Meet the 2023 Santam Women of the Future finalists

Meet the 2023 Santam Women of the Future finalists
Meet the 2023 Santam Women of the Future finalists

Santam, FAIRLADY and TRUELOVE announce finalists for the 2023 Santam Women of the Future Awards

Santam, South Africa’s leading insurance provider, and renowned magazines FAIRLADY and TRUELOVE are delighted to announce the finalists for the Santam Women of the Future Awards (in association with FAIRLADY and TRUELOVE). These annual awards celebrate the exceptional achievements of women across various fields, recognising their determination, innovation and outstanding contributions.

After an extensive selection process that involved sifting through countless entries, a distinguished panel of judges decided on the nine finalists. The judges presiding over the awards this year are Professor Thuli Madonsela (Law Trust Chair in Social Justice at Stellenbosch University’s Faculty of Law), Nonkululeko Gobodo (CEO of Awakened Global), Dawn Nathan-Jones (CEO of Over the Rainbow), Norah Sehunoe (Executive Head of Human Resources at Santam), Suzy Brokensha (FAIRLADY Editor-in-Chief) and Mbali Soga (TRUELOVE Editor-in-Chief).

The finalists for the Santam Women of the Future Awards, in association with FAIRLADY and TRUELOVE are:

These three entrepreneurs have businesses that are more than 1 000 days old and are well on their way to establishing an extensive enterprise. They have adapted their businesses to deal with the current climate in smart, innovative ways.

Keri Rudolph of The IV Bar
With 23 branches in South Africa, The IV Bar offers a range of customised intravenous vitamin drips in a tranquil lounge setting. Keri has learnt that you are more capable than you give yourself credit for. ‘Get rid of that imposter syndrome, hold your head high and stop flying under the radar,’ she says. ‘Nothing good comes from hiding in the shadows.’
Mahlatse Mamaila of INO-Biodiesel
Renewable, clean fuel is the focus of this company that partners with women and youth in rural communities through agricultural development for food security and a sustainable environment and economy. INO-Biodiesel also educates students on biofuel manufacturing and green technology. To fellow female entrepreneurs, Mahlatse says: ‘Believe in yourself and your idea, and take audacious action. We are women, and we have the power to make this world a better place.’
Xoliswa Daku of the Daku Group of Companies
This 100% black woman-owned business has an established portfolio and focuses on the revitalisation of neglected and underdeveloped public property portfolios. ‘Revitalising small towns, townships and underutilised properties is not the traditional focus of a property developer,’ says Xoliswa. ‘For us, it’s about job creation, economic growth and sharing profits with landowners.’


The women eligible for this award are 30 years or older and their NPOs have survived the first 1 000 days. These three finalists are making a real difference in their communities.

Monique Strydom of Matla A Bana

By providing child-friendly reporting facilities at child-protection units and courts, this NPO strives to reduce the secondary abuse suffered by child victims when reporting crimes. It also offers training to police officers and prosecutors. Through school education programmes that promote child protection, Matla A Bana reaches more than 30 000 children every year. ‘My personal calling prompted me to advocate for child sex abuse victims,’ says Monique.

Salma Seedat of the Instructional Leadership Institute

Salma was handpicked to head SA’s Instructional Leadership Institute, which was founded by UK-based education group ARK and is dedicated to transforming South Africa’s under-resourced schools. The institute has trained 89 school leaders, benefiting more than 3 000 teachers and 96 000 learners. ‘I am following the values that were passed on by my mother, and I am playing a role in ensuring that we have a more just and equal society,’ says Salma.

Thembiso Magajane of Social Coding SA

Founder and CEO of Social Coding SA Thembiso Magajane is using coding, robotics and virtual reality to expand the socio-economic inclusion of young people in rural areas, helping them leverage these skills for a better future. She hopes to empower more communities and unlock the potential of rural youth so that they can enjoy a brighter future. ‘Through our recruitment, training and employment programmes, we are creating a ripple effect that extends far beyond the confines of a single classroom,’ says Thembiso.


These entrepreneurs are aged 30 years or younger and have passed the six-month milestone. Our judges believe their businesses will flourish beyond the critical first 1 000-day period.

Amanda Sibiya of Branding Africa

Branding Africa supports African businesses and entrepreneurs by offering comprehensive brand development programmes and consulting services. ‘Our goal is to establish our presence and bring about lasting change to the entrepreneurial landscape across the continent,’ says Amanda.

Leandri Pitout of Thrpy

This pioneering spa for babies creates a nurturing environment by offering hydrotherapy and massage services that promote relaxation and overall well-being. Despite its success, Leandri still struggles with the fear of failure. ‘I think this is a common concern for women who launch startups,’ she says. ‘It stems from a lack of confidence that has been instilled in us from a young age.’ However, as Thrpy continues to thrive, Leandri realises that there’s no challenge that she and her team can’t overcome.

Marcia Monareng of Millennial Mindset Media

Marcia is the founder and CEO of this fast-growing digital marketing agency that is revolutionising the industry with its unique, personalised approach to problem-solving. Her team provides ground-breaking solutions that guarantee maximum returns. ‘What I am building is bigger than myself and will change the lives of many young people who are looking to get into the industry,’ says Marcia. ‘It will have a real impact in the communities and companies that it crosses paths with.’

‘This year saw more entries than last year, and I was so impressed, not only by the diversity of businesses, but also by the innovative ideas behind so many of them,’ says Suzy. ‘It shows that you just can’t keep a good idea down. Despite all the difficulties that business faces in South Africa today in terms of power-outages, these ideas have not only been realised, but are thriving.’

‘As Santam we are happy to be associated with this initiative aimed at recognising and empowering women entrepreneurs. We have been encouraged and inspired by the amazing women who sent their entries, women who continue to thrive and run great businesses despite many challenges. Congratulations and all the best to the finalists – their resilience, drive and hard work give us hope of a bright future,’ said Norah Sehunoe, Santam’s Executive Head of Human Resources.

‘I’d like to congratulate all the 2023 finalists!’ says Mbali. ‘Your entries were inspiring, to say the least. Continue to uplift your communities and grow from strength to strength. I look forward to watching your stars rise higher and higher in the years to come.’

Once again, we are opening voting for the Readers’ Choice Award. To cast your vote, head to or SMS the name Keri, Mahlatse, Xoliswa, Monique, Salma, Thembiso, Amanda, Leandri or Marcia to 35408. SMSes cost R1,50.

The winners will be announced at a luncheon in Johannesburg on Friday, 13 October.

The prizes (valued at over R600 000!)

  • R100 000 in cash to the Woman of the Future and R60 000 in cash each to the Rising Star and the Social Entrepreneur from Santam
  • A luxury beauty hamper worth R10 000 from our beauty partner, Lancôme
  • A full-page advertisement in FAIRLADY or TRUELOVE to promote the business, social enterprise or NPO
  • Invaluable mentorship with one of the judges
  • A ‘Strategies for Making and Taking New Markets’ course (worth R11 000) or a ‘Strategic Marketing’ course (worth R18 000), both from the Gordon Institute of Business Science
  • A Frederique Constant Vitality women’s watch worth R15 495
  • Business printing worth R5 000 from Lithotech
  • A Stackd cabin case worth R4 899 from Samsonite
  • Three pairs of Baker sunglasses worth R5 397 in total from Execuspecs
  • A fashion and lifestyle voucher worth R3 000 from Superbalist

For award updates, follow #SantamWOTF on social media:
Santam: on Facebook; @SantamForBiz on LinkedIn; and @SantamInsurance on Instagram

FAIRLADY: on Facebook; @FairladyMag on Twitter; and @Fairlady_Magazine on Instagram

TRUELOVE: on Facebook; @TrueLoveMag on Twitter; and @truelovemagazine on Instagram

Lancôme: on Facebook; @lancomeofficial on Instagram or follow #LancomeAfrica