Welcome to part two of conversation with Peggy Sue Khumalo. As we continue with our A Woman Belongs series. So if you missed part one, click the link on your screen right now don’t miss a beat you don’t want to miss this conversation and without any further ado let’s get straight into it

OIn 2018, and I want to track back to just the dynamics of being first this and that, first in 2018, you were appointed as the first black woman CEO for the wealth division at Standard Bank. And prior to that, you were the third black woman to be crowned Miss SA. During such a very important time, also in the history of South Africa, right.

What are your thoughts on this pressure and this titling that we put around the first black this, or the first black woman, this, what are your thoughts around this attachment of numbers and titles and the pressures and the staging that happens around us as black women, especially?

PS: If I can just say to you, it is one of the things that I completely unsubscribe to, I don’t buy it. I think that, you know, obviously we come from a country that has history and we need to acknowledge that history. We come from a country where really, if you look at every sphere of life, I think black women have been given a raw deal. You know, they’re on the periphery of everything, they’re on the margins of everything.

We have to fight so much harder, for everything that we feel we deserve, in corporate banking, we’re even called names like, you know, angry black women, you know, who are always coming in and they’re fighting. Everything feels like it’s a fight and everything feels like you have to break down so much for you to actually, be heard and to be listened to.

So I suppose, even at Investec, it happened that I was the first black female to sit on the Ex-co, of South African business. So all this time, and for me, I listened to it, and I thought, okay, I need to acknowledge that we come from history, as a people, but at the same time, when is this ever going to stop? Because it does create massive expectations, and it puts one under a lot of unnecessary pressure, because you’ve got pressure any day anyway, every day with that you show up.

So one of the things for me, that became important whenever I found myself in a space where you were looked at, as I would say, “the poster child,” you know, you’re the only one I didn’t feel any special about being the only one around the table.

My main objective and focus was, how can I create room on the table, somebody else can come and join me. How do I create space, so that we make the circle bigger and make sure that more young people, and more women are coming into Ex-Co, coming more into leadership positions. So that was my way of countering, you know, counteracting some of this, and we can easily get caught up.

I mean, we can easily get caught up when you become somebody that everyone thinks, oh my gosh, you know, he or she has arrived. I’m always amazed at why people, when they start telling you, “oh my gosh, I love the way you speak, where did you go to school and you feel like, oh my gosh, wow. “

OL: “You speak so well.” (Imitating people that would say this)

PS: I’m like, “what are you saying about the rest of my colleagues?” I think I just took that, and I thought this now gives me the influence, the power to make good, for the greater good, for the greater, you know, universe of professional women in these spaces. So whenever I sat around the table, my thing was always about how do I create space for other women? It might not be at the same table that I’m in, but the next table.

So if I look at my legacy extended bank, my Ex-co that I built, making sure that some of my young women were sitting on boards of businesses, that were sitting within my business. So that is how I just thought I have to create a space at Investec, I mean, I did that in abundance. I made sure by the time I left, there were more women sitting in EX-co than black men sitting in Ex-co because they needed, you know, to be around that table.

So it’s always about how do I then take on the responsibility, as hard as it is, and make sure that I just really expand the opportunities to other people, so that we don’t then always find ourselves in spaces where you’re the “poster child,” you’re the poster child that’s in, you’re the only one, you speak in a certain way, you rock up in, because you could easily become a part of the institutionalized system, you know, and then you start responding very badly to what shouldn’t be.

And I was really scared around that, I always didn’t want to be in a space, where now I’m also becoming a hindrance to my own community in the workplace. So I think, you know, those are the things that I think matter most when you find yourself in a situation, even in Miss South Africa.

I mean, the fact that I obviously was inspired by Jackie, inspired by Bassie and it was great. I think the person who carried the most brand, on behalf of black women in the Miss S.A is Jackie, Jackie really did. I mean, she was abused by the public, and the white public just had the privilege to say what they wanted to say about how she looked, what they felt about her, and so when some of us walked into walk in those shoes, it was a watered down version of what she was up to.

I mean, I had my fair share of issues, but I just think it was a watered down version of what Jackie went through. So I have immense respect for her, and I love her to bits, because I think she stood strong, and Tata Madiba tells me a story, of when he took her to the East of Johannesburg, and when they got there, there was the old South African flag, and how she responded to that situation. I always say, wow, we’ve really had greatness in somebody like her, and she said that she set the path for us. She really did. She really did.

O: You tell a story as well of uTata Madiba, and you guys being around the table, and then a plate of prawns right, arrives at the table, and you had never seen a plate of prawns before that. The previous time you’d seen, actually a plate of prawns, was at your employer when you were a domestic worker, you and your mom were domestic workers.

That was the first time you’d seen a plate of prawns, the second time you’d seen a plate of prawns, and just how he humanized that moment for you, right, and just made you feel seen and made you feel, you know, he kind of helped you relax in that very moment.

I see that a lot in just the work that you do, and how you humanize the young men and women, the young black men and women around you, and how, you know, even when you feel a little bit of jitters, stress or anxiety. I hear a lot of young women and men that have been mentored directly or indirectly by you, feel humanized, even in the mistakes or in the ways that they move. They’re like, I was still human. I was still seen, at that moment.

PS: Yeah, and I think I have not touched on, I think, some of the values that I got from the uTata, and one of them, I think for me, it’s one of the greatest, cause I think humility is also something that we don’t have in abundance as a people. So humanity and uTata had a very special way of making people feel special, irrespective of who they are in the strata of society.

So, you know, I mean that incident that you point to, or the experience that you talk about, was with both Clinton. I mean, you’re sitting with the, you know, with the president of the United States sitting with the current president of South Africa. All I see is these gogos (cockroaches) full on my plate and I’m thinking, oh, I saw these things when Mama and I worked in Springs, but I don’t eat them.

I think I remember saying to my mom, I can’t touch these things, so you’re going to touch them. We both didn’t know what they are, we actually had no idea, and then all of a sudden they sitting in front of me and I’m having all kinds of imaginations in my mind, that if I touch it, it’s going to probably pop out of my plate and jump onto somebody’s plate, you know? And I think, you know, Tata was just, wow. I mean, the way he just, he helped me through that.

He helped me through that, and he wiped his bread knife, and he said, will this help? and I was like, “no, it’s not even about the cutlery that’s been used, It’s just this thing sitting in front of me.” He just called the waiter, told him to take it away and offer me something else, you know?

And I thought, wow. Okay, and I used to watch him a lot. So I had the privilege and honour of traveling with him, and I remember when in the Northern Cape, and when we, in fact, even at the state dinner, with president Bill Clinton, when we got to Cape town, it was in a massive marquee. We got in and president Clinton had arrived already, and Tata and I arrived, and he took his time. And when I say somebody takes, when you take your time, he started with the waitresses. He liked it, everyone was so excited to see him, the waitresses, the chefs, he took his time. By the time he got to Bill, I thought, oh my Gosh, he must be tired of speaking, but I thought, wow, there’s so much power in that because he didn’t discriminate.

He didn’t, it didn’t matter who you were. You were all just so important, and he thanked them for, making sure that, you know, we’re having this event there, them for, you know, having to, you know, serve us until late in the night that evening. I just thought, I said it and I just was like, wow, I’ve never seen anything like this. I just, this something to see, something to be, to be learned here. And I think from that day forward for me, irrespective of who you are, you can be a security guard.

I think also my own personal experiences have taught me that it doesn’t matter who you are, you know, you could be at your lowest today, tomorrow you could wake up and be the greatest person that you never envisioned yourself to be.

So respect for that, is so fundamental as far as I’m concerned, and that is something that I think I really learned, from uTata, that humility, and just really understanding that we’re all human. We’re all human and we shouldn’t judge each other, we shouldn’t be harsh, when it comes to how we deal with each other, and we are all there to make a difference right, and uplift each other and pay it forward. So whenever I get the opportunity to pay it forward, that’s what I do. You know, that’s what I do. Yeah. Yeah.

O: My friend Zimasa wouldn’t, she wouldn’t forgive me if I didn’t ask a question that she asked me to ask you, and I told her that I’m going to be speaking to you. This is my best friend u Zimasa Mabuse. So she says, “women are constantly encountering barriers to networking and also establishing the necessary connections, to climb the corporate ladder within the banking industry, even with the legislation and initiatives that have been put in place to mitigate the issue. You’ve been in the investing banking space for over 17 years, are you concerned about the pace of transformation, particularly in private banking, but also in the commercial banking space?” But in commercial banking, you’ve made great strides.

But are you? Are you concerned about the pace of the transformation that is happening?

PS: I am. I think one of the things that  I really lean into and try to champion, is making sure that we create spaces for black women professionals to really network, right. Because I think also networking doesn’t come naturally, and I’ve had to learn it over time, and we all know that business is done on the basis of who you know, right.

So it’s not that, you know, you’ve got to be a genius, and knock people off that, you know. Your business idea will be the best business, and what’s going to, you know, go on and be great. I think it’s, it’s done by who you know. I do feel that the sector could be doing so much more when it comes to gender equity. I know there have been strides that have been made, and I acknowledge that, you know, there’s a lot of effort that has been put into it, but I think what concerns me is the fact that women don’t champion each other. I feel that we should do more as women to champion each other, especially black women.

I do think that we need to call each other out, more when it comes to making sure that, you know, we champion each other when I’m sitting at the table, I shouldn’t think, oh, well, we choose a competition to me, I don’t want her around the table. In fact, she compliments who I am, and I think that we all have different strengths and abilities to lean into greatness, and the more you have around you the better. So I think there’s very little to be said around how corporate is setting up the right platforms, and the right opportunities for women to network because the power of networking is incredible, and it really is incredible because you also we have also learned over my own career that, you know, when you don’t have a sponsor, you really battle, and I was very privileged and blessed in that.

I had Mr. Steven Kossef, who obviously was a mentor, ultimately became a sponsor. So the fact that I was at his South African business Exco for the time that I spent there, you know, speaks to that sponsorship, the power of that sponsorship. So I do think that we also need to call out our own black male leaders who don’t sponsor us, and actually create spaces where, when they’re thinking of the next big move in terms of talent, that they consider black women in that mix as well.

I think we need to challenge that a little bit more, and I think it’s possible. I have seen it, it is possible. I don’t really support the conversation when people talk about lack of skills, I don’t think that it’s a challenge around lack of skills, I think we’ve got skills in abundance. I think people are trained for the right jobs, I just think that institutional barriers, and institutional and sometimes discrimination are some of the issues that we should address.

I think there’s also a lot to be said around, just the belief in women leadership, and what women leadership brings to a team, what leadership a woman leadership brings to an organization, and also visibility, around other female leaders, like, what are they doing to uplift? I always say, “I believe truly in the principle of lifting as we rise.” One of the things that I have also said is, “that the elevator can stay at the top. It needs to come down and, and so that it goes up again so that when it comes down, it picks up and it goes up.” So I think women need to realize that unless we are all committed to the principle of, lift as we rise, we need to take everyone with us.

Without us doing that, we’re not going to see the kind of transformation, diversity and inclusion that we’re looking to see. I think even from an inclusion perspective, you need to include different perspectives, you need to include different cultural perspectives, there’s so much that we need to do.

So I think there’s still a lot of work to be done, but it won’t get done. Legislation and legislative framework is one thing, but action, and making sure that it happens is another thing. I think that so many of us have gone into influential positions, where we can actually influence and make sure that we champion transformation, and champion diversity, and we’ve not done that for whatever reason, that might be.

I think increasingly, we need to be bolder and more unapologetic around that. I think I’ve tried to do that in the different roles that I’ve had, I’ve really, really leaned into my power of one, and power of influence, and try to influence, because it’s all about influence. When you talk to someone sitting around the table, who’s looking for a particular leader, because there’s a space. If I believe that Olwethu is ready for the job, and have this conversation, that person’s going to listen to me.

So it’s not rocket science, it’s actually conversation. You are having conversations peer to peer, you opening up spaces in terms, of let’s open a space, let’s create a space, but let’s be clear that when we create that space, we are going to only look at, black professionals for that role and not open it up as though we just want anyone that can walk through the door, we’re going to be deliberate, and we’re going to be intentional. So sometimes around these things, it can be usually frustrating because I think, at the end of the day, I know that when you are in your career, it’s all about your commercial benefit, but let’s always think about the greater good, and always good.

O: You touched on this earlier on, and I want to bring it up again, and also want to get your perspective on it. So I started an organisation called ‘The Womenomics’, and it was more about getting women to be more economically included, because we are on the economic backfoot, especially black women, and we’re far back in the line when it comes to wealth and financial education.

We know that black women don’t have a problem with making money, we’re resourceful, we just don’t have the long-term know-how on wealth creation, particularly.

What are some crucial money skills that you learned at the beginning of your career, and how have they shifted now, and moulded into the idea of what the true actual meaning of money and wealth are for you?

PS: Look, I think all of us come from a very low base, right. We hustle and we hustle so well. I mean, we’re good at that, and I think over time, I think learning about investments was quite a big step for me because, whether you had unit trust, you never really understood what is it like, okay, I’ve got you me, you know? and when you start getting into the detail of what some of these investment products are capable of doing, you start understanding. I think also generally women are very risk averse, right?

We’re very risk averse, when you hear somebody saying, you could put a million rounds into this investment, you like thinking, oh my gosh, like what happens? I had a million, and then the next day it will all be gone because that’s the nature of markets. So I think over time, I’ve been very blessed, in that I’ve had, and I’m glad to say, black professionals that I’ve deliberately and intentionally wanted them to be my advisors, and sort of my stockbrokers around what it is that I want to do with my savings.

Lest we forget that we also have, you know, black tax, which by the way, I think is something that we all need to lean into rather than, you know, look at it as yeah. So over time, I think I’ve really learned the power. For me, it’s more the power of, in, of saving and then investing. I think that’s where we all need to, we need to really engender and encourage a nation that saves because out of your savings, you can then invest, and from those investments, you can then start creating wealth.

So you can’t create wealth and make investment decisions when you’re not really saving, and that’s why I mentioned that we all have come from a really low base, so we don’t have trust funds. I mean, we don’t come from families where you have trust funds. You’ve literally worked, for everything that you’ve got in this lifetime, and so I do find sometimes when some of our colleagues, you driving your car and they make a comment about, oh my God, did you see she’s driving? You know, a Range Rover or whatever. It’s like, you don’t know where I come from.

You know, it doesn’t matter. I’ve worked for that, and didn’t steal it, I didn’t get a tender, you know, kind of thing. So I do think that for black women, and that’s what I also tried to do, many of it is just having the conversations around what creation, how do we think around savings? How can we be more deliberate and intentional around how we save? Because over and above everything else, our children, our families, what is it? And we know the mechanisms. I mean the biggest traditional mechanism has been through stokvels, right. When you come together as a club, you save money together.

That, for me, is wealth creation right there. We just have not put that type of lens on it, and obviously to the Western way of banking, it hasn’t been a sexy kind of space, but trust me right now, they’re all scrambling for it because it’s a massive industry.

I think it’s in the excess of R40 billion, and so it’s a massive industry. So I think making sure that women have access to more conversations around just wealth creation, around savings, around different investment products. What does it mean? What does it mean when you save, you know, even products around saving for your children’s education. You know, products around fiduciaries.

I went through an experience when I lost my husband where estate planning, you know, it’s so critical, and as women, this is what we need to think about. So we can have this conversation with our husbands and our partners.

O: And it feels scary, especially around black culture. It’s so scary.

PS: Exactly.

O: Kuzothwa umbulele! (they will say you killed him)

PS: Exactly, they said that to me, even though they knew he had cancer for two years. I mean, they still would say it right. So those are some of the things that I think we need to do more of, and we need to make it visible as well, Olwethu. Some of that stuff we don’t need banks to do, If we’ve got professionals in these spaces. I think that’s what I spoke a lot about. Beyond banking, what is it that we can offer to our communities? And I think we were thinking around.

O: And it’s, it’s in those small, and I remember Makoena (Olwethu’s late sister inlaw & Peggy-Sue’s very close friend) would say it’s in the conversation, intentional conversations that you have with your friends, around tables, what conversations are you having at lunch when you’re wining and dining and all that.

PS: Exactly, and so myself had thought about this. And in fact, you know, when she was acquiring the property in Midrand, and she wanted to turn it into an event kind of setup, we thought we could also offer those conversations. Cause we both had the privilege of understanding financial markets, understanding what we go through, in terms of the conversations that we’re having with the wealth managers that we find ourselves around, or that are around us, the stock brokers that are, they looking at different stocks and saying, look, if you invest in this product, and you have, you know, 30% off shore, what does that mean for you and your portfolio?

I mean, when I started banking, I knew nothing about the stock market and never heard about it. Some of these concepts are very technical, you know, and that’s the thing it’s very technical as well. So getting your head around it and trying to keep it as simple, or vanilla as possible, it’s also important. So if a banker comes to you and says, “no, we could do a wrap and construct.” You start thinking, ahh no derivatives and I know it’s technical, but like how many women are privileged to understand what the derivatives means? What’s swaps?

uDr Judy Dlamini was a client, has been a client of mine for many years, and she used to always challenge me, and say “you know, when you guys come, you talk all this jargon, I don’t understand it, simplify it, make it simple. I don’t want you to wake up tomorrow, and it’s gone. Then you turn around and say,’’ “But we told you, and I didn’t understand what you told me.” So I loved it for that, because she challenged us and she thought, don’t think because you’re talking to Adrian Gore about derivatives, you can come and apply the same to me, because understand, and until you make me understand and take me through the mechanics, I might consider, but still I want something vanilla, I want something straightforward, and I want something that’s going to build my wealth rather than take away from my wealth.

So those are some of the things that I think as black women, we need to lean into, and start setting it up for ourselves is important. I mean, for the past three weeks, you know, I’ve just started about three weeks ago, I said, you know what?

I’m going to put together a group of professionals, business leaders, and entrepreneurs. Let’s go out to the community, and help amplify the vaccination drive. I promise you it’s amazing, the response has been humbling. People speak of, I’ve not been eKasi in years, and like my parents come from there, and I’m like, but we have to go back there. We need to go back there, and start from the bottom up, where you actually start with an educational awareness piece where you talk to people about why they need to vaccinate, what are the vaccines that are available?

What are the symptoms and what are the side effects? Do people want trust? And there’s this very limited circle of trust at the moment, and you know,  we can only be the only ones that bring the change, that and turn that around and then bring it back.

O: Absolutely, because I know that you have to run off this, then brings me to the question, being a woman, executive, and a mother yourself, you know, with all its challenges and all its unique challenges, with the world’s expectations of you, what has the pandemic and its agony taught you about the world around us right now? And most importantly, what has this pandemic taught you about yourself?

Look, I think it’s been unprecedented. But I think what has been for me, so wonderful about some of the things that have come to the fall. It’s just how women, I think in particular, have had to lean into their natural self, to actually be leaders because there was no playbook in this crisis, right?

So people have always relied on some manual, in terms of how they connect with their teams, in terms of how to motivate the teams, in terms of how to show empathy. There’s been no playbook, so you actually, there’s been no leadership playbook in that regard. So you’ve actually had to show up, and be your authentic self.

I think for me, it’s sad that again, the world has not put that into the spotlight, in terms of just how brilliant women leaders have been during this time, because you’ve had to get up every day, over and above the impact that COVID is having on you and your immediate family, and show up and motivate and give hope. So the nurturing side, the caring side, the compassion, you’ve had to be very compassionate. I mean, people have lost family members, people have been completely disrupted, their worlds have been disrupted, your daily rituals and routines have been disrupted. And you’ve had to hold that together. Not only for yourself at a personal level, but also for the teams that you connect with on a day to day basis.

So I think for me, it’s been, it’s been a very difficult time and it’s, and it’s been brutal on many levels. There’s also been a beauty that I think, maybe not enough spotlight has been shown on it, because I do think that, if you had to come, if you had to do a survey around leadership, you would see that maybe the people that fit the base would probably be the female leaders, because we’ve had to lean into who we really are.

Remember those softer issues or the issues that corporate doesn’t want, like being vulnerable, being compassionate, it’s always about the technical side, which we have. I’ve always said you need to have a combination, Tata used to always say, “the combination of a heart and a mind.” and heart is so critical in anything that you do, you need to have the mind, but you also need to have the heart. So we’ve had to bring our hearts into a virtual environment. So I think that for me has been something that really, the world has missed again, to recognize and honour and salute women, in terms of how women have shown up. But I also think at a personal level, I’m talking about the positive.

Now, it’s been quite a beautiful intersection of humanity and innovation, right, where you had to really lean into, evolving as a person. I mean, I’ve taken up digital courses, where you need to upskill yourself, because all of a sudden we find ourselves trusting a very completely different world to the world that we used to, you know. Making sure that you understand that the camera on this virtual world is actually your crown to the world, and how you show up every day.

You know, some of my team members used to say, oh my gosh, you look so beautiful. Like, just like we’d seen, and I’d like, actually have no choice, because if I don’t get into a routine, I don’t think I can make it. So I needed to have a routine, I needed a routine for my children because there was home-schooling as well all of a sudden. I needed a routine for my sanity, I needed a routine so that I can actually go out and run, and exercise because that was also equally important. So that intersection of humanity and innovation for me, has been quite powerful as well, in terms of just, wow, that disruption, I mean, talking about loss, right? Talk about people feeling that they lost their routine, their rituals, when COVID hit, we were two months into my mourning of Xolani’s passing. So it found us in a space of deep, deep, deep, and great loss.

And all of a sudden, you don’t have an outlet, you can’t see friends, I couldn’t see uMakoena, you know, and sit with her on a bed where we can cry until the next morning, and we’ll get up and so good that, okay, we did that, but it’s okay, you know, it’s still okay. My children I have so much respect for my two girls, the resilience and just showing up every day on camera for them at school, knowing that they are carrying this pain, and all of a sudden for me at a personal level, I felt like I was seeing Xolani in our home. I was seeing him, I was feeling him, but I couldn’t touch him. I can’t be with him because he’s not there.

You know, and that I needed to decide, do we make an, do we do. We created a space and a shrine, that space as our prayer corner, where we honour him, put his pictures, put a candle through, that’s what I did, where we could and the girls would speak to him and would tell him what we’re going through, and, you know, just to get through, just to get through.

I also felt that the corporate world, in a way, didn’t acknowledge how difficult this transition was for everyone. They just took it for granted that you need to show up, we’re now virtual, we’re virtual, you need to show-up, you need to present, you need, like, we’re not giving people time to adjust. I was touching base with younger professionals more than anyone, because I knew they were on their own, right. They’re either renting a cottage, they’re renting a flat, you know, and you would, you’d see, you’d literally you,.

O: The languish was so palpable. Yeah.

PS: Yeah, and so it was like the loneliness, and how they were feeling was palpable, even though you were talking through a video camera. So, yeah, I think COVID, yoh, it’s taught me a lot around, again. I think the principle of humility, you know,  and also doing away with all the frozen roles and just getting back to the basics, and that you can get by with six, you can get by, without having to do your nails, and worrying about your nails and worrying about hair.

Hey, listen, just, you can get by with very little. With minimal and still be okay, and still be a human. I think for me, that humanity is bringing us together more than we’ve ever been. So like that empathy was so important.

But at a community level, I think I was quite embarrassed, that when you look at the social and how that was put into stock focus, in terms of the inequalities in our society, and everyone was talking about digital, but it’s not, it’s not inclusive on online. My children’s cousins in Newcastle who couldn’t go to school, and so I can’t be okay with that, that they continue with their academic year, but their cousins whom they play with, can’t do that. And so this focus on just inequalities and how, how we’re not in.

O: I made an analogy, cause we had the same situation, and I made an analogy of, it’s as if our leadership suddenly realized that their sibling had passed away, and now they have to take in their siblings, children. And like my children’s year must go on, but like, until I figured out what I’m going to do, on what extra budget I’m going to allocate to my siblings, children. Hlalani lapho nd’zonibona phambili. (stay there, I’ll see you ahead, at the finish line).   

PS: Exactly. Exactly, exactly. Exactly.

O: The last question I was going to ask you is, where to from here? What’s your plan going forward? You’ve mentioned that you’ve just left Standard Bank.

PS: Yeah. So I think, look, I think I want a boat. I’m all about legacy building, I think even when it comes to the world, we need to build legacies around what it is that we want our children to sort of lean into, and not be subjected to the same struggles and hardships that we have had to be subjected to.

So I think I really believe that there’s still so much to do, when it comes to uplifting, and really taking our communities with us, you know. As in, when we progress and how we chart that and identify it and be intentional around it, I think it has a lot to do with just rethinking after the crisis. What is the South Africa that we want to see? The economy needs to be more inclusive, and so I can play a role around making sure that the economy will be more inclusive, making sure that, black businesses don’t just remain ideas, but they actually are supported and they’ve got the right capital. That they get into the right spaces, in terms of making sure that, you know, they’re having the right conversations with people. If I can play a role in facilitating that, what is the impact?

What is going to pull us together to make sure that, you know, the South Africa that we inherit post the crisis is a very different South Africa. I want to play a very big role in that space, I’m very big on advocating for gender equity, I think you’ve heard that throughout the interview. And so what role I play, from a Pan Africa perspective I think is going to be critical. I think there’s some exciting things in the pipeline, that I would share with you later, but one of them being a bank for women and working with friends of mine on the continent where we want to build a digital bank for women only for women, because I also do think that we need to own things that belong to us as women, and be intentional and spell it out, what it is that we want.

So I think that there’s a big untapped market when it comes to understanding women’s needs, and understanding what women are looking for when it comes to banking. So I’m quite excited about it, there’s the asset management piece, which I think is so fundamental to supporting black women in businesses. I think that the pic should be doing more, but it’s okay. You know, we can also build other entities that can contribute towards that facilitation, of making sure that black women owned businesses at the forefront of employment creation, are at the forefront of really changing the path and trajectory of/for South Africa, and I want to really lean into that.

I’m also passionate about youth, and I’m saying, what is it that we can do for young people? Because in everything we need to think about the inter-generational mix that we bring into our patients, that we bring into the businesses that we want to set up, the platforms that we want to set up. So, for us, with the digital bank, it’s about young women. It’s about, we want them to be at the forefront of actually being decision-makers, and being in those spaces. And we’ll be there just, you know, obviously supporting them strategically, and making those strategic sort of investments and decision-making, but we want to make sure that whatever play it is,  it’s an intergenerational play, because I do think that there’s a lot to be said in terms of how we’ve treated our young people. We’ve really not taken with us and actually give them the confidence ‘’we believe in you.’’

We want you to be leaders, we want you to lead from the forefront. So whether you took social entrepreneurs, like Nhlanhla Lux, who’s my hero right now in Soweto, is phenomenal. Whether you talk about others that are out there doing great things in their communities, doing great things in the economy, how do we applaud that? How do we support that? And actually make sure that we can also have icons, and enterprises in townships, in rural communities that we can say, you know what, we’ve put a blood and sweat into this, because that’s what u-Tata Madiba’s generation did.

They gave it their all for us to enjoy the freedom and the liberties that we are privileged to be in today. And so, yeah, I think the future is exciting.

And I, and I’m so honoured that I had this conversation with you, and I’d love us to go for coffee. It would be great.

O: Like, I’m looking forward to the bank cause I’m like, I’m so tired of being offered short term loans as a black woman. Like I need sustainable funding.

PS: Absolutely. Absolutely. Absolutely. So, no, definitely. And yeah,  it would just be great to connect. Uh, when you have time, please let me know. It would be great.

O: Definitely, I’ll hijack you. Awesome. Thank you so much. Please apologize to u-Ma for me.

PS: Definitely, profusely, profusely!


Thank you for joining us for this edition of A Woman Belongs. We had an amazing conversation with Peggy Sue Khumalo. Until next time, but remember you belong where you are, you belong wherever you want to.