Women's Forum Global Meeting 2022


Julia Basetsana Kumalo

BWIH Media Pty Ltd



Businesswoman, Author, and Philanthropist. The Founder and CEO of Basetsana Women Investment Holdings (BWIH) Pty Ltd, a private equity firm with a diverse portfolio in fintech, media, content, extractions, and tourism. In nearly three decades, the serial entrepreneur has created thousands of jobs through her various companies. In every industry she has entered, each platform she has made an indelible impact on the lives of women in South Africa. She is the Chairperson of the Business Women’s Association of South Africa (BWA), the largest business women’s network in the country, which was established 40 years ago. This organization has made a tangible impact in the advancement and empowerment of women so that women become part of the mainstream of the economy. Across diverse industries such as media, real estate, technology, and extractions, a career spanning 28 years has seen Basetsana lead, collaborate, and fight tenaciously to build a legacy that has been recognized by UNICEF, the World Economic Forum, and Stellenbosch University among others. Bassie’s memoir, My Journey of Hope, received rave reviews countrywide and made it one of the best sellers. Bassie chronicles the story of a young girl thrust onto the world stage when she became Miss South Africa in 1994, 1st runner up in Miss World 1994. That opportunity led to a television career whose highs include interviewing music legends Michael Jackson and Luther Vandross and talk show queen Oprah Winfrey, including all the South African Presidents including Nelson Mandela. Passionate about entrepreneurship, mentorship, and women’s development and building the next generation of leaders, she has directly mentored and educated many young people, the bulk of them women, who have gone on to excel in their respective fields. She is the Patron of IamtheCode, the first African-led global movement to mobilize governments, the private sector, philanthropic foundations, investors, and civil society to advance STEAMD (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics, and Design) education. Its goal is to mobilize these groups to invest in future technologies that can drive sustainable development for women and girls in marginalized communities. The wife and mother of three sits on various boards among them the - • Nelson Mandela Institute for Education and Rural Development, which fights for the education of children from some of South Africa’s poorest communities. • Co-Chair - Council of Social Justice Champions, Stellenbosch University. • Holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree (Politics and Communications) from the University of South Africa. • Certificate in Executive Education on Global Leadership from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. • Certificate in Leadership and Decision Making from Yale University

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