Zama Khanyile (34)

2019 Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans

Business & Entrepreneurship

Zama Khanyile (34)

Zama Khanyile (34)

Fund manager, National Empowerment Fund (NEF)


“My role is to increase the number of black female chartered accountants and to implement initiatives that support them in their journey to qualifying, eventually becoming formidable and ethical leaders.”

Zama Khanyile (34) is a fund manager at the National Empowerment Fund (NEF) and in she is charge of the uMnotho Fund that deals with acquisitions, new ventures and expansions. A Chartered Accountant who studied at the University of Johannesburg and is registered with the South African Institute of Chartered Accounts, she leads a team of 15 investment professionals, carrying out the mandate to improve access to capital for black-owned entities, and she oversees the NEF’s women empowerment fund that finances businesses that are majority owned and managed by black women. She sits on a number of boards including that of  Qumbu Mall and the non-profit organisation African Women Chartered Accountants, of which she is the president.

“My role is to increase the number of black female chartered accountants and to implement initiatives that support them in their journey to qualifying, eventually becoming formidable and ethical leaders,” she says.

Khanyile is committed to making a difference in the lives of young, black upcoming chartered accountants and has focused her efforts on making this happen. She plans to continue her own personal growth as a responsible leader and wants to keep on converting her success into significance.

“My family has always been supportive of me and I have had a few women help me find my feet,” she says. “The women who helped me build my career are Futhi Mtoba, Lesego Sennelo, Philisiwe Mthethwa and Hlengiwe Makhathini. These women opened doors for me.”

When asked what advice she would give to young South Africans looking to pursue their goals, she says: “Opportunity often comes dressed as a challenge. You must be prepared to work and to rise to the occasion when the opportunities come to you.” – Tamsin Oxford

LinkedIn: Zama Khanyile CA (SA)

Twitter: @zamakhanyile