The boards of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund (the Fund) and Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital Trust (the Trust) wish to announce the resignation of their Chief Executive Officer Ms Sibongile (Bongi) Mkhabela. This comes after faithfully serving two decades at the helm of our organisations.
Bongi’s tenure is one characterised by immense achievement and impeccable leadership. It is the kind that makes this announcement difficult but commands all due gratitude and reverence.
The first organisation founded by Madiba, the Fund celebrates 25 years in 2020. In marking this milestone, our boards would therefore also like to take this opportunity to acknowledge Bongi’s leadership role in growing the Fund’s endowment over the years to ensure its work continues for many years to come. Thanks to her contribution as a visionary, and her staff, the heart of the organisation, our role as a social development agency in the region remains relevant.
Perhaps one of Bongi’s greatest accolades was fulfilling the mandate of the board of the Fund to lead the establishment and the operations of the Trust with its mandate to raise the capital funds required to design, build and equip only the second dedicated paediatric facility in Southern Africa, the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital (NMCH).
NMCH marks three years of operations on 21 June 2020.
Over the past few months, our boards have jointly dedicated a considerable amount of time and effort to finding a suitable candidate to lead our organisations beyond the jubilee anniversary of the Fund.
As we all wish Bongi the very best for the future, we are pleased to announce the appointment of Ms Kone Gugushe as CEO of the Fund and the Trust, effective 04 March 2020. Her biography is included in this correspondence.
We are confident in Ms Gugushe’s wealth of experience and reputable leadership qualities will guide the Fund’s strategic focus at this critical milestone whilst building on Bongi’s legacy as well as the vision of our Founder.
This will include strengthening Madiba’s vision for his legacy organisations for children (the Fund, the Trust and NMCH) by promoting synergies, collaboration, sustainability and alignment.
Building on her remarkable life journey to date, Bongi will also continue to fight for the most vulnerable in our society and impact on the lives of children by remaining a trustee of the Fund and a member of the board of Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital.
Before her departure on 31 March 2020, Bongi will hand over her duties to Ms Gugushe, who will benefit from the transfer of first hand institutional knowledge.
We wish Ms Gugushe all the best in her new position and call on our stakeholders to celebrate Bongi’s contribution as well as the Fund’s 25th year anniversary.
Details to mark the jubilee celebrations will be announced soon.
Ms Konehali (Kone) Gugushe has a passion for African development and youth empowerment. Much of her career thus far has been dedicated to developing corporate governance and social responsibility for the benefit of children and communities across the region. Kone believes in a people-centred approach to leadership. Her tenacity has paved her journey cultivating meaningful relationships throughout her professional career whilst taking on diverse roles.
By profession Kone is a, development Chartered Accountant (SA) with more than 20 years working experience, spanning over the financial services sector and development finance. After graduating from Rhodes University and University of Natal, she commenced her career with articles at the audit firm Moores Rowland in Cape Town, following this with a secondment at their New York office gaining valuable international exposure to the US auditing environment. On completion of articles she worked at various banks including Standard Corporate and Merchant Bank (now Standard Bank CIB), JP Morgan and Nedbank, gaining experience in credit risk management and investment analysis. She also gained exposure to private equity management through her time at Safika Holdings.
With a passion for development, Kone spent five years heading up the Nedbank Foundation, the primary CSI arm of the Nedbank Group. During this time, she had the opportunity to drive the CSI strategy of the bank which mainly aimed to make the group a catalyst for upliftment in our communities, with a major emphasis being placed on sustainability.
Following her time at Nedbank, Kone expanded her development finance experience when she joined the Land Bank as the Chief Risk Officer in 2015. While her primary responsibilities related to the identification, mitigation and management of all risks for the bank, Kone also emerged as quite a dynamic leader for the bank, capable of being deployed to various other areas including Acting Company Secretary, Acting Chief Financial Officer and Acting Chief Executive Officer. Through her career, Kone has developed a broad range of technical expertise and strong leadership qualities. Not only does she have a holistic understanding of the risk and governance issues impacting organisations, she is committed to good governance, active stakeholder management and leading with integrity.
Kone’s vision is to be an active participant in shaping a better future for generations to come, particularly contributing towards better social cohesion and community development.
Kone has participated in a number of functional and management related leadership training as part of her professional development. She is a fellow of the African Leadership Initiative (ALI), which is part of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. In 2014, she received the Emerging Old Rhodian Award from her Alma Mater Rhodes University. This award is aimed at honouring young Rhodes University Alumni who have excelled early in their career and shown potential for continued success. She is also a non-executive board member for several organisations and is a council member of the University of Johannesburg Council Member.
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