Another UFH alumnus has launched a book!

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Nolitha Fakude, a corporate executive and businesswoman has captured her life experiences in the corporate industry in a memoir titled, Boardroom Dancing. The memoir takes the reader through Ms Fakude’s journey of a shopkeeper’s daughter who has occupied very senior positions in the boardrooms of some major blue-chip companies including, Nedbank, Sasol and Anglo American.

Fakude, who is originally from the Eastern Cape, has spent her 29-year career focusing on the development of women and marginalised communities in the workplace and society.  She has a BA(Hons) degree from the University of Fort Hare in 1989.After graduating, she worked her way up from a Graduate Trainee at Woolworths to becoming one of the country’s most influential businesswomen as Group Director and Chairperson of Anglo American’s Management Board – the largest mining company in South Africa. She assumed this role on 1st September 2019.

Among other senior roles, Fakude has previously served as Managing Director and later President of the Black Management Forum as well as Executive Director at Sasol for many years.  Currently, she sits on numerous boards including the JSE Limited and Afrox Limited. According to her publishers, Pan Macmillan, Boardroom Dancing is a personal journey, as well as a lesson for South Africans committed to the transformation of boardrooms and the economy.In a note to her Publishers Ms Fakude states: “After being on this earth for more than five decades, surely I had earned the right to tell ‘Our story’ of corporate South Africa’s transformation from my perspective, for My story is Our story.”

According to Ms Fakude, her story is a tale of many shared experiences that so many who grew up in South Africa pre-1994 with affirmative action and post-1994 with employment equity, know very well.

“Against many odds, as black professionals in the 90s and black women professionals in particular, we had everything thrown at us to slow down our career trajectories. It took great tenacity but we thrived and excelled, not least because we knew that anything less would reinforce the negative stereotypes at play at the time.”

Ms Fakude hopes her memoir will invoke the reader’s urge to want to have a much more open and deeper discussion about how a shared future should look like.

In her review, Dr Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of UN Women, said the memoir is “a masterclass in how success might be achieved.”