Meet the Team

The women behind Bellona Network

Tinyiko Ngwenya

Chairperson

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.

Laone Nthaga

Deputy Chairperson

Building my career as a young professional in the financial industry, I am reminded daily that women often have to work twice as hard and continuously overcompensate to have equal opportunities as their male counterparts. I would like to contribute to a society where women are able to aspire without their gender being the sole reason why they second guess themselves. A corporate culture where women are recognized as intellectual equals. The success of Bellona will create a learning space that will allow us to draw courage from each other as phenomenal women across the African continent.

Jazz Christie

Creative Director

I operate as a Creative Solutions Architect, capitalising on creative strategy to empower others. As a young professional I initially set out without a roadmap and often found myself desiring a mentor. Through the course of this journey I have been met with discouragement that is rooted in antiquated biases; and recognised the severe mentor-gap young women are facing in their professional walk. I believe Bellona joins an imperative movement to provide young women with access to mentorship and rid cultures of the falsehood that equal opportunity is negotiable in a thriving society. There is a misconception that the power of a woman, disqualifies the power of a man, and his role. It endorses the idea that either power flourishes by the neglect of the other. We are here to shift the narrative.

Johanna Vito

Secretary General

As a young female in South Africa, who started my career at a very young age, I have personally experienced how difficult it is to break into the work sector as a young woman. Working in various industries, I have been exposed to all types of leadership and in all cases, women are still not being given the chance to showcase their potential. Women are also not being exposed to the endless opportunities that are available to them.
I want to be able to empower women across all sectors through Bellona. I want to share my life experience with ALL women – no matter their race, colour or creed – who are still striving to weed out archaic prejudices in the workplace to make a deep meaningful, social impact.

Noluthando Zulu

Public Relations Officer

I am a qualified geologist and I have technical open pit and underground mining experience with exposure to tunneling, gold and platinum. I have worked in financial services sector as a Resources Analyst, covering listed mining companies and achieved a Financial Mail Top 6 rating. As a Resource Analyst I value companies, compile company and industry reports, compile presentations and liaise with various stakeholders of the mining industry, corporates and clients.

Aadilah Essuf

Deputy Secretary

I was born and bred in the sunny coastal province of Kwa – Zulu Natal. Been brought up in quite a conservative family, I always questioned why the females were treated differently in our family compared to our male counterparts. From education to focusing on our careers rather than our home life. It was at that point that I had decided that I would break the mold of your typical Indian Muslim girl and strive to be something other than a ‘barefoot and pregnant wife’. In my varsity days I joined an NGO that assisted girls from underprivileged circumstances to read and write. Helping others has always been a soft spot for me and I strive to do this in my daily life. It has been a privilege to join Bellona as their purpose resonated with me, many a times do we see the struggle woman face because of gender and say nothing about it. Let us build woman up to be the powerful beings that we are meant to be.