100 World Class South Africans: Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma

2013-08-08 12:00

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First Lady of African politics

She had to go through three rounds of voting to secure the post of chairperson of the African Union Commission, but it’s just another graceful victory for Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

She seems to be someone who handles positions of power with a quiet strength.

As a medical student Dlamini-Zuma was elected deputy president of the SA Students Organisation in 1976 – her first leadership position and one of many to come.

After living in exile for over a decade, she returned to SA in 1990 to be part of the Gender Advisory Committee during Codesa.

Later, in the new government, Dlamini-Zuma served as Minister of Health, of Foreign Affairs and Home Affairs.

In 2012 she resigned as an MP to head up the AU Commission where her job involves defending Africa’s interests, strategic planning, preparing special studies and addressing the UN and other international conferences.

She deals with everything from peace and security to agriculture to social, political and economic issues.

In 2002 the International Women’s Forum (somewhat presciently) gave her a Women Who Make a Difference award, and last year the Palazzo Strozzi Foundation in Italy named her International Renaissance Woman of the Year.

Who better to get work done in Africa?

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