Judy Dlamini is a South African entrepreneur, medical doctor, philanthropist, and author. She is the Founder and Executive Chairman of Mbekani Group. Also, she is the first black female Chancellor of the University of the Witwatersand. She was appointed Chancellor in December 2018.
Generally, Judy is a businesswoman and has served on the board of several companies. Recently, she was named one of Forbes 50 Most Powerful Women in Africa.
Judy Dlamini Background
Dlamini was born Nobuhle Judith Dlamini on July 6, 1959. She was born and raised in Westville, Natal. Her father (Thomas) was an entrepreneur, and her mother (Rita), a primary school teacher. She hails from a family who emphasized the value of education as a way out of poverty (a belief she holds on to till date).
First, she started her university education at the University of Natal, earned an MBChB, and became a Medical Doctor in 1985. Next, between 1995 – 1996, Judy attended the University of Free State to earn a Diploma in Occupational Health.
Thereafter, she bagged an MBA from the University of the Witwatersand. Next, a Doctor of Business Leadership from the University of South Africa (UNISA), 2014. Besides that, she earned the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Certificate from Stanford University in 2018.
Judy Dlamini Personal Life
Judy is married to Sizwe Nxasana, and their union is blessed with children. Sizwe is the co-founder of the Sifiso Learning Group. Also, he is a businessman and one of the first black chartered accountants in South Africa.
Judy Dlamini Early Career
Judy was a Medical Family Practitioner who specialised in Occupational Health and Consultation. After 13 years of practice, she ventured into business. She established her own business and also served on the board of other companies. Prior to that, she worked as a Senior Manager in HSBC South Africa from 2001 – 2003.
First, she served on the board of Aspen Pharmacare Limited (Aspen), a JSE-listed South African Pharmaceutical manufacturer and distributor both as the Director and Non-executive director at different times.
Besides, she is also a non-executive director of South Africa (SA) SME Fund. This is an initiative of the SA government and the SA private sector to create jobs and grow an inclusive and sustainable economy.
Basically, Judy has served on the board of several companies such as; Anglo American plc, Woolworths Holdings Ltd., CEPPWAWU Development Trust, e.t.c
Judy Dlamini is the founder and Executive Chairman of Mbekani Group. The company is located in the Johannesburg area, South Africa, and was established in 1996.
Generally, Mbekani has made investments in different sectors of the economy; health, property facilities & management, tourism, pharmaceuticals.
Similarly, Mbekani deals in the importation of surgical instruments and consumables. It oversees the running of sterile services (CSSD & TSSU) and facilities management.
Also, the company runs a luxury fashion retail store and manages commercial properties, as well as private equity portfolio investment in different sectors. Currently the company boast of over 150 employees, the bulk of which are female.
Aside the Mbekani Group, Judy and her husband, Sizwe are also founders of other businesses. For instance, they co-founded Mkhiwa Trust; a family Public Benefit Organisation (PBO) with a focus on rural development and education.
Also, in honour of their late Son, Sifiso, the duo co-founded the Sifiso Learning Group. The Learning Group aims to assist students in fulfilling their potential. It comprises of the Future Nation Schools, Sifiso Publishers, Sifiso Education Properties and the Sifiso EdTech. In addition, it promotes gender equality, provides education and other training that aid students’ growth.
Also, Dlamini owns a Luxury retain store, Luminance and has authored two bestselling books – Equal but Different and The Other Story.
Award And Recognition
In December 2018, Judy was appointed Chancellor of the University of Witwatersrand. With the appointment, she became the first black woman to attain that position. Also, she was appointed to the Board of Directors of African Philanthropy Forum in 2019. Then, in 2020, she was named one of Forbes 50 Most Powerful Women in Africa.
Similarly, other recognitions include;
- Lifetime Achiever Award, African Economy Builder, 2016
- Global CEO’s Africa’s Most Influential Woman in Business and Government, 2016
- Fabulous Woman Award, 2016
- Woman of Substance Award, AWCA, 2018
- Leadership in Practice Awards, UNISA, 2018
- Woman in Leadership Award, Unisa Graduate School of Business Leadership, 2018
- Honorary Doctorate in Business, Nelson Mandela University, 2018
- Honorary Doctorate in Economics, University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) in Economics, 2019
Judy Dlamini Quotes
“Education is a liberator – the education of one person has the power to change outcomes in a village. Educated people who are successful make success accessible in unlikely neighbourhoods.”
“It is my strong belief that people are born equal but different. It is a belief that equity across gender, race, social class, and sexual orientation will be attained in my lifetime.”
“Our mindset every day is a battle. If we have an inclusive culture everyone will be able to perform at their best,”
“Equality is good for the economy, good for the community and good for our daughters. Having an equal society isn’t simply a favour towards women, and we need to have men alongside us fighting for equality.”
“In business and life, you have to work hard, you have to have integrity and you have to choose your partners carefully.”
“If you stick to stereotypes about who can lead, you will have a very mediocre leadership.”
“The only way out of poverty is through quality education. Any self-respecting country has to be able to educate its poor, and this includes comprehensive free higher education for academically deserving students.”
Lessons From The Life Of Judy Dlamini
There is No Dream that is Unachievable
Judy has been passionate about entrepreneurship right from a young age. Despite being a Medical Doctor, she still wanted to fulfill her business dream, an inspiration she got from her father.
Today, Dlamini runs other businesses as well as medical equipment importation. This way, she is fulfilling both dreams.
Hard work pays. There is no other way to succeed. Judy believes slow and steady wins the race, that you need to show dignity even in little things.
In her words, “Whether you are an employee or entrepreneur, the hard work never stops if you want to be successful. You also might not get the job that you are qualified for at first, but you need to apply yourself as if it is the best job in the world. This creates success and character, and you can advance from here.”
Basically, you must be faithful in little things for you to achieve the bigger goals.
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