Born in Pretoria and raised in Soshanguve, CEO of African Bank, Basani Maluleke is the first black woman CEO in the banking sector.
Basani’s mother was a teacher who always emphasised the importance of a good education. Her father practiced human rights law, raising Basani to have a strong bent towards social justice. She also has two strong, highly accomplished sisters who stand as friends, mentors and beacons of support.
In celebration of Women’s Month Basani shared 10 of her top life lessons learnt along the way:
- There is no substitute for hard work and passion.
- As a woman it is important to learn how to diffuse a situation and when to stand your ground.
- Invest in relationships and consistently produce good work.
- There are no quick routes – keep investing, especially in your intellectual capital.
- Reading fiction is critical to help you better understand people.
- Be engaged – know what is happening around you and surround yourself with different people.
- Be patient – settle into the journey and unpack your bags because there is a long road ahead of you.
- Remember life is unpredictable – if you don’t face failure or adversity from time to time, then your dreams are not big enough or you are not trying hard enough to realise them.
- One can never underestimate the value of support from family and friends and strong mentors – they are your best cheerleaders.
- We can all do anything we set our minds to. The key is to surround ourselves with the right people and to be resilient.
- Take pride and place effort in mentoring and uplifting other women.