Women of Rubies


The 21-year-old South Africa’s youngest female Medical Doctor obtained her degree in Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery on the 17th of December, 2020 from Witwatersrand University.

Thibela is a native of Violet Bank, a village in small town of Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga.

She attended Farel Primary School where she was smart enough and skipped grade 7 straight to Lehlasedi High School where she also did not do Grade 9.

“I’ve always wanted to do medicine since my days in pre-school. This dream almost got shattered when my Grade 11 results came back and they were nowhere satisfactory and this pushed me to do my best in matric in order to get accepted to study medicine. I attended all the extra classes and studied throughout the night with my friends. This paid of though as I ended up with 7 out of 8 distinctions in matric,” said Dr Thibela.

At the tender age of 16, she got admitted to Wits University and continued to work hard in a cutthroat field of study and her efforts earned her a Golden Key International membership.

Dr Thakgalo Thibela is currently doing her internship at Helen Joseph Hospital and sharing her experience so far, she said:

“I made the choice to come to the Helen Joseph and while it has been challenging, I have enjoyed my time. There’s a lot of support and you never feel alone. I’m looking forward to the two years that I’ll be spending here.

Dr. Thakgalo Thibela

“Even on the most hectic of days when I contemplated my life choices I never thought of switching careers, I wouldn’t even know what to do even if I had to do something else.”

She has plans on becoming a neurosurgeon in the near future.

Dr. Thakgalo Thibela is a hope and inspiration to young women. Age is nothing but a number and shouldn’t be used to measure how far you can go in life.

“As a black female from a rural area, this a huge thing for me and for my people back home. It’s a reminder to all the young girls that we are capable of being whatever we want.”

Inota Cheta is a 27-year-old Zambian born inspirational and trailblazing – Economist, Entrepreneur, Financial Literacy Trainer, Business Mentor and Speaker.

Inota is the Co-Founder of She Entrepreneur – an organisation that seeks to support women in business. This is done through capacity building, exposure to business opportunities, creating visibility for women owned businesses and providing networking platforms.

Inota Cheta

Inota holds a Bachelors degree in Economics and Statistics from the University of Zambia and a Masters degree in Economics and Finance from the University of Lusaka.

“I am passionate about imparting knowledge in females with regard to financial education and business. My approach is also to use practical lessons and activities. I believe with the right tools females can build and grow sustainable enterprises that can significantly contribute to economic growth and can reduce unemployment on the African continent.” she said.

Inota Cheta is a Mandela Washington Fellow, European Development Days Young Leader and also a member of AWEC 2020.

The 29-year-old, Zimbabwean born Ancillar Mangena is a multi-award winning Journalist, BBC World News Reporter, United Nations Refugee Agency Ambassador, Rallinca Media Founder, Speaker and Moderator.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Communication, Journalism and Related Programs and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) Honours degree in Communication, Journalism and Related Programs from the University of Johannesburg.

Immediately after obtaining her Honors degree in 2014, she was hired by Caxton community newspaper where she worked for just over year before being head hunted by Chris Bishop, Forbes Africa Magazine’s Founding Editor.

Ancillar has won numerous awards which includes: CNN MultiChoice Young Journalist of the Year Award, Sanlam Excellence in Financial Journalism Young Journalist of the Year Award and interviewed the likes of Christo Wiese – founder of Shoprite and Seinhoff, Michiel Le Roux – founder of Capitec and the legendary South African entrepreneur late Richard Maponya.

She also created and edited the coveted Forbes Africa under 30 list for three years.


The 37-year-old Vera Esperança dos Santos Daves De Sousa, popularly known as Vera Daves,  is the first woman to hold the position of Minister of Finance in Angola assumed office on the 8th of October 2019.

Meet Minister Vera Daves, Angolan First Female Finance Minister.

Vera who first served as Secretary of State for Finance  is now now tasked with reviving an oil-based economy suffering its worst recession since the civil war ended in 2002.

Born in Luanda and has a degree in Economics from the Catholic University of Angola (UCAN), she also has several certificates in finance, management, and leadership and is the co-author of a book on Public Finance.

In 2011, she was the Head of Research for a Local Bank, and became a regular commentator on TV discussing finance and the economy.

Vera was appointed head of Luanda’s Capital Markets Commission in 2016 which she served excellently.

She is an Ex-Officio Member of the Board of Governors of African Development Bank (AfDB),  since 2019.

She is also serving as Ex-Officio Member of the Board of Governors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank respectively, since 2019.

And in 2020, Vera Daves was listed in the second publication of 100 Most Influential African Women by Avance Media.

At age 20, Maud Chifamba obtained a Masters degree in Accountancy & a Honours degree in Accounting (at age 18) from the University of Zimbabwe.

Maud Chifamba, MSc.

Maud lost her father when she was just 5 years old. Her mother was suffering from cancer and she could not take care of her and her younger brother. They fell under the care of their step-brother, in 2003.

In 2005, when she was in grade 3, during the mid-year exams, she was mistakenly given a grade 4 exam paper, on which she scored 100%. The same year, she requested a grade 5 test paper and passed with distinction. She went on to finish grade 7 at the age of 10.

In 2009, she did not have money for high school, she studied on her own (home schooled) and completed her Ordinary Level in just two years.

She was later identified by the Ministry of Education and awarded financial assistance for her A levels and she scored 12 points in 2011. She lost her mother the same year.

In 2012, at age 14, she was accepted to the University of Zimbabwe to study for an Accounting degree, after receiving a scholarship from the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority.

Maud is currently an Audit Senior at Deloitte, at age 23.

“If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.” – Jim Rohn

Maud has shown that where there is a will, there is a way.

At a very going age, Captain Abimbola Jayeola drew inspiration for the cockpit life from reading articles on aviation and aerodynamics.

Captain Abimbola Jayeola

She began fantasizing about flying aircrafts and imagined herself soaring at extreme heights while helping people and goods move from one point to another, at a tender age.

In 2008, she completed an ab-initio training at Bristow Academy Titusville, Florida, USA.

In 2009, she did her type conversion on the Sikorsky 76 at Flight Safety International, Florida, USA and graduated as the first Nigerian female Helicopter Pilot from Bristow Academy.

She officially joined Bristow Helicopters Nigeria as a First Officer in the same year.

In 2014, she was promoted to the rank of Captain, becoming the first female Helicopter Captain in Nigeria.

In February 2016, her heroic act saved the lives of 11 passengers aboard a helicopter she piloted, after the chopper developed a fault.

The helicopter was headed to Lagos from Port-Harcourt when she landed into the Atlantic Ocean to prevent a fatal crash.

Captain Abimbola surely deserves all the accolades for her heroic act. She is also proof that strength and courage are powerful qualities a woman should possess.

Audrey is currently a First Officer with Passion Air, a Ghanaian airline company, flying the Dash8 Q-400 aircraft.

Audrey Maame Esi Sawtson

She had her primary education at the University of Ghana Basic School before proceeding to Ghana Christian International High School for her secondary education.

She attended the Mach1 Aviation Academy in South Africa for her flight training at age 18 because the Ghanaian educational system isn’t built to support those who want to pursue a career in aviation.

In her words, “Towards aviation, the system here in Ghana is not friendly. It limits your option as to who you want to be. The system doesn’t support your dream if you want to be a pilot because it is extremely expensive. It’s easy to train the doctors and other professions but to be a pilot, it is tough.”

She had her first solo flight with Mach1 Aviation Academy at age 19 and at age 21, she obtained her Commercial Pilot Licence.

When asked how she was able to achieve this feat, she said in her own words, “Apart from God and my parents, I owe everything I am and everything I hope to be to school. Without the education I have received during my lifetime, the friends I have met and have networked with, the great teachers that have been there for me since day one, I would not be able to move on to a more positive place in my life. I would not be able to have a chance to even become a pilot, to be given a chance to inspire other children that whatever they dream of, they can actually be. Education has fulfilled me and I am a more positive person because of it.”

Audrey Maame Esi Swatson is proof that there is no limit to what a young girl can achieve when you give them the right form of education.

Nthabeleng Likotsi is South Africa’s first woman to own a Mutual Bank, after being approved by the South African Reserve Bank (SARB).

Nthabeleng Likotsi

Nthabeleng Likotsi holds a Masters in Entrepreneurship and New Venture Creation from Wits Business School.

She is the founder of the co-operative – Young Women in Business Network (YWBN).

Likotsi started YWBN in 2009 and in 2015 she decided to register the company as a financial institution.

On the 9th of March 2021, YWBN was given a license to become a Mutual Bank and now have 12 months to officially open their doors to the general public.

“I believed I could, I STARTED. I believed ordinary Africans will support my vision, THEY DID. It took us 4+ years but who was counting anyway. Together we got approved for the First Women Owned Bank in the history of South Africa. WE DID IT!” said the jubilant – Likotsi.

From 1 June 2021, YWBN Mutual Bank will have different types of shares to offer to the public depending on affordability.

The mutual bank is mainly digital, it will be available as an app on cell phones and it won’t have branches as it is not a commercial bank, but will have offices across South Africa.

All successful women seem to share a particular innate quality. They all carry themselves with a kind of confidence that matches with their level of success.

They all know there is a need to invest in certain not-so-secret things and they also show that acquiring and attaining these characteristics won’t buy you success. But it will give you the confidence to be the woman you dream to be and show you that it’s not someone you need to transform into, but someone you’ve been all along.

So here is how you can become the best version of yourself as a woman by investing in these 6 things.

1. Education

Sheryl Sandberg has openly admitted that one piece of advice she would tell her twenty-year-old self would be to create an 18-month learning plan.

Alongside your goals, you need to plan out exactly what you want to learn over that period and improve on the things that scare you the most. Because the successful woman knows that in order to succeed she needs to commit herself to education.

More importantly, she knows that it doesn’t finish when University does – the process of learning does not stop there. It’s up to you to further your education and build your knowledge. It’s a choice and it’s a choice you should make for yourself every day.

Your day should consist of at least one hour of personal development. And this can be as easy as signing up to coursera and learning a new skill in an hour.

2. The tools you need to get things done – such as a personal computer, a tablet, a journal.

Oprah famously keeps many journals to get her through, she keeps a health and wellness journal to track her growth so she can look back on it and reflect.

But it’s not only her, no successful career woman can get through any day without her planner. It’s her right-hand man and it goes wherever she does.

A journal helps you keep tab of things and a planner helps you note down things you need to do at particular times. And no, it’s not just about keeping up with a to-do list.
You need one for every area, finance, fitness, business plans.

3. Your wellbeing.

Gwyneth Paltrow is a huge wellness advocate and has even built a brand around it – and there’s no wonder she looks so good. But it’s not only her on that’s on a wellness mission, Arianna Huffington also boasts that yoga is the best thing she can do to achieve and maintain balance in her life.

Because if you look after your body, in turn, it will look after you. It’s your wellbeing that will help you become successful, it goes hand in hand! Without it, you’ll struggle, but with it, you’ll be bigger and better.

This concerns your health, what you eat and put into your body (make sure to only eat for energy) and how you switch off at the end of the day.

4. Mindfulness.

If you want to become successful you have to start taking mindfulness seriously.

Take a leaf from Victoria Beckham who uses crystals to keep her grounded, or Gwyneth Paltrow who is very holistic. It’s about clarity and keeping your mind clear.

By doing this you’ll be ensuring that you’re well looked after and calm of mind, which will help you not only to perform better at work but be more present daily.

5. Your self-development

Growth should be one of your top goals always. And it’s something you need to always remind yourself to do.

What makes you different from six months ago? If you reply with nothing then it means you’re not progressing.
Finding the time can be difficult, but that’s where you need to make the time because it will only help you in your career.

Read and buy books you usually wouldn’t, expand your horizons, attend those classes you never get around to – just do it.

Make a list of the areas of your life you want to progress in and then come up with a plan that will help make this happen.

6. Proper Organization

I could talk about organization for days. It’s something that excites me and helps me operate at my best. I cannot think clearly if it is not tidy around me, which means it’s essential that not only my work life is organized by my home life too.

Emma Watson, for example, said she swears by multiple notebooks to get things done. “I keep a dream diary, I keep a yoga diary, I keep diaries on people that I’ve met and things that they’ve said to me, advice that they’ve given me,” she revealed.

Keeping multiple notebooks is no bad thing, it’ll allow you to organize your thoughts and keep everything in the right place. Invest in stationery that’s designed to help your life run smoother.


Amina Priscille Longoh, is a social entrepreneur, a journalist with keen interest in humanitarianism, a philanthropist and founder of Fondation Tchad Helping Hands. An NPC that aims at ensuring that all children have equal opportunities, promoting girl child education, empowering and equipping widowed women who experience daily barriers to their development.

Her academic qualifications includes a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Business Administration and Management from Wintech Professional Institute, Ghana and Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Business/Corporate Communications from Sup’Management, School of Business.

In July 2020, at age 29, Amina was appointed as Chad’s Minister of Women and Child Protection by the Chadian President, Idriss Deby.

Amina Priscille Longoh

The success of her organization, Tchad Helping Hands,  pushed her to the public limelight as the impact has been visible. This afforded her the chance to be called and heard by the country’s respectable officials.

She has been able to share her vision with Chad, French and Egyptian First Ladies.

She is our Monday Inspiration that you should keep doing what you are doing. Keep being consistent and keep making impact in every way you can.