2017 win­ner is break­ing down bar­ri­ers

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - NOKUTHULA ZWANE nokuthula.zwane@inl.co.za

DR THANDI Ndlovu was named the 2017 Woman of Sub­stance re­cip­i­ent as the African Women Char­tered Ac­coun­tants Fo­rum (AWCA) cel­e­brated its 15th an­nual awards.

More than 300 in­vited guests gath­ered in Sun City on Au­gust 6 to cel­e­brate an in­di­vid­ual who has ac­tively eroded stereo­types and bro­ken down bar­ri­ers to broaden the pos­si­bil­ity of op­por­tu­ni­ties for black women in strate­gic ar­eas of busi­ness, ac­cord­ing to AWCA pres­i­dent Le­sego Sen­nelo.

Ndlovu ded­i­cated her award to Zanele Mbeki, be­cause of what she stood for dur­ing the Strug­gle. The women were both in ex­ile to­gether and Mbeki en­cour­aged her to strive to make her dreams come true.

A doc­tor by pro­fes­sion, Ndlovu has been a part of build­ing com­mu­ni­ties af­ter she started a pri­vate med­i­cal prac­tice in Or­ange Farm, south of Joburg in the 1990s.

Ndlovu told The Star that she has a num­ber of hob­bies, one of which in­cludes climb­ing moun­tains like Mount Kil­i­man­jaro. She added that the feel­ing she ex­pe­ri­enced while climb­ing the moun­tain was one of anx­i­ety and she felt the ex­act same way be­fore win­ning the Woman of Sub­stance Award.

“I was sur­prised and I said to the or­gan­is­ers ‘noth­ing scares me, I just go head first into any­thing I want to do’. I love chal­lenges, but this award makes me feel a lit­tle bit scared about how I am go­ing to carry this. It’s such a huge re­spon­si­bil­ity be­cause of the women who have come be­fore me,” said Ndlovu. She is the founder of Motheo Con­struc­tion Group, one of South Africa’s big­gest black fe­male-owned con­struc­tion en­ter­prises.

“The main rea­son I ac­cepted the nom­i­na­tion is be­cause of the work this or­gan­i­sa­tion is do­ing in a sec­tor where we had a de­fi­ciency of strong lead­er­ship. They are nur­tur­ing women to take on strong lead­er­ship roles through men­tor­ship and up­skilling,” she said. When she was nom­i­nated, Ndlovu said she felt hon­oured and priv­i­leged to be among a list of amaz­ing women who have had an im­pact on so­ci­ety.

Pre­vi­ous win­ners in­clude Dr Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Ad­vo­cate Thuli Madon­sela and Dr Wendy Luhabe.

Last year’s re­cip­i­ent of the award was for­mer African Union (AU) Com­mis­sion chair­per­son Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, who said it was im­por­tant to make the agenda of the AU a re­al­ity.

Other win­ners on the night were Nana Madikane for Au­dit Part­ner of the year; Pri­vate Chief Ex­ec­u­tive of the year was Zyda Ry­lands; and Pub­lic Sec­tor Chief Fi­nan­cial Of­fi­cer of the year went to Nonku­l­uleko Dlamini.

Min­is­ter of Arts and Cul­ture Nathi Mthethwa, was among the dis­tin­guished del­e­gates to hon­our phe­nom­e­nal women in the field of char­tered ac­coun­tants and en­trepreneur­ship.

Woman of Sub­stance is an event that hon­ours and recog­nises South Africa’s most ex­cep­tional women achiev­ers.

The awards event was held in Bryanston last week­end, and is an an­nual flag­ship event, launched in 2005, where a care­fully cho­sen woman is hon­oured and pre­sented with the award of “AWCA Woman of Sub­stance”.

PIC­TURES: NOKUTHULA MBATHA

WIN­NERS: Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, left, last year’s win­ner, with the 2017 Woman of Sub­stance, Dr Thandi Ndlovu, and the pres­i­dent of the African Women Char­tered Ac­coun­tants Fo­rum, Le­sego Sen­nelo, far right.

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