Trailblazer Nonkululeko Gobodo Honoured With Prestigious Award!
Photo Cred: University of Pretoria | Nonkululeko Gobodo | Supplied

Nonkululeko Gobodo, South Africa’s first black female chartered accountant, was honoured with the UP Chancellor’s Medal for her groundbreaking achievements and leadership in the accounting profession.


Pretoria, South Africa (19 April 2024) – In a momentous occasion that celebrates determination, leadership, and resilience, Nonkululeko Gobodo, South Africa’s pioneering black female chartered accountant, was honoured with the Chancellor’s Medal by the University of Pretoria’s Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS).

This prestigious recognition was bestowed upon her during the autumn MBA graduation ceremony held on 16 April.

Born with a natural flair for figures, Gobodo’s journey began in Mthatha, Eastern Cape, where she assisted her father with bookkeeping for his panel-beating shop during her school years. Inspired by WL Nkuhlu & Co, the firm that audited her father’s accounts and owned by Professor Wiseman Nkuhlu, South Africa’s first black male chartered accountant, she set her sights on a CA qualification.

Professor Morris Mthombeni, the Dean of GIBS, who nominated Gobodo for the award, remarked, “It is particularly fitting that she is awarded the Chancellor’s Medal, as Prof Nkuhlu was the longstanding Chancellor of UP. Gobodo’s determination led her to enrol at the University of Transkei (now Walter Sisulu University) for a BCom degree in the late 1970s, paving the way for her CA ambitions.”

Despite the scarcity of black CAs in the 1980s and early 1990s, Gobodo’s courage and leadership skills propelled her to establish her own accountancy firm, Gobodo Incorporated, in 1992. She fondly recalls this as one of the proudest moments in her life. Her entrepreneurial spirit didn’t stop there; she played a pivotal role in the 2011 merger of Gobodo Incorporated with SizweNtsaluba VSP, forming SizweNtsalubaGobodo (SNG), now known as SNG Grant Thornton.

Today, it stands as South Africa’s largest black-owned accountancy firm and one of the ‘Big Five’ largest accounting firms in southern Africa.

Trailblazer Nonkululeko Gobodo Honoured With Prestigious Award!
Photo Cred: University of Pretoria | Nonkululeko Gobodo | Supplied

Reflecting on her leadership journey, Gobodo emphasises the importance of understanding oneself to effectively lead others.

“At this level, qualifications remain important, but the role demands more than these,” she says. “It takes maturity to appreciate the different gifts and talents people bring to the table.”

After serving as executive chair of SNG until 2015, Gobodo ventured into leadership consulting, co-founding Nkululeko Leadership Consulting (NLC) in 2016, where she served as CEO until 2021. Now at the helm of Awakened Global, established in 2021, she addresses ongoing prejudice and racism experienced by women in the workplace.

In her autobiography, ‘Awakened… to my true self’, published in 2022, Gobodo shares her personal journey of forgiveness and ambition.

“I had to pursue my ambitions,” she asserts. “Women need to seize this time to get where we should be in all forms of leadership.”

While she acknowledges the importance of ambition, Gobodo offers a word of advice to young professionals: “They need to put in a lot of hard work before they are ready for board positions.”

Today, Gobodo revels in her accomplishments, choosing the boards she wishes to sit on and appreciating life’s moments with her adult children. Yet, with Awakened Global, she remains committed to a larger mission.

“We can establish our own firms and grow them. We can do whatever we want to do, but whatever we do, we must do our part.”

In celebrating Nonkululeko Gobodo’s remarkable achievements, we are reminded of her inspiring message: “Wherever you are and whichever job or profession you are in, do your part!”

Her journey is a shining example of what can be achieved with determination, leadership, and an unwavering commitment to making a difference.

Sources: University of Pretoria | Nonkululeko Gobodo 
Don’t ever miss the Good Things. Download the Good Things Guy App now on Apple or Google
Do you have something to add to this story? Please share it in the comments or follow GoodThingsGuy on Facebook & Twitter to keep up to date with good news as it happens, or share your good news with us by clicking here or click the link below to listen to the Good Things Guy Podcast with Brent Lindeque – South Africa’s very own Good Things Guy. He’s on a mission to change what the world pays attention to, and he truly believes there’s good news around us. In the Good Things Guy podcast, you’ll meet these everyday heroes & hear their incredible stories:

Or watch an episode of Good Things TV below, a show created to offer South Africans balance in a world with what feels like constant bad news. We’re here to remind you that there are still so many good things happening in South Africa & we’ll leave you feeling a little more proudly South African.

Facebook Comments

About the Author

Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *