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The Wendy Luhabe Portrait

Wendy Luhabe
Artist: Taf [Tafadzwa Mukwashi]
Oil on canvas
305mm x 406mm

Wendy Nomathemba Luhabe, the dauntless global leader in business, pioneer of social entrepreneurship and author, is the inspirational woman in the 28th portrait of Facing a Century by the artist Taf [Tafadzwa Mukwashi].

At the dawn of the New South Africa in 1994, Wendy Luhabe (after a decade in corporate marketing) co-founded Women Investment Portfolio Holdings. The initiative was the first female-owned company to be listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and signaled a historic milestone for South African women seeking to become active participants in South Africa’s economic landscape. Ten years later, Wendy pioneered another first for South Africa when she launched the multi-million rand Private Equity Fund for women-owned proprietary enterprises. She has served as chair and a director of many diverse industries in the public and private sectors in South Africa and internationally. She is a recipient of many recognition awards, including three honorary Doctorates for her contribution.

Currently, Wendy Luhabe is a member of US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton’s International Council on Women’s Business Leadership. She has served as chairperson of Vodacom SA, the Industrial Development Corporation, the International Marketing Council and as director of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. She is on the board of the International Institute of Management Development in Switzerland and a jury president for the International Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards.

Wendy Luhabe is the author of ‘Defining Moments’, a book on ‘the serendipitous, unexpected, surprising encounters in our lives which always stand out when we look back at our life journey.’ The intention of her book was to ‘guide Black professionals to value hard work, discipline, effort, resilience and values as the cornerstone of success. To demonstrate that circumstances need not limit our achievements in life, something that Wendy’s story bears testament to. She has her own unique range of electronic greeting cards which are available online at

Wendy established the Wendy Luhabe Foundation to educate the young and disadvantaged about 8 years ago. She is a patron of Junior Achievement South Africa and she funded the organization’s Entrepreneurship Academy Pilot Programme. She is a coach on The Big Break Legacy, a South African reality TV show on entrepreneurship. She believes that South Africa needs to become an entrepreneurial nation in order to grow its economy.

Wendy Luhabe is a woman who has achieved so much and yet has been left unchanged by her success. She is an approachable, compassionate woman who has a genuine love for humanity, unwavering faith and a never-ending reservoir of hope. She leads because she inspires. She has lived up to the meaning of her African name, Nomathemba, by being one of South Africa’s trailblazers and she is a true ambassador for this nation.

Thank you, Wendy Luhabe, for lending your face to Facing a Century.
[Many thanks to Linda Luhabe!]

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