In the media

She's a capital leader in the world of business

19 November 2014

FROM humble beginnings as a hawker, to a doctor, to eventually owning a company employing 40 000 people. That is part of the story that has culminated in a Pretoria woman receiving the SABC Capital City Business Leader Of The Year 2014.

The award - conferred by the national broadcaster SABC & the Capital City Business Chamber honoured group executive chairwoman for Community Investment Holdings company, Dr Anna Mokgokong, last week.

This was in recognition of her entrepreneurial skills and extraordinary success in business, personal commitment to the city and to the communities in the capital.

Mokgokong said the award was not just for herself but for women and others like her who struggled through tough times while seeking greener pastures.

She said people were quick to give up because they thought those who had made it did so overnight, but it took time and perseverance to get to where she is.

''I have been in business from a young age and started as a hawker selling handbags to women in the 1980s, until I finally opened my own store called Annabell in 1982 at the new Ga-Rankuwa shopping complex, ''she said.

''I still meet women I sold my bags to back then who still remember me and it reminds me of just how far I've come.

''She said that with her partner Joe Madungandaba and others they started their company in 1995 at the threshold of democracy and used the gap that was there for the taking and have diversified since.

''My partner, as an accountant, sorted out the financial stuff and we took care of the rest.

''We had a business history and that helped us succeed as we covered all areas,'' she said.

Also a former practising doctor, Mokgokong said she alternated between her businesses on the side and working as a doctor until the ''business bug'' fully won out in 1992.

She doesn't regret the choice.

''I look at other women sometimes and see the struggle that I had to endure first as a woman in business and I try to urge them to hold on. Yes, we're wives, we're mothers and I know as a mother of two children myself that we have to stretch ourselves even more than men have ever done.

''But it has always been that way from the very beginning... even in the Bible women bore the brunt of the world on their shoulders so you might as well do everything with a sense of pride,'' said Mokgokong. Mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa said Mokgokong gave the city ''a sense of pride and is inspiration to all, especially as a woman''.


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