VI­OLA MANUEL

Finweek English Edition - - TOP WOMEN -

CEO OF COL­LAB­O­RA­TIVE STAKE­HOLDER MOVE­MENT Start­ing her ca­reer at South African Air­ways, Manuel rose up the ranks to be­come head of depart­ment in train­ing be­fore set­ting out on her own. She com­pleted her MBA with the He­riot Watt Busi­ness School in Ed­in­burgh, Scot­land. Cur­rently she is CEO of Col­lab­o­ra­tive Stake­holder Move­ment and ex­ec­u­tive for the At­lantis Spe­cial Eco­nomic Zone pro­ject of­fice. She also serves on the board of the Na­tional Sea Res­cue In­sti­tute and the Western Province Rugby Union – where she is the only woman on the board. She is also the vice-chair of the South African Re­new­able Energy Busi­ness In­cu­ba­tor (Sarebi). She was ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Cape IT Ini­tia­tive for two years be­fore join­ing the Cape Cham­ber of Com­merce. Masemola grad­u­ated with a BA de­gree in Live Per­for­mance and Mo­tion Pic­ture from Afda in 2002. She is a found­ing mem­ber of the ur­ban pop group Gang of In­stru­men­tals – she also cowrites the group’s songs and is its lead singer. It is signed to Black Soul Ink, a com­pany Masemola co-founded. She is part of the com­pany’s man­age­ment team and she also co-founded the pro­duc­tion com­pany Black Brain Pic­tures. Black Brain Pic­tures was my big­gest break. We came out of ter­tiary, had a con­cept and pitched it to SABC 1 for a R4m ten­der. They didn’t take us on at first. But we didn’t give up. We de­cided to raise the money our­selves to shoot an episode of the sit­com and went back to show them that we can ac­tu­ally do this. They be­lieved in us enough to give us a chance, but pro­vided us with men­tor­ship and part­nered us with ex­pe­ri­enced pro­duc­ers to make sure we could ex­e­cute the pro­duc­tion of the sit­com. We had to learn soft busi­ness skills by first un­der­stand­ing the prin­ci­ples of man­ag­ing a pro­duc­tion and all the costs that come with it, such as pay­ing staff, PAYE and tax. We’ve had to do cour­ses, do a lot of read­ing and sur­round our­selves with busi­ness own­ers and busi­ness men­tors. You need to find out what suc­cess means for you as an in­di­vid­ual. There will al­ways be some­one bet­ter than you, do not com­pare your­self with oth­ers. Se­condly, in the cor­po­rate world, it is easy to be con­sumed with the next big job you need to do. Do the best you can to ful­fil the role of your cur­rent job. Fo­cus on what you are do­ing and do it well. Fi­nally, take peo­ple along with you. As much as you want to be given op­por­tu­ni­ties, you also need to give peo­ple op­por­tu­ni­ties.

ANY AD­VICE FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO MAKE IT IN YOUR SEC­TOR?

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