Last week Topco CEO, Ralf Fletcher spoke to award-winning Group Chief Digital and Fintech Officer at MTN, Yolanda Cuba.
Since winning the Top Empowerment Business Woman of the Year Award in 2006, Yolanda has steadily climbed the ladder to success while staying true to herself, her upbringing and her core values. Success comes with hard hard work and in Yolanda’s case the application of a determined, enquiring mind which was honed in her childhood homes of Cape Town and Jo’burg. It was a tale of two cities, with two realities – both of which had a profound impact on her decision making and aptitude as evidenced in her career choices and where she is today. In Cape Town her mother’s family owned businesses and while other children played TV games she digitised her aunt’s inventory; in Jo’burg her gran lived in a shack and unequivocally taught her the value of education as the key to getting out of poverty. These childhood experiences combined to develop a latent form of enquiry, which over time developed into business interest and then more recently pivoted into a technology-based curiosity. Yolanda’s current driving goals are: To ensure there isn’t anyone who does not have financial access in Africa – and to make sure MTN is the leading digital content provider of relevant solutions for the continent.
Watch this powerful video and look out for some of the following key takeaways:
- The importance of knowing when to cut loose.
- How to drive township economies.
- The innate human need to sell and buy.
- What is the one thing you can’t live without?
- The importance of finding the right mentor.
- If you can achieve something by yourself it is not big enough.
- Take action, take control – count to 5!
- The importance of the authentic self.
- Making sure no-one gets left behind
- The future looks bright for technology in Africa.
Yolanda is an experienced executive with a demonstrated history of working in the diversified industries including FMCG, Telecoms and Services. Skilled in Operational Management, Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A), Global Strategy, and Private Equity, she served as non-executive director to a diversified set of companies for over 15 years. A strong operations professional, Yolanda is a Chartered Accountant, with a Masters in Commerce focused in Financial Management Services from the University of Pretoria.