It has always been such a joy to come across the stories of great African women who have changed the course of time and history. They have successfully shattered ceilings upon ceilings, taking over positions that not many would imagine a woman in. Here is our lady Yolanda Zoleka Cuba breaking her share of the ceiling in the telecommunication industry.
Ms Yolanda Cuba is currently the MTN Group Vice President in the Southern and East Africa Region. She brings about excellent financial prospects for the group and develops digital solutions.
Formerly she was the CEO of Vodafone Ghana, which she had joined in 2013. Over there, she did lots of services as Group Chief Officers of Strategy Merger & Acquisition and New Business and later, she became the Chief Executive. Ms Cuba had also once served in the South African Breweries. Before she became the Vice President of the MTN Group, she was the Chief Digital and FinTech Officer.
Ms Cuba graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce in Statistics from the University of Cape Town, a Bachelor of Commerce Honours degree in Accounting from the University of Natal and a Masters in Commerce degree from the University of Pretoria. Her accolades show exactly why she keeps topping the charts and why she was also the youngest CEO of a JSE-Listed company. In 2007, she served as a member of the Nelson Mandela Committee.
Her other achievements include being a board member of the Absa Group Limited and the South African Breweries. Ms Cuba is also a recipient of awards such as the Top Empowered Business Woman of the Year by Top Companies in 2006 and the Youth Excellence Award by the Black Management Forum in 2007.
The World Economic Forum has also recognised her as one of the Young Global Leaders, and Institut Choiseul in France named her one of the Choiseul 100 Africa.
In her work as an Executive, she aims to facilitate the improvement of telecommunication services in South Africa. The passion with which she executes her role is enough to show her love for her job. She is also invested in empowering Girls through education by establishing the Cuba Mtyi Foundation.
To Ms Cuba, for Africa to reach its peak in terms of finance and digitalisation, education is paramount, and when children are educated, they can help these fields to grow. Hence, she wastes no expense in ensuring that education is equally disbursed.
In 2011, Forbes listed her among the 20 Youngest Power Women in Africa. Her work is easily seen in the results in all the offices she has taken up.
As many would say, Women are indeed the future, and if they are not empowered, Africa would lack a lot of good prospects. Being the first woman to occupy the position of vice president in MTN in the Southern and East Africa Regions. She shines as a role model for others to rise and as a problem solver. Involving in empowerment and making sure education is equally received, she is pushing for a great Africa, which is something that the whole continent is focused on.
Written By: Joyce C. Nwezeh Obi-Akejelu (Writer, Social media manager and graphic designer with Africa4AfricaWomen/Assert/PAWES).