Little Miss Sunshine Foundation and Mondi Group
In 2022, the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants named Nolwazi Mdunge, 29, the top 35 under 35 chartered accountant in the country and she was also awarded the NPC Executive of the Year by Abasa. As a finance business partner at Mondi, she offers financial consultation to decision-makers and assesses the feasibility of new revenue streams, managing a R250 million budget. At the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, Nolwazi founded the Little Miss Sunshine Foundation, which is a non-profit company aiming to promote early childhood development, and women empowerment, and address some of the social ills faced in South Africa. Its first project was donating food vouchers and parcels to over 500 families. Together with Rise Against Hunger, an international organisation that co-ordinates the distribution of food, it delivered 500 meals to families. Among the Little Miss Sunshine Foundation’s other projects are donating shoes to primary schools, giving a year’s supply of sanitary pads to two high schools and assisting university students. Nolwazi is driven by the need to “make an impact in society and address the social ills faced in communities. Leaving people in a better condition than I found them is rewarding and motivates me to keep assisting where I can.” Her advice to her younger self would be: “Take time to enjoy life (responsibly) because it passes by so quickly. Don’t stress about the future, you’re on the right track. Everything works out in the end.”
- Qualified chartered accountant registered with the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants
- I completed my articles at KPMG.
- I obtained my undergraduate degree at the University of KwaZulu Natal and my postgraduate degree at the Monash University of South Africa.
- In 2022, Abasa named me NPC Executive of the Year for the work completed under the Little Miss Sunshine Foundation.
- In 2022, the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants named me the top 35 under 35 chartered accountant in the country.
One of my childhood memories that keeps me going is of my parents working hard every day to give us (my sisters and me) the best of everything. They took us to the best schools and worked hard to keep us there. The doors that opened and the opportunities I was afforded post-school are essentially their return on investment in me. Doing my best, and subsequently achieving great results, is an indication to them that their hard work was not in vain.
Take time to enjoy life (responsibly) because it passes by so quickly. Don’t stress about the future, you’re on the right track. Everything works out in the end.
A power-cut-free economy is every economically active South African’s dream at the moment. The electricity sector poses the greatest risk to economic growth prospects, with generation capacity insufficient to cover the economy’s needs, and this has a ripple effect on other factors contributing to an upswing in the economy. Ideally, in the next five years, I’d like to see the unbundling of Eskom finalised for opportunities to procure additional electricity capacity from independent power producers and a shift towards greener energies. I’d also like to see a significantly reduced unemployment rate driven by the youth becoming increasingly entrepreneurial and eager to pursue livelihoods independent of the government and big corporations. Five years from now, South Africa should be upgraded by global credit rating agencies as foreign investment levels improve. Gender-based violence should be a thing of the past, as the government must have enacted strict laws.