Black South African Woman Wins CEO of the Year Award

Daphne Mashile-Nkosi beat out nine male nominees for the coveted title.

Posted: 03/28/2014 12:36 PM EDT

In the male-dominated mining industry, Daphne Mashile-Nkosi, chairperson of Kalagadi Manganese, a sinter plant in South Africa, rose to the challenge. Mashile-Nkosi, known to many in the mining industry as the “iron-lady,” was awarded the CEO of the Year Award at the Africa CEO Forum 2014 in Geneva, Switzerland.

The coveted award is given annually to the “African leader whose work in the areas of development, governance and financial performance had a remarkable impact on the economic events.”

“As a woman pioneer, she started Eyesizwe Coal in 1999, which is today known as the mining giant, Exxaro,” Africa CEO Forum chairperson Amir Ben Yahmed told Mining Weekly.

Mashile-Nkosi has an extensive resume. She's held a host of directorship positions at various companies, including Temoso Technologies Limited, Metmar Limited and Bhakazi Banalima Investments.

As the head of Kalagadi Manganese, which is said to be the largest manganese sinter plant in the world, Mashile-Nkosi leads a manganese ore project employing 3,000 people. Due to its magnitude, Kalagadi Manganese plays a “vital role” in the socioeconomic development of the Northern Cape.  

Out of the 10 African CEOs nominated for the award, Mashile-Nkosi was the only woman. A victory she hopes will encourage other women to strive to achieve high-level positions.

“The mining industry has not been an easy road, especially for a Black woman,” Mashile-Nkosi said at the awards ceremony. ”But I have persevered and succeeded in surmounting the many obstacles that have been placed in my path."

Follow Dominique Zonyéé on Twitter: @DominiqueZonyee

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(Photo: Katherine Muick-Mere/Sunday Times/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

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