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International Women’s Day – celebrating women who are thriving in their respective industries

Written by Staff Writer

March 7, 2023

By Sinazo Mkoko

#EmbraceEquity – This is the International Women’s Day’s theme for 2023. This theme aims to get people engaged in the importance of not only equality but also equity. Celebrated across the globe on March 8, the day is marked by highlighting women’s achievements, raising awareness about discrimination and taking action to drive gender parity.

Here we list three South African young women who are at the forefront of gender equity and thriving in their respective industries.

Mmabatho Molefe – Chef and Founder of Emazulwini

Mmabatho Molefe (Picture: Instagram)

A pioneer in the hospitality industry, Mmabatho is a chef and owner of Emazulwini restaurant situated at Makers Landing at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town. The restaurant boasts of African food while celebrating the Nguni cuisines. To improve equal representation and provide opportunities for women, Mmabatho has hired an all-black, all-female team in the restaurant. In 2022, she was named ‘hospitality pioneer’ on The World’s Best’s 50 Next list. She shared: “What we are trying to achieve is inclusivity and it’s the perfect time for that. For a while, traditional African cuisine in South Africa was seen as something that couldn’t be fine dining but in the past two years, I have had the honour to meet a lot of young black creatives passionately sharing their food and stories.”


Zandile Keebine – Founder and CEO of GirlCode

Zandile Keebine (Picture: Facebook)

Zandile is the Founder and CEO of GirlCode – an organisation which was founded in 2014 as a women-only hackathon to address the inequality and gender gap in the tech space. In the space of eight years, the organisation has evolved into an Educational institution that engages women in tech and facilitates their skills advancement and entry into the tech industry. 

They are on a mission to empower 10 million women and girls by 2030 by creating a network of women who are highly skilled in software development and leadership skills who will contribute towards an inclusive and innovative technology industry. 


The Standard Bank Top Women awards entries are open 





Serisha Barrat –  CEO and Founder of Lawyered Up 

Serisha Barrat (Picture: Instagram)

Thanks to Serisha, startups and SMMEs in South Africa can have an access to affordable legal services. In 2019, Serisha founded Lawyered Up – a SaaS subscription base model revolutionising the way legal services are accessed by startups, small businesses, and businesses in townships by providing affordable and cost-effective solutions. The company states: “In a world where legal processes can be overwhelming and financially burdensome for businesses, Lawyered Up is working to level the playing field and make legal services more accessible to all by providing flexible payment options and creating job opportunities for lawyers through our directory and marketplace.” 


Sources:  Lawyeredup |Girlcode| IWD| Emazulwini| The World’s 50 Best 



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