MTN Women In ICT Awards 2018 Winners

Last night I attended the MTN Women in ICT Awards - Partnership for Change. MTN created the platform to recognise, honour  and celebrate women in the ICT industry.

Out of 24 women who were chosen as finalists in the eight categories, deserving women were crowned as winners. Each category had three finalists.  It was a tough competition as all the finalists are formidable women who are deserving of the honour. Even though only a few women were chosen as winners, one of the best things about the awards is the exposure that the nominees receive.

Since attending the awards I've been exposed to so many incredibly talented women in the ICT industry. They are part of the reason why been extra curious about the industry and not just as a user but how incredibly disruptive and innovative it is. And not forgetting the many opportunities that are available to women.

Here are all of the winners:

Pamela Mkhize who took top honours in the Leadership Recognition category.  Pamela is currently Head of Sub-Saharan Africa Digital Satellite at the multinational energy utility, Enel Green Power (EGP), a subsidiary of the Enel Group. She is responsible for the organisation’s Digital Solutions department within Africa, and has led the ICT processes for renewable energy plant development projects in India and Australia. 

In the Innovator Recognition category, Mariana Kruger, who heads up the Product and Solutions Division within MTN Business South Africa, took the top spot. Mariana’s team provides services and solutions to an array of enterprise customers in South Africa, ranging from the top 1000 blue chip companies to SMEs. They all have their own unique requirements cutting across mobility, core connectivity, managed services, data centre services, internet of things, security services and cloud services. 

Mariana also received the CEO’s Award that recognises an MTN employee who has made a difference within the organisation with the use of ICT and technology.

Winning in the SME Recognition category was Iman Malaka. She is the CEO, co-founder and majority shareholder of TIC-IT Telecoms. Prior to this she held various roles in the telecommunications industry.  Iman is passionate about developing people around her. 

The Community Builder Recognition Award was handed over to Lindiwe Matlali, the Founder and CEO of Africa Teen Geeks. This is an NGO that teaches kids how to code.  Lindiwe has received numerous accolades in Social Entrepreneurship, and continues to study at some of the world’s leading academic institutions, such as Columbia University in New York. 

The Graduate Award (Tertiary) was awarded to Tebatso Moape, recognised for her role as a Computer Science Lecturer at Tshwane University of Technology. In addition, she recently founded a non-profit organisation, Rebao ICT foundation and Youth Development. Its mission is to be a leading NPO that promotes, drives and instills technological skills through the use of ICT in marginalised communities. 

This year’s Lifetime Achiever (Women Pioneer) is Santie Botha. Santie has extensive knowledge and experience in various executive positions, in industries ranging from fast moving consumer goods to banking and telecommunications. She is currently the Chairperson of both Famous Brands Limited and Curro Holdings. She was also the Chancellor of Nelson Mandela University from 2011 to 2017. 

Lauren Kate Rawlins received the Excellence in ICT Journalism Award. Lauren is the Digital and Innovation Editor at ITWeb and writes about the different ways businesses are embracing digital transformation, how small start-ups are disrupting big industry, and how the machines are slowing taking over.

Modjadji Maphepha was the recipient of the Ministerial Recognition Award.  Modjadji is the General Manager of Moletsi FM in Limpopo Province, and was chosen for this award by the Minister of Communications, the Honourable Nomvula Mokonyane. 

Said Jacqui O’Sullivan, Executive for Corporate Affairs at MTN SA: “We congratulate the winners for their outstanding performance throughout their careers. The support from industry and government has been overwhelming. This shows how our stakeholders value women’s contributions to ICT, and are happy to get behind the initiatives that MTN has put in place to shine a light on important challenges being faced by society – in this case women. Women must continue to play a meaningful role in the industry, advancing all sectors and inspiring the next generation of ICT innovators.”

We also had some motivation from the co- founder of We Think Code, Arlene Mulder and this what she shared.

1. Always remain curious and never settle.
2. Surround yourself with the right people.
3. Find your true North. Don't be influenced by what others want you to be.

Arlene is a former banker and took a massive leap of faith to start her own venture. What an incredible woman!

Maybe you've been feeling stuck in your career, why not explore all the opportunities that the ICT industry offers. You'll be surprised at what you find. So many opportunities.

Like Lira said at the event, "We're going to STOP complaining and we're going to be the change that we want to see."  Amen to that!

Check out some of pictures from my Instagram page and Twitter.

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