Amanda Dambuza, Founder and Director of consulting company Uyandiswa, was named the overall winner of this year’s coveted Veuve Clicquot ELLE Boss Award in association with Old Mutual Corporate at a bespoke event held in Johannesburg.


The Veuve Clicquot ELLE Boss Award in association with Old Mutual Corporate, celebrates entrepreneurial women and businesswomen who have made a significant contribution to business life in South Africa. The awards ceremony, held on Thursday 9 November at the Ferrari Showroom in Bryanston, with guests of honour French Ambassador to South Africa Christophe Farnaud and Veuve Clicquot International Marketing Director Chloe Stefani, saw guests enjoying an elegant celebration honouring the finalists and their exceptional achievements.


Veuve Clicquot Champagne was served as some of South Africa’s top businesswomen used the evening as an opportunity to engage, re-connect or meet one another in a space of celebration. The evening also offered the opportunity for finalists to meet and network with some of their business heroes, such as Nunu Nthsingila, Head of Facebook Africa, Dr. Lulu Gwagwa, Chief Executive Officer of Lereko Investments and Khanyi Dhlomo, Founder & CEO of Ndalo Media and ELLE magazine.


Following a day of intense debate, the panel of high profile judges selected two winners – one from the corporate category and one from the entrepreneurial category, of which one overall winner was crowned as the Veuve Clicquot ELLE Boss in association with Old Mutual Corporate for 2017. 


The finalists all clearly showcased entrepreneurial spirit, leadership, creativity and determination and are all women who are redefining the world of business one decision at a time, embodying Madame Clicquot’s audacious spirit and innovative approach to business.


Judges included high-profile businesswomen such as Yolanda Miya Managing Director Financing and Solutions Group for Deutsche Bank SA

(and the only female on Deutsche Bank AG Johannesburg Branch Executive Committee) and of course powerhouse Khanyi Dhlomo.


This year’s honour of overall winner was awarded to exceptional entrepreneur Amanda Dambuza who is not only the Founder and Director of consulting company Uyandiswa but also a respected businesswoman involved in a host of information technology businesses and management consultancies. Amanda is a member of various boards and proudly sits as an independent director of an NPO called Donate-A-Piece, whose aim is to take chess to disadvantaged schools and help build children’s analytical and strategic capabilities. 


Founded just four years ago, Amanda’s company Uyandiswa now employs more than 70 people. Amanda is passionate about creating opportunities for other women in business, spending much of her time mentoring and helping women to navigate difficult corporate environments. She uses the resources at her disposal to create business opportunities and incubate women-owned companies. It was this combination of business savvy and compassion that impressed the judging panel. 


Dynamic 5FM Station Manager Justine Cullinan was selected as the winner of the Corporate award. Justine’s tenure at 5FM, starting as Marketing Manager in 2008, saw listenership increase from 1.65 million to 2.3 million in four years. In the past 3 years as Station Manager, Justine has seen the digital community increase beyond traditional listenership by pioneering platforms such as 5FM TV on You Tube and the 5FM mentorship programme. 


Amanda, the overall winner, in addition to public recognition received on the evening of the awards and the exceptional networking opportunities provided, will be flown to visit the prestigious Veuve Clicquot Maison and hosted by Veuve Clicquot in Reims, France, the home of Champagne in 2018.


“Veuve Clicquot is a proud supporter of women in business internationally with the Veuve Clicquot Businesswoman Award, honouring our founder Madame Clicquot, who established herself as one of the first leading female figures in the world of business. We are therefore extremely proud to partner with ELLE magazine in South Africa. This award champions the success of South African business women who share the same inspirational qualities as Madame Clicquot: an enterprising spirit, creativity, courage, determination and, of course, success,” says Chloe Stefani, Veuve Clicquot International Marketing Director. 


Veuve Clicquot ELLE Boss in association with Old Mutual Corporate Judge Khanyi Dhlomo, Founder & CEO of Ndalo Media and ELLE magazine Publisher, herself recognised and honoured as one of SA’s most influential and inspiring businesswomen summed up the 2017 Awards,


“All of our finalists this year were natural leaders, confident, strong, committed and risk-takers who are driven to succeed”, said Khanyi. “Our overall winner Amanda Dambuza exemplifies what a true Veuve Clicquot ELLE Boss stands for: the kind of businesswoman making a real difference to everyday lives and moving South Africa forward.”



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