunninghill is an extreme fighting and
training facility.

IT WAS A FIGHT THAT I


HAD FOUGHT FOR MY LIFE, I HAD
OVERCOME ADVERSITY AND I STILL
WAS ABLE TO DO SOMETHING THAT
PEOPLE TOLD ME I COULD NEVER DO.

I started learning about the sport, the


culture, the community and what mixed
martial arts was, once I started getting
involved, I wanted to challenge myself and
see where Im at because Im constantly
competing against males, I wanted to see
where I ranked against females and thats
when I asked if it would be a possibility if
they would let me fight; from there, it just
progressed from amateur to professional.
At the GrandWest Casino and Entertainment World, Cape Town, where Power made
her professional debut, she was also ranked
number one in South Africa after she won
against Englands extreme fighter Kirsty
Davis. It was a highly-anticipated fight.
It was the way I won my fight that
created hype about it, I couldnt have
been happier with that performance.
It was a spinning back fist that started
off the finish, it was a TKO [Technical
Knockout].

Power says it was her


best fight ever because of
the experience and the
performance.
Extreme Fighting
Championship (EFC), the
organization that allows
professional athletes to
compete in MMA in South
Africa, is yet to release the
titles for the female divisions.
There are a few women who
have made their debut and
are waiting to be considered for
the titles. Power is a flyweight (57
kilograms) contender. If she wins the
next big fight, she will be top of the list
because there are few women in the sport
with her willpower and winning streak.
Powers favorite technique is Muay
Thai, a combat sport that uses elbows,
knees, kicks and boxing as well.
I enjoy and adapted to that discipline
better because mixed martial arts used
about three or four techniques. Brazilian
jiu-jitsu was a very challenging discipline
for me, but as time progressed I felt I was
starting to understand it more so therefore
Im starting to enjoy it, she says. Power
emphasizes that it takes a lot of hard
work to get what you want, and whenever
you are stuck or are not progressing, she

advises aspiring extreme fighters to just


look back and see how far they have come.
The will and the strength to keep
pushing [is important], so just dont give
up, and keep going after your dreams, she
says. It took courage for Power to overcome her illness to become a knockout in
her chosen sport. It would take even more
courage to step in the cage with her. FW

I WANTED TO CHALLENGE MYSELF


AND SEE WHERE IM AT BECAUSE IM
CONSTANTLY COMPETING AGAINST MALES.
FEBRUARY / MARCH 2016 FORBESWOMANAFRICA | 83

TECHNOLOGY

Inside The House


Of The Future
In 2016, being connected means being connected
wirelessly. Tips and tricks from our tech expert to
future-proof your living spaces.
WORDS NAFISA AKABOR

84 | FORBESWOMANAFRICA FEBRUARY / MARCH 2016

hen you come home after a long day


at work, wouldnt it be nice to just
relax in the living room and savor your
Friends reruns on Netflix, or just listen
to your favorite playlists, saved on your
smartphone over wireless speakers? And
if you feel like continuing Friends in your
bedroom, just take your tablet and pick up
where you left off.
Now that Netflix has expanded
globally, including Africa, you can do
just that when you get home from work.
Video-on-demand services have become
mainstream with ShowMax leading the
way with its popular R99 ($6) a month
offering since 2015. And most recently,
weve seen the bigger players launch their
own music streaming services, like Apple
Music and Google Play Music.
The first thing you need to do is make
sure you have a decent net connection.
A minimum 4Mbps ADSL line is
recommended to stream content properly,
with a big enough data cap to get through
the month; uncapped is recommended
for larger households or heavy users. If
you have fiber in your area, sign up
immediately. A good tip would
be not to stream over 3G/
LTE as it is very expensive; to prevent this
from happening,
enable streaming
over WiFi only.
Next, you
should trial the
services that
interest you. If
youre looking
for TV series and
movies, you can take
a look at the following
VOD services: Netflix,

ShowMax or MTN-owned VU.


A basic Netflix account in South Africa
costs R129 ($8), and catalogues differ
vastly across regions. Another option
is ShowMax, which offers offline play,
handy if you find yourself traveling and
need to catch up on TV. If youre an MTN
customer, the advantage of signing up
with VU is that the data for streaming
over 3G is zero-rated, meaning its free.
You can subscribe for a weekend pass for
R39 ($2); a month-to-month for R99 or
just rent movies from R15 ($1) upwards.
Make use of free trial periods to gauge
how much data you use, or how long it
takes to buffer.
If youre undecided about which
service to choose, check with your partner
or family on what shows interest them
and who offers a wider selection to cater
to everyones needs.
If music helps you unwind in the
evenings, you should consider subscribing
to a music streaming service, because
nobody actually buys music anymore. You
can subscribe to Apple Music, Google
Play Music or Deezer. All three music
streaming services will cost a monthly fee
of R59 ($3.7), for an individual, and let you
stream as much music as you want.
If youre already an iPhone user, it
makes the most sense to subscribe to
Apple Music, which has a three-month
free trial and a family sharing option.
Similarly, if you are on Android, Google
Play Music would be the best option.
A unique feature is the ability to
upload your own music to Googles cloud
and listen to whats available in the
existing catalogue, plus your own music
seamlessly. If neither of these options
appeal, Deezer is an excellent alternate,
with over 40 million tracks in its library
FEBRUARY / MARCH 2016 FORBESWOMANAFRICA | 85

TECHNOLOGY
Now that youve subscribed to various
services, having good sound helps you
enjoy it a little more. A wireless soundbar
is a great addition to your living room.
There are various options available from
Samsung, JBL, or LG. You can even opt
to go with something premium from
Bang & Olufsen. There are many options
available but the key feature to look out
for is Bluetooth or some sort of wireless
connectivity to your existing devices, and
preferably USB ports; to plug in an MP3
player if the need arises.

Apple TV

Samsung
Sound Bar

Google Play

and a 30-day free trial. You can listen to


music ad-free on your mobile, laptop or
tablet. Choosing the right music streaming service all boils down to a matter of
preference.
Now that youve subscribed to various
services, you want to be able to watch TV
conveniently in your living room. A great
way to start is with a smart TV. Samsung
has excellent offerings, as well as LG.
Make sure you purchase newer models
(2015 and upwards) as they do support
apps like ShowMax; and have plenty of
ports (USB; HDMI). If youre splashing
out this year, opt for a 4K-resolution TV
because you want it to be relevant years
down the line.
The best media-streaming device currently is the new Apple TV (2015). You can
download apps such as Netflix, YouTube,
and even games; and play content wirelessly from an iDevice using AirPlay. You
can also play a two-player game of Crossy
Road with your child in the evenings.
Googles Chromecast or a Roku streaming
device (various models available) are other
options if youre not tied to one ecosystem.
All these devices plug into your existing
TV, either through HDMI or USB and add
another, more user-friendly layer.
86 | FORBESWOMANAFRICA FEBRUARY / MARCH 2016

Bang & Olufsen speakers

CONSIDER
SUBSCRIBING
TO A MUSIC
STREAMING
SERVICE,
BECAUSE
NOBODY
ACTUALLY
BUYS MUSIC
ANYMORE.

A few final touches to your smart living


room would be energy-efficient ambient
light bulbs that you can control via an
app, and air-conditioning. The Elgato
Avea bulbs work on iOS and Android
and let you choose from different moods
(cherry blossom, mountain breeze, magic
hour, etc) for different times of the day.
Samsung air-conditioners with inverter
technology means it consumes less energy
while keeping costs down, and you can set
timers.
Clearly, its time to scrap the morass of
wires concealed under duct tape in your
living room. FW

Samsung
Smart TV

Advertorial By

Its Not All Sweet In The Cake


Designer confectionery business owner, Annica van Rensburg knows how sweet it is to run her
own business but has also had to learn that every business comes with ups and downs.
Passion, persistence and the demand
for artistic cakes is what has turned
Annicas Cakes from a small baking
start-up, into a full-on designer cake
confectionary business.
Cake baking vs confectionary business.
Having moved from London to South Africa
in the late 90s, Annica van Rensburg quickly
changed careers from interior designer to
getting involved in a family-owned home
cake baking business.
Van Rensburg, soon after in 2000,
was running her designer confectionery
business.
Back then, 15 years ago, I would
have a whisk in one hand while taking
orders over the phone with the other
but now I run a 30-man, well-oiled
confectionery machine, says Van
Rensburg.
Challenges vs the wins. Admitting that it
was no easy feat, Van Rensburg describes
the process as gradual growth with many
challenges that have seen her sometimes
take a few steps back in order to go a few
more steps forward for the long term.
There have been many hardships and
losses that we have had to experience. It
is disappointing when things dont go the
way you envision them to but I have learned
that in business one should expect the
unexpected despite your good planning and
best intentions, she explains.
In essence, I have come to realize that it
is the challenges, and not the comfort zone,
that determine the growth of any business.
One of the biggest challenges was the
realization that the confectionery business is

as much about cakes as it is about the people.


In this business, one will encounter
different people with different needs and
personalities, from customers to the staff.
Starting the business I would have never
thought that my people skills would be as
important as being clued up about cakes,
she adds.
Expanding the business. Talking about
expansion, Van Rensburg explains that she
planned to franchise her business in earlier
years, however it happened to be just
before the 2008-2009 economic crash.
Things sometimes go the route
they are supposed to naturally and not
necessarily how you plan. When my plans
to franchise fell flat six years ago, I took it
as a sign that perhaps franchising was not
meant to be, she says.
Soon after, we came upon a property
that birthed the plans to expand by adding
a coffee shop and moving to the bigger
premises which has allowed us to increase
our production and expand our clientele
base beyond South Africas borders.
She adds, I followed my gut feeling and
the business just seemed to go. The industry,
customer demand has changed so much.
I have learned that I have to change the
business with the time.
We cant just be a designer cake business
who does the same things we did 15 years
ago.
Annicas Cakes recently launched an
online store to offer more convenience
to their clients as well as launching their
lifestyle confectionery range, offering
gluten, wheat and sugar-free products.
Advice received and advice to be given.
The best advice that I have received has
been from my husband who consistently
told me that no matter what comes my
way, stay calm and make a plan what
matters is not what happens, but how you
react to it, says Van Rensburg.
Weve had to remake a six-tier
wedding cake in a matter of hours after
a driver was involved in a small accident
that saw the cake fall apart en route to

being delivered taking note that it took


more than a day to make the original cake.
But our teams aim is always have your
cake and eat it, as customers expectations needs to be met, if not exceeded.
The advice Van Rensburg would
give to any young person looking to go
into confectionery business is that even
though they are a step ahead, it is the right
mindset that can make the difference for
success.
Fifteen years ago, we brought the
trend, when designer cakes were not a
thing. However, they should also remember that its not only about what you know
but the attitude in which you apply the
knowledge.
Go out there and create your own

ENTREPRENEURS

Pain and penury made


Busisiwe Mdletshe
persevere. Today, she
heads a successful
accounting firm in the
city, and is driving change
in her little African village.
WORDS JABULILE SOPETE

ts a scorching day in Johannesburg


when we meet Busisiwe Mdletshe,
clad in a chic knee-length dress and
black heels. At 35 years old, she has
a resume that would take as many pages to
list her achievements.
Mdletshe owns a swanky accounting
firm in the city and has a corporate profile
few can dream of. But it was hardship that
made her what she is today.
The eldest of eight children and born
to a factory worker father and a mother
who worked as a domestic helper in a
small village called Engonyameni, south of
Durban, in the South African province of
88 | FORBESWOMANAFRICA FEBRUARY / MARCH 2016

Her own life was far from perfect. Mdletshes parents were never married and lived
separately.
I was constantly moving between
relatives and that motivated me to remain
focused at school.
After finishing matric, Mdletshe
secured a place at university to study
accounting, but couldnt enrol for lack of
money.
This was until her stepmother advised
her father to secure an early retirement
from his factory job and withdraw
money from his pension fund to settle her
university fees. Her father, stepmother and
cousins joined hands to fund Mdletshes
education. And this despite the fact that
there were seven other siblings to feed.
I was frustrated a lot but that did not
demotivate me, I still knew that in order
for me to get out of that situation, I needed
to make sure I do well and get my degree,
she says.
Mdletshe obtained her bachelors
degree in accountancy, auditing and
taxation from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, and followed it up with a couple
of postgraduate degrees.
Going forward, Mdletshe wishes to
support the Department of Education to
ensure pupils who achieve the targeted

I knew that in order for me to get out


of that situation, I needed to make
sure that I do well and get my degree.
pass rates pursue their dreams at the
tertiary level.
She aims to host career expos every
year where professionals from institutions
can offer guidance to pupils. And the first
of many initiatives towards her vision
began in April 2015, when a number of
academic and business stakeholders
assembled in Engonyameni in support.
For me, I saw us breaking poverty in
that area, says Mdletshe.
The foundation has raised up to R40
million ($2.5 million) worth of bursaries
through its partnerships and has awarded
top achievers in the KwaZulu-Natal
region. Mdletshe had the mind to work
hard. The millions followed. FW

Photo by Motlabana Monnakgotla

An Account
Of Poverty
And Profit

KwaZulu-Natal, Mdletshe grew up poor,


very poor.
Very early she knew her ticket out of
poverty was to stay focused at school.
Encircled by rolling hills, acacia trees,
gurgling waterfalls and natural forests, the
idyllic landscape of Engonyameni could
have made anyone laidback about their
dreams.
Not her. Mdletshe today leads her own
company, BtmtCapital, which specializes
in accounting and tax advisory services.
Her focus is to ensure full tax compliance.
She inspects the tax impact of investment
and retirement decisions and also looks
at the tax and foreign exchange effects of
offshore investments.
Prior to starting her own company,
Mdletshe served as tax specialist and
auditor at South African Revenue
Services (SARS), where she led a team of
investigators.
Having gained experience from
Mercantile Bank and SARS, I realized
there was a niche in the market. We
needed to provide a service to those who
evaded tax, without intention, but [for]
lack of understanding [of ] compliance,
says Mdletshe.
Her most recent achievements include
a radio slot with Metro FM and Nongoma
FM, where she
offers finance and
investment tips.
Although Mdletshe is now immersed
in the high-powered
world of business
and living the sophisticated city life, she
says she will never forget her roots.
When I work at my company and
earn profit, I get happy, but when I see the
foundation bringing change to the youth, I
get satisfied, says Mdletshe of her BusiM
Foundation, an initiative she says was
inspired by a return visit to her hometown
and the schools she attended that pushed
her to strive for success.
In my village, there are a lot of
people who would pass matric but wont
pursue their studies further, due to
poverty limitations and lack of funding for
university. As a result, they end up having
babies or get married or attract diseases or
get involved in drugs.

EXECUTIVE MOTORING

Aventador photo by Betto Rodrigues / Shutterstock.


com; Nicki photo by Featureflash / Shutterstock.com

WORDS KRISTIJAN SRSA

hey say a mans car is an


extension of his ego. Not just a
type of transport, but a noble
trophy amplifying the prowess
and confidence of its owner. In the
world of the wealthy and famous, these
metal contraptions have become directly
proportional to the size of their keepers
bank accounts. You could say these
machines maketh the man.
Things have not changed as much as
we think. In the days of yore, the mode of
transport had minimal horse-power. If you
possessed a weak, old, decrepit one, it did
not do much for your campaign to become
Caesar or win the heart of an Aphrodite.
Although owning a chariot, fronted by
muscular steeds boasting chrome steel
hooves and glistening golden manes,
meant the world was your oyster.
There is no denying it.
The car is a status-symbol for the rich
and a dream machine for the aspirants in
their race to the top.
You do not have to be Jeremy Clarkson
to know about practicality, or that
form follows function. Apart from
getting the driver from point A to
point B, what other purpose could
a car possibly serve?
Are the gargantuan,
diesel off-roadsters really
apparatuses to express ones
machismo or compensate
for the lack of it? Are the
super-sporty, speed demons just
eye candy to distract from the shiny,
barren bellies of their middle-aged
owners?
And what about eco-friendly,
gluten-free cars? Do they really make
a difference?
But what maketh the ladies? Are
they too in tune with these idling

idols on four wheels? Is a car just some


kind of expensive accessory for a fashion
parade?
I believe that a car to a woman is
exactly what it should be. A simple tool
used for commuting safely and reliably.
Even though Christian Louboutin stilettos
and clutch pedals are not the best of
friends at times, they seem to get the job
done at the end of the day.
But there are women and then there
are the Paris Hiltons and Nicki Minajs
of the world. Now this is where things
get somewhat interesting. Paris drives a
Bentley Intercontinental GT and Nicki
owns a Lamborghini Aventador, both
costing a hefty quarter of a million United
States dollars. And wait, both cars are a
bright pink.
I think for these fine people, the
general purpose of the car is slightly
skewed. It becomes the basis of their
entire ensemble. In this case, it is the
accessory of all accessories, as important
as the Prada handbag, which sits proudly
on the passenger seat, and the glossy
Chanel lipstick that resides in the dark
depths of said bag.
Now, I wonder if owning a 1959 Rolls
Royce Silver Cloud makes Beyonc
Knowles more sophisticated and mature
compared to Paris and Nicki?
Or if Natalie Portmans
Toyota Prius will have
a moral impact on the
environment and change
the world forever?

1. Beyonce Knowles

1959 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud


($1,000,000)

2. Nicky Minaj

2014 Pink Lamborghini Aventador


($400,000)

3. Rihanna

Lamborghini Aventador ($400,000)

4. Gwen Stefani

Rolls Royce Wraith ($300,000)

5. Janet Jackson

Aston Martin Vanquish ($287,000)

6. J-Lo

Bentley Continental GT ($200,000)

7. Paris Hilton

Bentley Continental GT ($200,000)

8. Mariah Carey

Mercedes Benz SLK AMG ($200,000)

9. Lady Gaga

Audi R8 ($120,000)

10. Kim Kardashian

Mercedes G-Wagon ($119,000)

So, it seems that the rich and famous


have a reputation for doing things a little
differently to us. They are always pushing
the pedal and the boundaries of every
aspect of their paparazzi-filled lives,
where flash photography and smartphone
video clips become the caviar on the
crackers of fame and fortune. Because I
am sure it says in their resume somewhere
that this is the job description of the
famous to surprise, entertain and
sometimes even shock. FW

Nicki Minaj

FEBRUARY / MARCH 2016 FORBESWOMANAFRICA | 89

Prices are approximate based on online research

Does The
Machine
Maketh The
Woman?

Advertorial

CELEBRATING WOMEN IN BUSINESS

Forbes Woman Africa award winners (left to right): Lebo Selloane, Innovator of the Year; Maruva Munyati accepting the award on behalf of Wendy
Luhabe for Social Entrepreneur; Linda Olagunju, Emerging Entrepreneur

n November 19, over 60


African female entrepreneurs
gathered at the Saxon Hotel
in Sandton, South Africa,
to celebrate, support and
empower one another at the 2015 Womens
Entrepreneurship Day (WED) event.
The event, hosted by CNBC Africa in
partnership with Forbes Woman Africa,
featured various prominent businesswomen
who led a speaker series, sharing powerful
testimonies on their entrepreneurial
journey as well as the role of foundations in
empowering African entrepreneurs.
Marking its second anniversary,
Womens Entrepreneurship Day is a global
initiative recognised in over 144 countries
worldwide. The initiative aims to support

female entrepreneurs on every continent,


empower their businesses and bring
together women leaders ultimately to
develop an amplified, merged message to
expand businesses with social initiatives in
communities, both locally and globally.
Consul General Christopher Rowan
from the United States highlighted that
women around the world are still not
recognised as business leaders. Women
are underpaid, underrated and under
supported. We need to encourage the
progress of women entrepreneurs
in order to improve their chances of
success, says Rowan.
CEO of the Tony Elumelu Foundation
and architect of the entrepreneurship
programme, Parminder Vir OBE, gave

WOMEN ARE UNDERPAID, UNDERRATED AND UNDER SUPPORTED. WE


NEED TO ENCOURAGE THE PROGRESS OF WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS IN
ORDER TO IMPROVE THEIR CHANCES OF SUCCESS

U.S. Consul General Christopher Rowan


delivering the keynote address

LEAD SPONSOR:

insights on the importance of investing


in female entrepreneurs. Real
entrepreneurs are not grant seekers and
that Africa does not need aid, it needs
investors, says Vir.
Speaking on healing the economy,
MTN Zakhele Chairperson, Sindi
Mabaso-Koyana said: We should educate
our children so that they dont only find
jobs but can become entrepreneurs and
set a standard for the next generation.

Sindi Mabaso-Koyana, MTN Zakhele


Chairperson

The event also included an award


ceremony honouring four women in
business, presented by Forbes Woman
Africa: Wendy Luhabe was named Social
Entrepreneur of the Year; Linda Olagunju
was lauded as Emerging Entrepreneur;
Lebo Selloane was recognised as Innovator
of the Year, and Ipeleng Mkhari as Pioneer
Woman Entrepreneur of the Year.
Selma Shimutwikeni of Rich Africa, a
Namibian-based oil and gas company, shared

her testimony as a woman entrepreneur


and the challenges she has experienced in a
male-dominated industry. On this journey,
I was often confronted by scepticism
because Namibia is considered a frontier
territory in the oil and gas arena and such an
undertaking was too big for a petite, young
women. I used this platform to inspire
women by presenting a new avenue to
transformation through natural resources,
Shimutwikeni said in her speech.

Parminder Vir OBE, CEO of the Tony


Elumelu Foundation and Nola Mashaba,
WED South Africa Ambassador

Investing Smart Panel Discussion: Moderated by CNBC Africas Nozipho Mbanjwa. Panellists (left to
right): Parminder Vir OBE, CEO of the Tony Elumelu Foundation; Valdene Reddy, Head Equity & Equity
Derivatives, JSE; Lizeka Matshekga, IDCs Industrial Infrastructure Head; Polo Radebe, Chief Executive
Officer of IDF
Thank you to our sponsors:
AFRICA

Kusile Mthunzi-Hairwadzi, Head of MTN


Foundation, MTN South Africa

Selma Shimutwikeni, Rich Africa

OPINION / SOMEWHERE IN KENYA

lmost half of Kenyas population has no access to clean


water, according to the World
Bank.
Waterborne diseases, such as cholera,
typhoid, and hepatitis A, can ravage
poorer communities; with women and
children most at risk.
Three companies, Jaguar Land Rover,
ClimateCare and Vestergaard, are trying
to eradicate this problem by supplying
schools, in Bungoma County, an agricultural region in Western Kenya, with
water filters. The hope is that the children
will not get sick if they drink safe water.
Theyll then not miss school, be more
likely to get good grades and increase
their chance of seeing a brighter future.
Its one of the most underdeveloped
areas of Western Kenya. Infrastructure
is almost non-existent. The buildings I
entered had no plumbing or electricity.
The houses and schools were made of
mud, wooden poles and corrugated iron.
They are dark and humid, like an oven
baking in the sun.
The heat inside each classroom is
stifling, each small desk is shared by
three children they barely have enough
space to write. Many of their uniforms
hang from their slight bodies. Parents are
forced to buy uniforms that are too large
so the children will grow into them. They
need to last for years.
Bungoma is an agricultural region.
People are reliant on water from nearby
streams or boreholes. Both sources are
often contaminated by pit latrines.
The harsh elements in Bungoma
contradict its natural beauty. The land is
green, with small hills rolling as far as the
eye can see. Large boulders are littered
everywhere. The soil is red and rich in
nutrients, making it easier to grow crops.
Almost every house has maize, beans or
bananas growing around it.
Poverty is rife, buildings are basic or

92 | FORBESWOMANAFRICA FEBRUARY / MARCH 2016

falling apart, and although the main road


is tarred and in decent condition, the rest
are muddy and inaccessible by car.
Cars are rare anyway. Motorbikes and
bicycles are the main form of transport.
All are fitted with cushioned seats above
the rear wheel to transport passengers.
The makeshift taxis swarm along the
roads. It seemed chaotic to me but they
understand how the system works, and
despite my fear, I never saw an accident.
Chicken and goats roam along the sides
of the road, past the many spaza shops,
cellphone airtime and data vendors, and
bike repair shops. These are the most
popular businesses for a community that
relies on entrepreneurship to survive.
While delivering a water filter to one
of the schools, a handful of us walked
down a slippery and steep muddy road to
a spring at the bottom. We passed women
tending their crops, crushing maize or
making bricks in large homemade clay
ovens. Some are less enterprising though.
A 24-year-old man, spotting us walking
through his neighborhood, was intrigued
enough to leave his group of friends and
the quarts of beer they were glugging.
His intrigue soon turned to incredulity
when told the filters were for the school
and not his home. The fact that his four

WORDS GARETH COTTERELL

children would benefit from the filter did


not placate him. He told us he needed one
because he was poor. His lack of income,
though, wouldnt stop him from having
more kids. He said he hoped to have three
or four more.
Life is hard in Bungoma and any help is
appreciated.
My biggest hope is to be educated
so that I can pass my exams and go to
university and look for a job. My biggest
challenge will be money, it may be the
reason I will not achieve my dream, says
Vivienne Wafula, a shy nine-year-old
schoolgirl.
Sharon Cherubet Chepkwemoi, the
head girl at her school, dreams of becoming a doctor.
I want to fix the many challenges that
people here face, she says.
Shell need to go to university to
achieve this.
My parents are farmers, but they are
not that rich, so it will be a challenge.
Both girls are smart, ambitious and
resourceful. Sadly, neither Wafula nor
Chepkwemoi are likely to escape the grip
of poverty in a part of Africa forgotten by
the rest of the world. FW
School children are given a demonstration on
how to use a water filter

Photo by Gareth Cotterell

Beauty And Boulders


In Bungoma

OPINION / WEF DAVOS 2016

Is The Africa Rising


Story In Jeopardy?
WORDS GUGULETHU CELE

old. Expensive. Concerning.


These words have been the
top three words I have used to
describe our most recent visit
to the 47th edition of the World Economic
Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
The beautiful snow laden ski-town,
nestled in the Alps, played host to over
2,500 delegates from across the globe.
Present were heads of state, political
leaders, business executives, members
of civil society and the like, who braved
sub-zero temperatures to explore the
theme for this year the 4th Industrial
Revolution and its impact on economies.
But this year, the conversation on
robotics and artificial intelligence was
over-shadowed by a myriad of concerns
the global market environment and
its negative impact on the Africa rising
narrative and of course the minimal
attendance of women at the meeting.

Photo by Motlabana Monnakgotla

Where are the women?


Over the last few decades, the participation of women at the forum has improved,
albeit at a slow pace. This year, only 18%
of contributors were women, a slight
improvement from the 17% attendees
in 2015. But are our voices being heard?
Yes. Several panel discussions and side
events were held at the meeting to
truly understand the economic impact of
empowering the fairer sex.
Bea Perez, Global Chief Sustainability
officer at Coca-Cola, reminded us why
corporates like the soft drink manufacturer continue their focus and investment in
women.
We know women drive the economy.
When they participate, they also give
96 cents of the dollar they earn back to
strengthen their communities, said Perez.
Also in attendance at the forum was
a woman who holds the purse strings to
Africas largest economy Kemi Adeosun,
Nigerias Finance Minister. So too, was

Mary Barra, the CEO of General


Motors.
They join Davos veterans
Sheryl Sandberg, Facebooks Chief
Operating Officer, and Christine
Lagarde, IMF head, among over
500 outstanding female leaders
from every part of public life.

Global market concerns


The global market environment
got off to a rickety start in 2016.
The worlds attention remains
fixed on the change in growth
models in China away from
infrastructure to a consumption-led
economy, the United States, which has
managed to show signs of marginal
strength in its economy and begun to raise
interest rates in December 2015, and the
commodity price cycle. With the price of
oil at 12-year lows and the prices of base
metal commodities like gold, platinum,
iron ore and copper significantly weaker,
emerging markets are bearing the brunt of
these pressures.
Such pressure was evidently felt in
our exchange rate. With one Swiss Franc
(CHF) at R16.74 at the time of our visit, a
simple meal of a burger and coke set me
back CHF21.50 or around R370 enough
money to provide a meal for a family of
four back home.
Despite the market volatility, Oscar
Onyema, CEO of the Nigerian Stock
Exchange, remains confident that Africa
plays home to equity markets which
continue to see interest from investors,
regardless of the global market conditions.
We just have to ride the cycles, he said.
These sentiments were echoed by
Nicky Newton-King, CEO of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.
We have got to understand that there
is a new normal out there, low growth in
an uncertain global world, good investment opportunities will come, but we still

have a chance to compete with our global


peers, said Newton-King.

Give us hope!
With all the negative sentiment, one would
think this would deter investors. While the
leaders of these global companies continue
to monitor the headlines, they are concerned but not discouraged by the current
economic cycle.
I think it depends really on your time
profile for your investments, I think theres
a growing interest from people who have a
five to ten year view of what they want to
be investing in to actually go to Africa, said
Geoffrey White, CEO of Agility Africa.
We are long-term investors, with our
roots in Africa South Africa to be exact.
Despite the challenges at a macro level, we
see the needs of the consumer and we are
providing them with the service, we will roll
out capital prudently, added Ralph Mupita,
CEO of Old Mutual Emerging Markets.
While the challenges are clear, Africa is
still on the agenda.
And, perhaps, as the conversation
continues to evolve and the participation
of women increases, the message about
our continent from Davos will be warm,
inclusive and exciting. FW
The writer is a financial journalist and
senior anchor with CNBC Africa.
FEBRUARY / MARCH 2016 FORBESWOMANAFRICA | 93

PERSONAL BRANDING

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A-Lister: How To Build Your
Personal Brand, Jen Su is a
financial news anchor with
BDTV, as well as a presenter on Sky News
African Business Report, Cape Talk Entertainment and The Buzz on CliffCentral.
Her book is a personal story of hardship,
failures, challenges, and
secrets to achieving
success.

What to you
is personal
branding?
Personal
branding is
the process
you take to
establish
your im-

pression on other people about yourself.


You are your personal brand, and you
need to leverage your brand in the best
possible way to make it happen for yourself, whatever field you pursue. Personal
branding is shaped through your presence
on social media, how you conduct yourself in person, and through your work.

What are the ways to keep reinventing and staying relevant in the
media industry?
Make sure you are easily found on
social media, and update your website and various platforms. Social
networking, used properly, is the
key to really reach out, touch people, and interact. Be extra careful
about how you express yourself on
social media, and bear in mind the
legal consequences if your tweet or
post is perceived in offense.
Keep your content interesting
and cutting-edge, keep ahead of
the trends, and get that breaking
news out fast. Post frequently
about projects you are involved with, and offer advice
and interesting discussions
on topics that your clients or
your audience is interested
in.
Push hard to stay relevant
by earning an additional
degree, taking extra voice
training or public speaking
courses, joining a professional broadcasting group,
or having an image consultant
upgrade your public presence,

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and strengthening your interpersonal


skills. Continue innovating on your core
assets. Never rest on your laurels, because
in the media industry, theres always
someone hotter, faster, and better.

How do you juggle work and personal


life?
Time management is key, as work, travel
from Africa to Asia to America, and
raising two young children is extremely
challenging. Im meticulous about my
schedule, I delegate, I write long to-do
lists, I prioritize, and allow for sufficient
me time, to de-stress.

What motivated the title of your


book?
From Z to A-Lister: How To Build Your
Personal Brand describes my challenging
journey of starting over in six countries
from America to Asia to Africa; starting
from zero and networking to achieve
success, only to have to do it again and
again each time I moved countries. The
motivating factor that tied into my secrets
to success has been personal branding and
networking through social events, plus
Asian graces, a Zen approach to discipline,
and an ability to reinvent.

Do you have entrepreneurial dreams?


Yes, of course! Ive got many, from developing my own international real estate
conglomerate to launching a signature
line of hats. Well see where time and
circumstances take me in the coming
years. FW

94 | FORBESWOMANAFRICA FEBRUARY / MARCH 2016

Interviewed by Jabulile Sopete

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FEBRUARY / MARCH 2016 FORBESWOMANAFRICA | 95

THE LAST WORD


FORBES WOMAN AFRICA: Why are
assertive men known as bosses and
bossy women known as bitches?
Anele Mdoda: It is a double-edged sword.
When women get to higher positions, they
harden a little and are justified in doing
so, because as a woman you have to work
twice as hard for half the recognition. It
is easy for men to be laid-back because
when a man makes a mistake, it is simply
an individual making a mistake. When a
woman in her individual capacity makes
a mistake, then it is all women who get
painted with the same brush. She is not
incompetent because she made a mistake,
but rather because she is a woman.
FWA: What green room conversations
do the all-female cast of Bitches Be Back
have about the men?
AM: We discuss men and everything
else. When we did the photoshoot,
conversations went from where I bought

my dress to what we are going to have for


lunch, Tumis new hairstyle and Celestes
one-woman tour. Men think we talk about
them all the time. We do not.
FWA: What qualities do you most admire
in your female colleagues?
AM: Accountability, constant growth and a
constant flowing river of creativity.
FWA:What do you most hate?
AM: Our eating habits.
FWA: Will a female comedian ever get
a chance a la Trevor Noah? Is stand-up
comedy still male-dominated?
AM: Yes we will get a chance and yes
comedy is still male-dominated. Show me a
profession that isnt.
FWA: What is the most overrated thing
youve seen?
AM: Anger on social media.

Men
Think
We Talk
About
Them All
The Time
96 | FORBESWOMANAFRICA FEBRUARY / MARCH 2016

FWA: If you were to die and come back


as a thing, what would that be?
AM: Water.
FWA: Your advice to women with
stage fright or fear to speak up in the
boardroom?
AM: If it matters to you, speak up, even if
you tremble, and no one has ever died from
hearing a no so ask anyway and lastly, there
is not a person on earth who is not nervous
to speak publicly. NO ONE! They just
conquer that demon daily.
FWA: Fifty two percent of the worlds
population is female. Why is it still a
mans world?
Because women allow them. FW
Interviewed by Methil Renuka
Anele Mdoda (third from right) with the entire
cast of Bitches Be Back

Bitches
Be Back, the
sequel to the 2013
show, Bitches, will be
staged in Johannesburg in
February with an all-female
cast of local comedians including
Tumi Morake, Celeste Ntuli, Noko
Moswete, Thenjiwe Moseley and
Nina Hastie. South African radio
personality Anele Mdoda, who
will host the show, tells us
why she thinks its still
a mans world.