Featured mentors

Precious Zeinzinger-Tuitz

Like Trevor Noah, Precious was the happy result of an inter-racial marriage under apartheid. She left Soweto as an infant in the 70s, and lived in the US and Austria. But homegrown roots pulled her back to SA, where she saw a need to transplant the tailormade language programmes she had developed in Austria onto South African soil. As founder and MD of LETA® Professional Training and Services, Precious has delivered a unique system of language acquisition (Learning English Through Action) – and cultural acclimatisation –  that supports her clients in settling in SA, and delivers a wide range of communication and language skills to anyone from kindergartens to corporates. LETA® truly opens doors through language in action.

Trevor Manuel

Trevor Manuel redefined the role of Finance Minister by democratising the space, inviting members of the public to inbox him directly with suggestions on how to improve the SA economy. Beyond that, his ministerial career has tracked two decades of major socio-economic development in SA. Domestically, he introduced extensive measures to boost small, medium and micro‐enterprises. He spearheaded the Financial Sector Charter, aimed at creating a more inclusive economy. It’s this level of on-the-ground engagement that is the measure of the man, and that has served as an inspiration to finance ministers that followed. Manuel serves in a host of ex officio positions on international bodies, has a string of awards and honourary doctorates to his name, and is part of a power couple with Maria Ramos, whom he has challenged to join The Mentorship Challenge.

Rodney Berman

The name ‘Rodney Berman’ is synonymous with boxing in SA. The ‘Golden Gloves’ impresario has almost single-handedly promoted professional boxing on our shores, and, since that unforgettable first fight in 1977 when Charlie Weir sent Bushy Bester to the mat, Rodney has been indefatigable in his efforts to bring boxing to the nation. With over 40 years and 2 000 fights to his name, Rodney has a knack for finding talent – names like Welcome Ncita, Brian Mitchell, Vuyani Bungu, Baby Jake Matlala, Thulani “Sugarboy” Malinga, Dingaan Thobela, Hasim Rahman, Pierre Coetzer and Corrie Sanders. But, ever humble, the former attorney ascribes his success to the friendship of another legend, Maurice Toweel, and to the loyalty of the uber-talented Weir. 

Yoni Titi

With a string of global post-graduate degrees and certifications under her belt, Yoni Titi, MD of Yoni Titi Human Capital and Yoni Titi Properties, does not do anything in half measures. She’s one of the founding directors of Firebird Fund Managers and serves as trustee of the Edge Growth Action Fund. A global leadership coach and recruitment expert, she’s earned a reputation for excellence amongst her blue-chip clients in the field of talent management. She also has banking, legal, risk and compliance experience from both Investec Bank and FNB, and was a recent recipient of the prestigious Nelson Mandela Scholarship. Driven to excel in all things, she’s also a qualified scuba diver, an intrepid traveler and a sought-after public speaker. 

Lebo Gunguluza

Once a diamond in the rough, Lebo Gunguluza overcame tremendous obstacles to found The GEM (Gunguluza Enterprises and Media) Group, an integrated media and hospitality group. Lebo is a natural-born entrepreneur, turnaround strategist, motivational speaker and Dragon investor on SA’s Dragon’s Den. Because of his sheer charisma, vision and tenacity, he was one of South Africa’s youngest self-made Black millionaires by the age of 27. And he got there without any funding, loans or tenders. Over the years, he’s built up a multi-million-rand empire. He’s emphatic about starting one’s entrepreneurial journey at a young age: “Find out where your talents lie when you are young, so that you can make choices that hone your skills.”

Stacey Brewer

Stacey started off with a BSc, but won a scholarship for an entrepreneurship MBA at GIBS. Her thesis explored the notion of a sustainable financial model for low-fee private schools in SA. It was only a matter of time before her bright idea was translated into a brilliant solution to the shortage of quality, affordable education in SA. eAdvance and SPARKS Schools were born, with Stacey and her co-founder driving systemic change in the industry. Stacey has since been recognised as the Elle Boss 2015, as one of the 2014 Mail & Guardian Top 200 South Africans, and is also a Mandela Washington Fellow. The SPARKS blended learning model offers unlimited potential and, more importantly, is transferable to any community.

Kate Turkington

Kate is a household name in SA. Both intrepid traveler and raconteur, she’s been on the road since World War II, when she was a child evacuee from London. A post-war trip to Paris at 14 cemented her wanderlust and, since then, she’s waltzed at dawn in Beijing Square, broken bread with Tibetan monks, dined with Cuban dissidents, and heard the stars sing in the Kalahari. She’s also hosted SA’s longest-running talk show, Believe It or Not, on 702, and was the first woman to be inducted into the MTN Radio Hall of Fame. As a veteran travel writer, she believes a flask of whisky and a good dose of Buddhist philosophy are all you need to take you places. Now in her 80s, Kate is not content to rest on her laurels. Peru beckons.

Nella Qata

Nella Qata, powerhouse and co-founder of Yabasha Energy Solutions and Africa Energy Capital, is part of a sister act that is shaking up the renewable energy sector. Along with sister Zintle – and inspired by their pioneering dad, who is one of the leading solar equipment suppliers in SA – Nella is passionate about clean energy, youth empowerment and skills development, and helping to formalise the township economy. This Queen of Green has a string of degrees behind her, and enough savvy to drive a wind turbine. Both energised and enterprising, she’s determined to forge a more inclusive green economy, aimed at Black youth, and to provide eager entrepreneurs with access to capital through their Green Capital Fund.

Gil Oved

Easy on the eye, and at ease in the world, Gil is co-CEO of The Creative Counsel (TCC). What started as a two-man outfit doing promos, grew to become one of Africa’s largest advertising agency groups. But those who know Gil are unsurprised. Since his early days as a Zap Mag teen presenter, he’s always had a star quality about him. Relentless optimism fuels this wunderkind. That, and a penchant for stylish shoes. Since then he’s gone on to co-found LLH Capital, sits on the board of Kalon, one of SA’s biggest venture capital tech funds, and is now a Shark on M-Net’s Shark Tank. He’s passionate about digitalising the African continent and promoting homegrown entrepreneurship. And he’s become something of a trend forecaster. 

Amy Kleinhans-Curd

Beauty and brains converge in this successful businesswoman, philanthropist, motivational speaker and brand ambassador. In between meeting her obligations to the boards of several international companies, she’s managed to clock five Midmar Mile swims. But for Amy, it’s always been about education in SA and its ability to transform lives. She’s established a nationwide, phone-in advisory service for teachers and learners, and she’s a patron of the Sunshine Association for the Disabled. Amy’s never shied away from hard work, and she believes that there are no shortcuts to success – you have to be willing to put in the hours. She’s also a firm believer in face-to-face contact and knowing when to defer to the experts.  

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