Konehali Gugushe (Emerging Old Rhodian Award)

Konehali Gugushe (Kone) grew up in Zwelitsha, King Williams Town with her mother and two siblings. Her mother played a pivotal role in her life as her father died when she was very young. She learnt to be assertive from a very young age, a trait that has stood her in good stead in a male-dominated industry.

She matriculated at the age of 15 from All Saints Senior College in the Eastern Cape. Originally starting her Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of Fort Hare, she completed it at Rhodes in 1997. Having already enjoyed success in subjects such as accounting at university, she decided that she would go all the way and qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 2001. At that time only 4% of chartered accountants in South Africa were black females.

Kone worked in the accounting field at a variety of companies in Johannesburg before joining Nedbank in 2007 as Senior Portfolio Manager. From an early age she became passionate about helping communities and acutely aware that there were always people less fortunate. In 2010 she took on the position of Divisional Executive: Corporate Social Responsibility at Nedbank with responsibility for managing the Nedbank Foundation, which is the primary corporate social investment arm of the Nedbank Group. She is also responsible for the group-wide CSI strategy implementation, ensuring that the Group contributes significantly to community development programmes that are both empowering and sustainable.

Since joining Nedbank she has received the Nedbank Achiever's Award in 2009 and 2011, was nominated for the CEO Achiever Award in 2013 and Nedbank has received Africa's Socially Responsible Bank of the Year Award from African Banker in both 2013 and 2014. In the Trialogue NPO Survey of corporates who have the most developmental impact, Nedbank was ranked joint 1st with Anglo American in 2012 and 2nd in 2013.

Kone served on the a board of the African Women Chartered Accountants Forum (AWCA) for six years, an organisation that focuses on the development and mentoring of both aspirant and qualified black female chartered accountants.  AWCA honoured Kone with a special award for her contribution to the organisation and her dedication to community upliftment and development.

Kone believes that there is no substitute for hard work, but also emphasises the importance of doing a job that you are good at and love.

Kone Gugushe's personal and professional achievements are enormous and combined with her involvement in community engagement she is undoubtedly a deserving recipient of an Emerging Old Rhodian Award.