Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa joined Naspers as South Africa CEO, in July 2019. Before joining Naspers, she was the cofounder and Executive Chairperson of Sigma Capital, an investment holding company formed in 2015. She held the position of CEO at Shanduka Group, an investment holding company from 2004 to 2015. Prior, she was the Head of the Project Finance South Africa business unit at the Development Bank of Southern Africa. Early in her career, Phuthi worked in New York at Fieldstone, an international firm specialising in the financing of infrastructure assets. She later transferred to the South African office, where she served as a Vice President. She is involved in various youth development initiatives, including supporting students and mentoring young professionals. She is part of the “Dignity Day” programme led by Young Global Leaders of the World Economic Forum which is focused on empowering youth to articulate their ambitions and gain respect through dignity.
In May 2016 Phuthi became a member of the Rutgers University Hall of Distinguished Alumni. She has been awarded several accolades such as CNBC Africa’s All Africa Business Leaders “Woman of the Year Award” in 2019 and the Forbes Woman Africa “Businesswoman of the Year” Award in 2014. In 2013, she was awarded a “Distinguished Achievement” Award by The Douglass Society, and the Africa Investors recognised her as a “Leading Africa Woman in Business of the Year” in 2012. In 2011, Rutgers University conferred on her the “Rutgers Vision of Excellence Award”. In 2009, she was awarded the “Most Influential Woman in Government and Business” by Financial Services. The Wall Street Journal counted her among the “Top 50 women in the world to watch”. Phuthi was also selected as a Global Young Leader in 2007 by the World Economic Forum. She was awarded “Top in Project Finance, 2003” by the Association of Black Securities & Investment Professionals. In 2020, Phuthi ranked number 42 in Fortune’s Most Powerful Women International list.
Phuthi holds a BA Economics from Rutgers University, USA, and an MBA from De Montfort University in the UK. She also completed the Kennedy School of Government Executive Education programme “Global Leadership and Public Policy for the 21st Century” at Harvard University in 2008. She sits on the board of the Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation and was Chair of the Kagiso Shanduka Trust (KST) Audit and Risk Committee in 2016. In 2017, she was appointed to the KST Board of Trustees. (KST is a joint organisation between the Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation and Kagiso Trust that focuses its resources on “whole school development”.) Phuthi is an independent director of Vodacom and previously served on the boards of Discovery Insure and Gold Fields. She serves on the advisory board of Stellenbosch University’s business school.