Maphuti Hlako, 31, is the public relations and communications specialist at Maphuti Hlako Media.
In 2021, she worked with Team South Africa at the Olympic and Paralympic Games as press attaché and at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, UK.
In September 2022, she won a Momentum GSport Award in the category Woman in PR and Sponsorship. She was appointed by World Rugby to be tournament media and communications manager at the World Rugby Challenger Series in Stellenbosch, World Rugby U20 Championship in Cape Town and the World Rugby U20 Trophy in Kenya, this year.
Maphuti, who has a BCom in recreation and sports management from the University of Pretoria, started Maphuti Hlako Media at a young age. This demonstrates Maphuti’s entrepreneurial spirit and ability to build networks and relationships that have propelled her career forward.
Her consultancy work with major sporting bodies highlights her expertise and ability to contribute to the growth of the sports industry.
As a black woman, Maphuti’s success in a male-dominated industry is inspiring. By breaking through barriers, she serves as a role model for other women aspiring to work in the sports industry.
Her accomplishments illustrate that hard work and determination can lead to recognition and success. One of the biggest lessons she has learned in her career is that “your network is your net worth. You need to be intentional with building and maintaining relationships in the sports industry.”
What is the best piece of advice you've ever been given?
To be Loud and Unashamed in who God has called me to be. This was the message of a sermon my pastor At Boshoff preached in 2012.
Our theme this year is Accelerating Equality & Empowerment in Women. How do you empower yourself and women around you?
Whenever and wherever I can, I would like to take other women with me to work with me, learn with me, and win with me. And if I can’t take them with me, I want to support and cheer on other women in what they do. I empower myself by consistently taking risks and challenging myself in unfamiliar territories.
If you could change or achieve one thing for South Africa today, what would it be?
My dream is for equal pay and opportunities for professional sports women as men receive.