Focus on Africa’s business icons

Swaady Martin, widely known as Africa’s Queen of Luxury. She is profiled in the first episode of The African Legacy Project.

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BY BILLY SUTER

A TEN-PART documentary series that profiles some of Africa’s leading entrepreneurs is scheduled to start on DStv’s Fox Life (channel 126)at 7.55pm on Wednesday, July 26.

The African Legacy Project is said to explore the world of some of Africa’s most successful business icons and executives. These individuals have built businesses and crossed international borders.

“Coming from humble beginnings and diverse backgrounds, they tell their stories of how they have achieved success, and the deliberate steps they took to achieve extraordinary results. They also share some of their worst failures and challenges,” says a channel spokesman.

“They have mastered the principles of business, amassed great wealth and, most importantly, are building sound and lasting legacies. African Legacy Project gives viewers access to these individuals in an intimate setting, so that viewers too may be inspired to pursue  dreams and build their own legacy.”

The first episode will focus on Swaady Martin, widely known as Africa’s Queen of Luxury. The founder and chief executive officer of the Swaady Group, Martin shares her journey on how she has built world-class African products, distributed globally.

The Swaady group manufactures high-end luxury teas, candles, accessories, jams and honeys. The group is made up of two brands: Yswara and Akrafo. In just over four years, Martin has seen her products distributed in 17 countries. Yswara is listed in some of the world’s most prestigious retailers and hotels, such as Selfridges, Harrods, Four Seasons, Saxon and many more.

In this episode she shares her journey, her story and also discusses a unique business philosophy she has coined: ‘Luxe Ubuntu’.

Zimbabwe’s Joseph Hundah features in the series on August 2. President and CEO of Econet Media, he has gained a reputation as one of the greatest media executives on the continent.

He has led major broadcasters across the continent, and at the age of 26 was appointed GM of South African public broadcaster SABC. He then moved on to become CEO of Supersport, and led M-Net Africa and Multichoice  in Africa’s biggest economy; Nigeria.

Hundah shares his experiences of the ever dynamic and changing media industry and gives insights on how to create great content and build world-class African media houses.

South Africa’s Dr Judy Dlamini pulls the focus on August 9. She is known as one of the wealthiest woman in South Africa, and is a qualified medical doctor and chairman of the Mbekani Group.

Raise in Westville, Durban, Dlamini grew up in pre-democratic South Africa and was subjected to harsh laws under the apartheid regime. She grew up in a loving home, but lost her father at a young age. Experiencing many challenges, her mother put her through school and she qualified as a medical doctor. After qualifying, she opened up her own practice and simultaneously set up and ran a bakery next door to her practice.

Attributing her success to lots of hard work, focus, education and luck, she is the 100% owner of Luminance Department Store, executive chairman of Mbekani Group, the co-founder of Future Nation Schools, sits on several boards and is a published author

Others scheduled to feature in the series include Oke Maduewesi of Nigeria (August 16); Gil Oved of South Africa (August 23); Renchia Droganis of South Africa (August 30); Yasmin and Afua (September 6); Romeo Khumalo (September 13); Candice Thurston (September 20); and Hakeem Bello-Osagie of Nigeria (September 27).


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