“The only way out is through.”




Absa Bank Limited

Zama Chonco, 35, leads a small diverse team of hard-working legal professionals who support the Absa Commercial Property Finance (CPF) business to meet its ambitious growth and revenue targets. “My desire is to find solutions, achieve my goals, and leave the spaces I occupy better than I found them,” she says. Zama manages and mitigates legal risk in respect of CPF transactions across the African continent. This entails continuously enhancing deal implementation processes and documentation, leveraging technology to automate processes creating efficiencies that give the team flexibility and capacity to find creative solutions to business problems without introducing additional legal implementation risk. Zama’s action and vision, bring a young voice and fresh perspective, resolving challenges within the legal space. She has spearheaded initiatives, leveraging existing bank systems and technological enhancement resulting in the creation of automated loan templates for more efficient implementation, bringing about consistency and speed of execution (successfully meeting increasing demands). Zama also sponsors the U13 netball team at Mpumelelo Primary School in KZN and mentors and sponsors some of the players. She is passionate about female empowerment and implementing the cultural change, skillset development frameworks, and technical efficiencies necessary to pave the way for more women to succeed.

  • LLB, University of KwaZulu-Natal
  • LLM, University of the Witwatersrand 
  • Admitted attorney, notary public, and conveyancer

  • Youngest head of legal (CIB) 
  • First black female head of  Absa Commercial Property Finance Legal
  • Youngest member of CIB legal Manco

My parents worked very hard to give us every opportunity possible. I remember waking up at 4 am to the smell of fried fish, russians and vetkoeks as my parents were preparing meals to sell at the tuck shop they ran in addition to their day jobs as teachers. Their incredible work ethic and dedication to our education are peppered in all my childhood memories and have spurred me on exponentially!

Be gentle with yourself. Every day is different, do the best you can with what you have today – it is enough …you are enough.

A place where everyone can realistically earn a living wage by contributing their individual skills and talents to uplift society and live with dignity! A place where hard work and creativity are rewarded and celebrated regardless of your race, role, religion, and occupation.

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