She’s a businesswoman and philanthropist who is passionate about helping female entrepreneurs achieve their business goals and source the funding that they need. Phuti Mahanyele-Dabengwa is all about making money moves and changing the economic space for young people in South Africa. Here’s what she had to say about being a part of the ‘CellCstahood'.

Who is Phuti Mahanyele-Dabengwa?

Phuti is the former CEO of Shanduka Trust, an organisation she led until 2015 when she started her own investment firm, Sigma Capital. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics as well as a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from the De Montfort University in Leicester in the United Kingdom. Raised by a single father after losing her mother at a young age, Phuti did not let circumstances stop her from becoming the major mogul she is today.

What does CellCgirl mean to you?

Phuti explains that although she’s impressed by the changes that have occurred in the country so far, there’s still a lot to be done for young women. “The number of young women graduating from universities in South Africa, is higher than that of young men,” she begins. The issue, however, is that young women still make up a very small percentage of management in companies and organisations. “This means that we’re sitting with qualified young women who don’t have work and aren’t contributing to the country’s economy.” Projects like CellCgirl, which encourage young women to prioritise their education and equip them with the knowledge and motivation they need to chase opportunities are, therefore, very useful.

What do you hope the platform achieves?

“I hope the CellCgirl platform will encourage greater levels of confidence among young girls,” she tells us, “inclusivity is key, no girl should be left behind.” Phuti goes on to explain how the issues facing South Africa can only be solved if everyone works together, this means that women can’t be excluded from decision making anymore. “We need equal representation to tackle poverty and unemployment, we can’t do it without women.” This is why young girls need role models and platforms that inspire and allow them to be themselves and chase their dreams.

What’s your advice to young girls?

“Always remember, you’re in this world for a purpose, live it!” Phuti emphasises. She stresses the importance of believing in your capabilities and persevering in the face of challenges and discouragement. We totally agree!

With the hardships and hurdles facing young women today, we need boss-ladies like Phuti Mahanyele-Dabengwa to share their stories and show the world (and us) that girls can be great leaders, they can be successful and they can leave a lasting impact on the world. We’re inspired, encouraged and in awe!

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