Banking & Financial ServicesKenny Madi, Head: GM Equities IT – Standard Bank

“The Rising Star Awards experience required a deep dive retrospective into one’s history and work experience. Essentially, digging through past failures and successes on the leadership journey through two lenses; one of being led and the other on leading people. Additionally, it questions you on what future leadership could look like.”

“This process taught me to continue developing myself and others, and to recognize others for the wonderful work they do in their fields. South Africa is diverse and has highly skilled individuals that have a potential to do amazing things for the country and the continent. The Rising Star Award plays a big role in ensuring these individuals reach their full potential.”

Construction & IndustrialsFranck Wandji, Principal: Infrastructure Business & SOEs Africa – ArcelorMittal

“I found the overall Rising Star process very diligent and professional. The 5 values advanced by Rising Star as well as the questions and problems posed are very inherent to the challenges faced by leaders today and are good predictors of future requirements. I also appreciated the phased approach from the qualification assessment towards meeting with the judges, which somehow takes the individual to moving from a very detailed reflection and feedback to what matters most.”

“I found that Rising Star also distinguish itself by paying attention to specific sectors (categories) and customising a judging panel of experts to allow a final conducive dialogue. I was challenged by judges who had an understanding of my industry dynamics, while also being able through their experience to evaluate me on general aspects of leadership applicable to any industry.”

“I see Rising Star is a genuine way of assessing leadership skills and publicly promoting and encouraging youth talents recognised for their achievements in the workplace. It personally gave me the opportunity to reflect on my skills and past accomplishments and also to keep in memory what it takes to move to the next level. As I progressed to every stage I felt honoured to see external senior experts from various industries recognising me for the 5 values that Rising Star addresses and for my leadership skills and professional evolution. It raised my self-confidence and comfort that I am doing the right things; and that my potential is also valued beyond my environment.”

“As a people leader, having experienced Rising Star also reminds me of the importance of conducting external appraisal and benchmarking for our talents, who mostly operates in isolated environment. I keep in mind that the outcome of the Rising star process is a positive external feedback to companies.”

Energy & EnvironmentSimon Pitts, Technical Account Manager – Dow Chemicals

“The Rising Star experience was refreshing. It was a great balance between leadership and business acumen and a real privilege to be a finalist. The great calibre of judges really stretches you and provides a powerful self-reflection tool to continue striving to improve.”

“It’s great to unpack the stories from your career to be grateful to the people who have helped and guided you on the journey. Not a single finalist could say that they got to where they are today without strong guidance and it’s a great moment to be reflective and resonate why mentorship is so powerful. It pushes me to give more and strive harder.”

EntrepreneurDinao Lerutla, CEO – Maya Group

“The Rising Star Awards are quite unique in that beyond the awards themselves, there’s an opportunity to be part of a community that cuts across industries. Being part of the 2018 Rising Stars Network is an opportunity I’m looking forward to leveraging beyond the awards ceremony.”

“The multiple industries focused on to create a cohort in each year recognise how business has evolved and transcended sector lines to create new business communities. Innovations and industry leads are no longer necessarily emerging from industry practitioners but from those that can create opportunity sets that link, disrupt and transform product sets across sectors.”

“While the entire process was rigorous, I particularly enjoyed the panel interview session. The questions and conversation affirmed the importance of teams, being a visionary, and building capacity to enable the growth aspirations to be achieved.”

ICT (Telecoms & Technology) Oreratile Itumeleng, Specialist: Enterprise & Supplier Development – Telkom

“The application process was rigorous but thrilling! It causes one to be introspective and brings you to a point of honest reflection. The assessments are multidimensional on levels of ethics, leadership and even team dynamics. The application management team was exceptional in administrating the process to ensure to push the right quality of talent through. I am privileged to be recognized in this pool of great talent; I am certain the judging was not easy.”

“It is essential that one continually review industry standards and self. This process has challenged me to be reflective, but most importantly corrective of areas where I have potential to develop. I appreciate the Standard Bank Rising stars for spearheading this fantastic platform. South Africa has no shortage of good leaders. The more people who actualize and embrace themselves as leaders and undergo challenges such as this process, the more we all become transformed and in that sense, we can’t lose.”

Manufacturing, Retail & FMCGCebile Xulu, HR Director/Business Lead: South Central & East Africa – Mondelez

“The rigour of the application process as well as the panel interview really gave credence to the Rising Star Awards. Each finalist should really be proud of having made it this far.”

“Being part of this process is enough recognition of my talents and the coaching I do for young people in both my personal and professional capacity. I have renewed belief that what I do makes a difference and I should not stop, whether I win or not.”

Media & AdvertisingBoitumelo Mmakau, Content producer – YFM

“The Rising Star Awards process was a long one, and one which made me realise what my leadership qualities are and how I can work towards bettering myself as a leader, and a team player. After my meeting with the judges, I took note of their advice, and have since been working towards improving myself.”

“Through this process, I have made connections and networked with people who have willingly offered to help me become a better leader and to grow in my profession. Through this experience, I have also surprisingly gained a lot of confidence, as a result, this has highlighted the woman I hope to be. More than anything, this process has re-assured me that I am on the right path.”

Mining & MineralsMusa Mabaso, Manager: Mining – Exxaro

“The Rising Star Awards process was very demanding and good learning experience. The semi-finals process was great, especially the video as to why I think I’m a future leader. The final round was exciting especially the case study because all categories got the same case.”

“I think the process is great. I wouldn’t change a thing!”

Professional ServicesSabelo Myeni, Head of Academy – Mindworx

“The whole Rising Star judging process was competitive, rigorous and personally inspiring as it was not just about assessment only but a platform to share my story. The judges were very welcoming and had challenging questions that made me to realise that there is still a long way to go in my own leadership journey.”

“The real work begins now. We have a lot of leadership responsibility that we need to demonstrate as people, communities and the country at large. The network and relationships made through this process are priceless and will go a long way in helping me to grow personally and professionally.”

Service Public & PrivateGeorges Mturi, Advanced Material Testing Lab Manager/Senior Scientist – CSIR

“It was a good idea to have a couple of rounds for the shortlisting of candidates in the Rising Star Awards judging process. It made the process a journey of self-reflection.”

“The honest self-reflection needed in this process (journey) turned out to be very inspiring and motivating for me. Keep up the good work!”

Tourism, Leisure & HospitalitySizwe Mdladla, Digital Marketing Manager – SAA

“The application and judging process of the Rising Star Awards led me into a period of self-reflection. I was actually forced to look back at my accomplishments, set new goals, and most importantly gauged how much I had developed and still need to develop to reach my full potential. It was also a testing process and I must say the whole process was very professionally handled and coordinated.”

“I’ve made lasting connections throughout the process. What I will always take with me from this process is that if I put my mind to it, I can achieve my goals in life.”

Transport, Logistics & Supply ChainSinqobile Nkabinde, Chief Engineering Technician, Pr. Eng. Tech – Transnet

“The entire Rising Star Awards process required a lot of introspection, it is seldom that I take time to actually look at what I’ve accomplished so this process was a huge eye opener. The case study we looked at during the interview required analytical thinking since it involved a complex problem. The case study also showed me how things can easily spiral out of control if the business is not Magee properly and if there are controls in place. The judges were friendly, engaging and accommodating.”

“The process made me realize my strength and I was also able to focus on my weaknesses and put a plan in place in order to overcome them. I will definitely advise my team to conduct a similar assessment so that they can also be in a position to identify and improve on their weaknesses whilst leveraging on their strengths.”