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Monday, August 10, 2020


(Nandi Dlepu, CEO at Mamakashaka)

We are living in a time when powerful women have reshaped the business landscape of South Africa’s creative economy. For Business and Arts South Africa (BASA), every day is Women's Day. According to Head of Marketing and Communications, Savannah Feeke-Fortune, the organisation has been built on the shoulders of a long line of influential women, spanning more than two decades:

"BASA's founding Chair in 1997 was Mary Oppenheimer-Slack. Its first CEO was Nicola Danby, who served for ten years. She was succeeded by Michelle Constant, who served for the next ten years. Our current Chair, Charmaine Soobramoney, is the first woman of colour to be appointed as Chair. The current Deputy Chair, Mandie van der Spuy, is also a woman. In addition, more than 80% of the current staff complement, including service providers, are female," Feeke-Fortune explains.

"In celebration of the women who have played, and who continue to play, an instrumental role in growing BASA's legacy, a partnership has been brokered with BASA member Mamakashaka, with one of her properties – Bloom – a platform with the purpose of celebrating and empowering creative women. In celebration of Women’s Month, Bloom and BASA will produce Season 2 of My First Mile. This is an online content series, focused on business owners, featuring female founders and leaders whose businesses are in their first ten years of business."

Mamakashaka is a creative agency based in Johannesburg, South Africa, which has made it their mission to create beautiful, authentic and meaningful experiences and content for individuals, brands and communities within arts, culture and lifestyle spaces. The series will see female founders asked the same set of questions, to allow the audience members to draw parallels between each of those featured, to gain a greater appreciation of how success can follow many paths. The project will have a focus on the creative sector, and will also include a webinar event on August 31, 2020. In addition to this, BASA's robust #HeyFriend social media campaign will be adopting a female focus in August, which will see a range of women in powerful positions profiled.

“I am a strong believer in the power of storytelling,” comments Nandi Dlepu, CEO at Mamakashaka. “When we celebrate and tell the stories of successful female leaders, it inspires and gives permission to the aspirant,” she says. Join the conversation by tagging @bloomorg and BASA with the hashtag #HeyFriend. For more information visit

BASA is constituted in terms of the Companies Act. BASA is registered as a public benefit organisation (PBO) and is accountable to its stakeholders. The BASA Board of Directors comprises Chair Charmaine Soobramoney, with Deputy Chair Mandie van der Spuy, and Kojo Baffoe, Kathy Berman, Devi Sankaree Govender, Ashraf Johaardien (CEO), Hilton Lawler, Andre le Roux, Khanyi Mamba, Zingisa Motloba, Dr Yacoob Abba Omar, and Mirna Wessels.

(To link direct to the BASA website, click on the advert to the right of this article or visit