Chuma Fani (28)

2019 Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans

Politics & Government

Chuma Fani (28)

Chuma Fani (28)

Chairperson, Western Cape Cultural Commission


Hailing from a rural town in Mthatha gave me a better perspective as to what we were doing wrong as a country.

The ins and outs, rights and wrongs of corporate governance, have for a long held the passionate interest of 28-year-old policy developer Chuma Fani, a board member for the Western Cape gambling and racing board and chairperson of the Western Cape cultural commission. She plays an important role in helping to ensure good governance and sound decision-making in these institutions.

Here her responsibilities include the development of capacity-building workshops, adjudication over industry matters, consideration of policy development issues and developing arts and culture in the Western Cape.

Also a member of the Institute of Directors, she has completed courses in board effectiveness and corporate governance.

“Hailing from a rural town in Mthatha gave me a better perspective as to what we were doing wrong as a country,” this graduate from the University of the Western Cape explains.

“In the past, South Africa resorted to bringing in consultants to draft policies in relative isolation, which our government took on board to implement without any real critical interrogation.”

Keen to ensure that policymakers properly consider all the data and evidence before they formulate policies, she says:

“My passion lies beyond just developing and implementing policy – it entails improving governance, reforming public institutions and extending consultation to all involved stakeholders in policy making to help shape a better governance system and build a better economy.”

Her work helps to address pertinent issues such as what constitutes acceptable behaviour by organisations and the government. She also helps to develop and implement policies to attract foreign investors and provide an enabling environment for domestic manufacturing.

In 2018 the inter-ministerial committee elected Fani as one of the 100 Women of Fortitude campaign ambassadors.

“Since my election as an ambassador, I have worked to bring light to a number of issues, including policy development and building capacity for other young women in the government sector. My goal is for the next generation of leaders to follow my pattern and apply ethics in all that they do,” she says.

In the future, Fani dreams of working for the African Union, so that she can use her skills to promote pan-African growth and economic development by championing citizen inclusion and increased co-operation of African countries.

She’s also an aspiring businesswoman, and co-owns media company Dominoe Pictures which she founded in order to harness the talents of young people to solve the problems that the world faces. – Lesley Stones 

Twitter: @ChumaFani_