I am a retired Entrepreneur, an Author, Mentor and a Professional Chartered Director (SA). My qualifications include CA (SA), CD (SA), BCompt (Hons), CTA, Advanced Taxation Certificate, Advanced Diploma in Financial Planning and Advanced Diploma in Banking. How can I forget, I also have a PHD from the University of Hard Knocks.

“On 31 October 2016, I retired as CEO of Nkonki Inc and sold my shareholding through a management buyout.  This ended my 23 years of adrenaline and risk driven entrepreneurship ever since co-founding Nkonki in January 1993”

In 1990, I became the second black woman in South Africa to qualify as a Chartered Accountant. In 1998 I was the youngest woman to win South Africa’s Business Woman of the Year Award from the Executive Women’s Club.

In 2005, I was awarded the Metropolitan Eastern Cape Achiever Award in the Finance Category which I publicly handed over to my then 80 year old mother Mambhele, who “raised me up to stand up on mountains, who raised me up to walk on stormy seas and who raised me up to more than I could be”. I handed it over to her as my success was her success and I did not want that to go unnoticed and let her be an unsung hero.

In 2008, I received a Woman of Substance Award from the African Women Chartered Accountant’s Forum. Furthermore, in 2014 I also received the “Woman of Professional Integrity Award” from the South African Professional Services Awards. Prior to my retirement in 2016, I was awarded an “Outstanding CEO of a Black Audit Firm Award” by South African Professional Services Awards.

In 2013, I authored “The Ace Model – Winning Formula for Audit Committees”. This book was used by the Institute of Directors to train Audit Committee members in South Africa. In 2016, I authored my second book, “Boards and Committee Effectiveness Model” which was published by KR Publishing.

I have been married to Sva Zilwa, an Attorney, for more than 25 years. We have been blessed with two daughters Liza (20 years) and Lihle (11 years) and I am a Jehovah’s Witness.