“I was once afraid of people saying, “Who does she think she is?” Now I have the courage to stand and say, “This is who I am.” — Oprah Winfrey

Mathabo Sekhonyana


Technology & Innovation

Organisation / Company

Adoozy Power


Mathabo Sekhonyana, 33, has learned to harness the power of her voice. She’s not afraid to speak up or to speak out. She works as head of marketing and communications at Adoozy Power, where she creates brand awareness, and as a black woman in the tech and marketing space, she’s used her “big mouth” to carve out the career she desired.

She was never afraid to ask for what she deserved concerning big business decisions or when asking for adequate payment and benefits. She’s now in a position to use her voice to serve others too. She conceptualised and launched the Adoozy INPowered programme, which has a free workshop that teaches women how to defend themselves, and it won her an award. This inspired Mathabo to develop a safety feature in the Adoozy app that connects users to emergency hotlines.

Mathabo is at the forefront of bringing power to South Africans, particularly when there is load-shedding. A project she is now involved in is partnering Adoozy up with Uber to bring mobile power banks directly to users. She says the youth are starting to become more entrepreneurial, and are using their tech-savvy talents to tap into myriad streams of income.


BComm (Law)
Postgraduate degree in International Relationships


Female safety and female empowerment are important to me, and I saw the opportunity with Adoozy’s offering to really make a difference in the lives of young women. So, I conceptualised and launched Adoozy’s first CSI campaign, the Adoozy INPowered programme, in partnership with Mark Grobbelaar’s self-protection organisation, Women INPowered. The initiative, which launched during 16 days of activism in 2022, is a free workshop that teaches women how to defend themselves against gender-based violence. In addition to practical theory, we equip them with one — but critical — life saving technique. The programme has been implemented in schools and universities across the country over the past 18 months. Gaining much media attention, the Adoozy INPowered campaign won Best Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative South Africa in the Global Business and Finance Magazine Awards 2023.

The lesson I learnt from this campaign was to “never stop there”. With each workshop we did a survey with the women in the room about their personal experience with GBV. We always got the same response. The majority had experienced or knew someone who had experienced GBV. From an Adoozy perspective, I asked myself, how can we do more? How can I use my role and influence to drive further positive change with our tech? This led to us developing a safety feature in our Adoozy app that connects users directly to emergency hotlines. We also built an emergency contact feature into our power towers. The key lesson for me? To work and innovate with purpose.

I’m also proud to have been selected as one of the Top Most Marketing Leaders in South Africa for 2024 by the World Marketing Congress.


My first source of inspiration is my grandmother; she was the first person who showed by example that women can not only achieve anything but can have an impact on their broader world. From a marketing perspective I have enjoyed watching the journey of Nedbank’s group executive for marketing and corporate affairs, Khensani Nobanda.

Aside from the great work done by her and her team, the way she shows up seems to be entirely authentic — that marriage between excellence and authenticity is one of the qualities I prize most. Globally, Netflix CMO Maria Lee is someone whose work and impact I have really loved and is very inspirational.