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Phuti Mahanyele – Breaking Grounds through Economics

Phuti Mahanyele

This young, smart, intelligent, determined and highly ambitious economist is the Chief Executive Officer and Member of Board of Directors at The Shanduka Group Pty Ltd; a leading company in South Africa that is involved in a wide range of productions including: Mining (coal, platinum, gold, and diamonds), energy, financial services, telecommunications, beverages amongst many others.

Phuti Mahanyele joined the Shanduka Group Pty Ltd. in 2004 as the Managing Director of Shanduka Energy (Pty) Ltd. This was after she had worked as the Head of the Project Finance South Africa unit at the Development Bank of Southern Africa.

She was also Vice-President at Fieldstone; an international firm that specializes in financing infrastructural assets. She is also a renowned youth mentor and a patron of NEET (National Education Empowerment Trust)

Phuti is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Rutgers Vision of Excellence Award by Rutgers University in 2011, the Leading Africa Woman in Business of the Year by Africa Investors in 2012 and Most Influential Woman in Government and Business. She was listed as one of the top 50 women in the world to watch in 2008 by The Wall Street Journal.

This lady of great influence had her secondary education at the Mc-Auley House Convent, Johannesburg, South Africa. Her tertiary education was at the prestigious Rutgers University, where she bagged a BA in Economics before she proceeded to De Montfort University for an MBA.

She completed the Kennedy School of Government Executive Education Programs Global Leadership and Public Policy for the 21st Century, at Harvard University in 2008.  Phuti was born on March 15, 1971 in Durban South Africa, where she grew in the care of her loving parents.Phuti Mahanyele

The first-class economist has done excellently well for herself and the youths of Africa; she believes strongly that the youths of Africa are endowed with great potentials and therefore should be encouraged to maximise them.

According to her; “I interact with young people quite a bit and what does concern me is just the focus on just the extrinsic stuff. I’ll go to a school and the kids are more interested in what car I am driving or what shoe I am wearing and far less interested in what school I went to or why I decided to study economics as opposed to something else.

She continues; “So from that perspective it is concerning that young people are not being inspired towards things that will be a positive contribution on themselves. So we have to ask ourselves what we are doing or are not doing for young people to not be positively inspired.

I guess the reality is that as professionals we tend not to be sufficiently visible in our communities and so why should they be inspired to become a teacher or a business person or …… if they are not seeing those role models around them all the time.” Phuti Mahanyele

For Phutie, it is not how long one lives on earth that matters, but how much one achieves during his lifetime and also how much impact one makes.

In her words; “I really would wish that I would certainly have used everything that I have, all my opportunities, all my skills, my capabilities and experience to the best that I can and that in that process that many people would have been impacted positively by my life”.

She is also a strong proponent of transformation and a vocal activist for women empowerment and gender equality. Phuti enjoys a good read and loves good music.


Lovelyn Okafor
Lovelyn Okafor
Lovelyn Okafor is a Journalist/Writer, Poet, Lawyer and God-Lover. She enjoys a good read and sees everyday as an opportunity to live and enjoy her calling whilst working towards perfecting it. She believes that someday soon, Africa will reach her full potential as the light-bearer of the world. You can find her on Twitter: @lovelyn_o

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