South African Business Maven Phuti Mahanyele Is Bringing Her Inspiring Success Story To ESSENCE Fest Durban 

Pack your bags and join us for what's sure to be an unforgettable time in South Africa.

Rachaell Davis Jul, 28, 2017

ESSENCE is excited to return to Durban, South Africa with our 2017 international edition of ESSENCE Festival for the second year in a row and we’ve got quite a bit in store.

Among the many accomplished speakers who will take part in ESSENCE Fest Durban this year is esteemed South African business executive PhutiMahanyele.

A native of the Dobsonville township in Johannesburg, Phuti began her career journey as a teenager after sadly losing her mother when she was just 17 years old. Shortly following her mother’s death, Phuti left South Africa to further her education at Douglass College in New Jersey, where she ultimately graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics. She later went on to earn her MBA from De Montfort University, before completing  Harvard University’s executive education program titled, “Global Leadership and Public Policy for the 21st Century.”

Today, Phuti is regarded as one of the most influential women in business with several notable accolades under her belt, including being named Forbes Woman Africa’s  2014 “Business Woman of the Year” and recognition from The Wall Street Journal as one of the “Top 50 women in the world to watch.” Currently the Executive Chairperson of the Sigma Capital investment firm, she previously built a reputable name for herself as the CEO of top South African investment company Shanduka Group, where she landed deals with several major companies included McDonald’s and Coca-Cola during her 10-year tenure.

Hear from some of South Africa's most notable business executives and entrepreneurs as they join us to share advice on taking your career to the next level and open up about their roads to success. This year's speakers include Phuti Mahanyele, Dr. Judy Dlamini, Johanna Mukoki and many more.

When she’s not shattering glass ceilings or making waves in the boardroom, Phuti dedicates a portion of her time to mentoring young professionals through the Dignity Day program, which aims to “reinforce the values of dignity” in today’s youth.

Given Phuti’s unique story and diverse experiences, she’ll have plenty to share with the ESSENCE Festival Durban audience this September. For more information and to plan your trip, click HERE.

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[MUSIC] So at Essence Festival Durban, not only do you get to fill your heart and your mind. But you also get to fill your belly. So I'm here with celebrity chef Sherwyn Weaich [SOUND] so excited to chat with him. We're gonna chat about a whole bunch of things. First of all, Let's talk about that dish you made. > >Which one? The Sunday quickie. Talk to me about the Sunday Quickie. What was in the Sunday Quickie? French bread. We take it and toss it in some eggs, vanilla extract, toss it off in the pan with brown butter, get the nutty flavor. Salt and cinnamon and sugar, and drizzle with a chocolate ganache. What are some local foods that are known in Durban, that Durban is known for rather? In the world in general. Everyone knows Durban for the [UNKNOWN]. We got that tied down right. I almost said a bad word. What were you going to say? We'll just bleep it out. ****. Okay we're definitely bleeping that out. [LAUGH] So tell me more about the bunny chow. It's memorable because it's unique to us as Durban. Durban has the second largest population of Indian people outside of India. In addition to that that came with all these spices. So my grandmother told me all about spices, and mixing spices so it literally is like a quarter loaf of bread, you make a hole in the middle. You put anything you want inside. So there's a lot of similarities they talk of Durban and New Orleans being sister cities. What similarities do you see between the flavors from New Orleans and Durban? Do you see any similarities? The spices. Now I'm black enough, my brother in law is also Jamaican. And you guys put all the [UNKNOWN]. And he made jerk chicken up on stage. You also make shrimp and grits. Ooh, I love shrimp and grits. [CROSSTALK] I love shrimp and grits, yes. But we call it [UNKNOWN] over here. And we normally serve with the traditional spicy [UNKNOWN]. But it's the same food but we [UNKNOWN] it differently. So So it's nice to pride on a barrier with the cultures and try new things. That's what the International Institute Festival is doing. Yeah. At the end of the day, it's all about put, bringing people together. You connect their music experiences. And you can start the conversation, breaking down those barriers. I love it, I love them. Guys, thank you so much for tuning in. We'll see you guys, hopefully, in New Orleans, right? Yeah in New Orleans next year, I'll work something out. You're gonna make it happen, right? I'll make it happen. There you go, loving see you guys. Thank you. [MUSIC]