Phuti Mahanyele steps down as CEO of the Shanduka Group in July, having doubled the firm’s net asset value to R8 billion in the past five years. As the group goes through a high-profile merger, Mahanyele has decided to launch her own investment firm, Sigma Capital, with a highly-experienced Johannesburg banker.

“I’ve funded 100% of the resources we require now, but for the growth of the business we do need to raise capital. We’ve started having discussions in Hong Kong and mainland China to raise capital,” she says.

It’s part of a major transformation for the respected captain of industry, who also reveals how a stroke she suffered two years ago affected her life.

Several fainting spells sent her to Morningside Clinic for tests, where doctors discovered that she’d suffered a stroke.

“It taught me how things can suddenly change. Out of nowhere, in no time, I had gone from being this person who was capable of doing so much to suddenly being completely incapable.”

It’s been a fruitful journey of recovery, however, as Mahanyele has also found time to fall in love. She says she briefly toyed with the idea of becoming a housewife.

“Many of my friends are housewives and they seem very happy. I thought maybe I could stop having these long days,” she laughs.

But the more she thought about running her own firm, the more the idea appealed to her. She is the chairman of the company and already has what she calls a “pipeline of transactions” in the bag.

See page 22 of the August issue of DESTINY to learn more about Mahanyele’s brave journey to full health and her multi-million-rand start-up.