The Black Management Forum elects Dr Sibongile Vilakazi as its first female president in 17 years


The Black Management Forum (BMF) has announced that Dr. Sibongile Vilakazi has been elected as its next president. The South African is just the second woman to hold the position since the organization’s founding in 1976.

Vilakazi succeeds departing President Andile Nomlala, who has held the position since 2018. She is the first woman to lead the BMF in 17 years since Nolita Fakude served in that capacity from 2003 to 2006.

Vilakazi joined the BMF in 2009 and most recently held the positions of Gauteng Chairperson and Chairwoman of the Social and Ethics Committee on the organization’s board. During this time, she established a reputation for having no tolerance for unethical behavior.

“I am very honoured and humbled to have been elected to lead this great organisation. By electing a woman president, the BMF has reaffirms its commitment to supporting and advancing the interests of women in business and leadership – a cause that I have personally long cherished and championed,” says Vilakazi.

“During my tenure, I will strive to restore the gravitas that will enable the BMF to continue driving the agenda that is close to its stakeholders’ hearts.”

According to Vilakazi, recent advances in the nation’s black economic empowerment (BEE) movement demand that the subject of empowerment return to the forefront.

“A strong focus on socio-economic transformation remains an imperative for us as the BMF, considering the extremely high levels of inequality that still persist among previously disadvantaged demographic groups,” she explains.

“We will remain focused on the development of managerial leadership and the creation of managerial structures that are reflective of the demographics and values of the broader South African society.”

At the University of Pretoria, Wits Business School, and Thabo Mbeki School of Leadership, Vilakazi finished her tertiary education.

She earned a PhD in Organizational Development and Diversity Management, an MA in Research Psychology, a BSOC SCI HONS in Psychology, a BSOC SCI in Psychology, and a qualification in Introduction to Leadership for Africa’s Renewal.

Her commitment for teamwork, collective leadership, and success in both the public and commercial sectors has guided her career.

Her prior employment at Kantar as a consultant, as the deputy director for the MBA Program and a member of the faculty at Wits Business School, as the Head of Group Customer Experience at Alexander Forbes, as well as Senior Segment Manager and Market and Customer Insights Manager at Nedbank, has shown this.

Vilakazi has received high-profile praise for his achievements in business. She received the Tribe Business Magazine Top 20 Modern Leader of the Year award in 2021.

She was also a finalist for the 2020 Standard Bank Top Women Awards in the category of Top Women in Science.

“I am inspired by honest, hardworking and principled ordinary men and women who give of themselves with no expectation. Ultimately, I am a leader driven by justice and fairness and I believe that each of us has a contribution to make to overcome our challenges,” Vilakazi concludes.