These women rock their worlds

2012-08-11 13:04

As South Africa celebrates Woman’s Month, these Business Woman of the Year finalists have made their mark in the top echelons of business as they are nominated by the Businesswomen’s Association of South Africa now in its 33rd year in celebration

Dawn Rowlands
Chief Executive, Aegis Media SSA

Dawn Rowlands has a flair for media that has seen her winning awards in recognition of her work in this
fast-paced and diverse field.

Rowlands has experience in the industry spanning more than 20 years, with a vast knowledge of media planning.

She is also a shareholder in Nota Bene and a founding member of Posterscope.

In 2009, she was appointed chief executive of Aegis Media South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa, a position that she has taken in her stride. She has since achieved growth of 274%.

She boasts accolades for media agency of the year in 2010 and 2011. Last year, she received an award for digital agency of the year and was also ADReview advertising achiever of the year.

Mapule Mphaki
Marketing Director, Aveng

She is a managing director at a leading infrastructure development group that provides a diverse range of services in engineering, construction, mining, steel and manufacturing.

With a background in teaching, it’s a steep learning curve to where she is today.

She has established herself in the business arena she now manages.

Mphaki holds a BA in the Humanities and is qualified in strategic marketing.

Her business background started at Saatchi & Saatchi, where she was a senior sales consultant.

She then worked her career up to being a business development manager at Graphicor and also put her foot on the door at Aveng as a sales and marketing manager.

Mphaki’s achievements at Aveng moulded her for the top and her current position.

Jacqueline Brown
Port Manager, East London

She is described as a “dynamic executive manager whose vision and hands-on leadership has contributed to the Port of East London becoming an indispensable partner in the continued growth and development of the Eastern Cape”.

A skilled manager with a passion for transformation and empowerment, Jacqueline presides over a vibrant port authority that services the province’s automotive, agriculture, manufacturing and construction industries.

She has made it a management priority to remove gender obstacles and to diversify what has traditionally
been a male-dominated industry.

She still spends as much time as possible with her son, though.

Her leisure time interests include reading, writing, playing tennis and going to the theatre.

She is completing an MBA.

Johanna Mukoki
MD and joint founder of Travel with Flair

Johanna Mukoki was the first African to be appointed on the Global Tourism Board of the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE), representing Africa and the Middle East. She is the youngest on this board.

ACTE is a global education and advocacy platform for industry dialogue and debate, as well as a practical source of executive travel expertise.

Today, ACTE has membership in 82 countries and reaches more than 6 000 business travel executives worldwide.

Mukoki has received numerous business awards and has been recognised at home and abroad.

She conceptualised, presented and was executive producer of SABC2’s Women on the Move, a business programme highlighting successful South African businesswomen.

She is a board member of the Salvation Army and helps them with fundraising for their children shelters.


Priakumari Hassan
Chief Executive, WoAInvestments

As a legal expert and board adviser, Hassan is championing the rights and abilities of women through Woman of Africa Investments, which she leads.

She is a property legal expert by training, and also studied strategic management.

She has nine years of experience in the field of property development, management and consulting.

She has held a number of executive positions and directorships, including for Women in Energy SA and Afrika Imbokodo Holdings.

She is also a non-executive director at Ilumina Capital.

She currently chairs and directs Sasol Inzalo Groups Limited, is a Businesswomen’s Association KZN director, and a board adviser to Westmead Logistics and the Coastlands Hotel Group.


Margaret Hirsch
Chief Executive, Hirsch’s Homestores

Iam extremely honoured to be nominated for businesswoman of the year.

I feel that my role is to go forward and show other women who are working in corporate companies that they can leave the corporate environment, start their own businesses and be successful.

I think businesswomen must realise that they can work for themselves and be more successful than they would have been in a corporate environment.

It takes courage to leave the corporate world and start out on your own.

It takes courage to fight the hardships you will face starting your own business, but the satisfaction at the end is worth all the effort you are going to put in.

The biggest challenge facing businesswomen is how to juggle their personal and their work lives.

My greatest assets and my only true wealth are my two children, my two grandchildren and having a successful relationship with my partner.


Roberta Naidoo

Group Managing Director, ABN Board

Naidoo’s many roles include being the chairperson of the Africa Business News (ABN) Education Trust, ABN Nigeria and ABN Kenya; and being managing director of ABN Productions, ABN Pictures and the ABN Training Institute.

She joined CNBC Africa in February 2008 as the head of finance and took over as ABN Group managing director last year. She is currently responsible for the overall operations of the ABN Group, which includes CNBC Africa
and Forbes Africa.

Apart from overseeing financial strategy, planning and forecasts, she works directly with the company’s vice chairperson on strategic growth and opportunities across Africa.

She is studying for her MBA and is a member of the International Women’s Media Foundation and the Business women’s Association of South Africa.

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