Tinyiko Ngwenya

Tinyiko Ngwenya Bellona Women's Network Chairperson

Tell us a bit about why you decided to join Bellona?

As one of a few female investment professionals, it saddens me to still see how male dominated the financial services sector is even after all of the strides we have made as women to educate ourselves and prove ourselves to be worthy of such leadership positions. What breaks my heart even more is that young girls in under-privileged schools cannot identify with the male dominated industry and hence shy away from studying towards these roles. I joined Bellona to change the face of the financial services industry and influence young girls to pursue careers in this industry and help drive Africa’s growth.

What is the best part about your role?

Seeing the entire journey from when it was just a concept to what it is now is the best part of my role. In order to limit the pressure on individuals within our team, we split ourselves into committees where each committee is responsible for a project. As Chairperson, I get to be involved in every single element of the organisation and help drive the overall strategy, and it is in seeing how everything comes together that makes my role so special. A friend once asked me where I get the time to be so involved in every part of Bellona; with a mission as noteworthy as ours, it is both easy and enjoyable to get lost in giving our users the best possible experience.

Tell us about your personal and professional growth while being part of the Bellona team?

I have learnt so much about developing an application, about drawing up policies, reporting and all the admin that comes with growing an organisation, but most importantly, I have learned that leading a team means being conscious of the human behind the role. The success of any organisation is in its people, as it is only when every team member feels a connection to the rest of the team do they ensure that they pull their weight and do not disappoint the troupe. Our team is made up of every single Enneagram personality type with no one sharing a type, it does mean that we are constantly challenging each other, but it is in that rich diversity that I have grown to understand the true value of relationship building and knowing which fights are worth conceding.

What is a typical day at work like for you?

My weekdays start at 04:00 – an hour of reading, an hour on the road for a run and 20 minutes of meditation. In this time, I try not to look at my phone as it is in these sacred hours that I can be selfish and focus on myself because, by the time I am in front of my computer, it’s all about responding to e-mails and working on deliverables. My day would be incomplete without the background noise of Bloomberg Radio. The witty remarks from hosts Tom Keene, Lisa Abramowicz and Jon Ferro on Bloomberg Surveillance make all the meshuga market movements feel manageable. Perspective and a little bit of personality is a beautiful thing to have to help you stay on top of your game. What’s life without a few laughs?!

Words you live by.

Thomas Campbell — ‘To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.’ I have always been obsessed with the idea of immortality, in fact, my goal in life is to be a Centenarian. The truth is the only thing that matters at the end of it all is the impact that you make on people’s lives. Which is why Campbell’s quote is one that I religiously live by.