Celebrating Game Changers – Mpumi Zikalala

Mpumi Zikalala

The mining industry is not limited to men, over the years we have seen the increase in number of Women participation as industry captains too. It is inspiring when women earn their positions instead of inherit them and one woman who has shown how hard work and determination can take you anywhere you dream of going is the young and beautiful Mpumi Zikalala.

Mpumi has officially been announced as a new addition to the De Beers board as of 2014, this is rolling with the big guns.

A press statement from this multinational conglomerate read: “De Beers Consolidated Mines (DBCM) has appointed Nompumelo ‘Mpumi’ Zikalala to its Board, bringing a wealth of experience in mining, diamond trading and in the advancing the economic and social transformation of the South African Company.”

De Beers is a member of the Anglo American plc group. Established in 1888, it is the world’s leading diamond company with unrivaled expertise in the exploration, mining and marketing of diamonds. Together with its joint venture partners, De Beers employs more than 23,000 people (directly and as contractors) across the diamond pipeline, with mining operations in Botswana, Canada, Namibia and South Africa.

As part of the company’s operating philosophy, the people of De Beers are committed to Living up to Diamonds by making a lasting contribution to the communities in which they live and work, and transforming natural resources into shared national wealth.

Nompumelelo ‘Mpumi’ Zikalala is a South African hailing from Vryheid, KwaZulu-Natal. She holds a BSc Chemical Engineering degree from the University of the Witwatersrand and completed the Emerging Leaders course at the London Business School.

Mpumi started with De Beers as a bursar and worked her way to the top, one intelligent step at a time. She became the first female general manager of a major diamond mine in 2007 and in May 2013, Mpumi was appointed Vice President of De Beers Sight holder Sales South Africa, the rough diamond trading division.

She believes that an individual’s success should not be measured by their own success but by the impact that the individual has made in other people’s lives, she is a strong believer in the word ‘Vukuzenzele’, which is a Zulu word meaning ‘stand up and do it for yourself’, she is living testament of that and many of us can pull a page or two out her book. To think she is only 35, i bet you motivated to do better right about now.

Now, one would expect a woman of such magnitude to be self absorbed and somewhat unapproachable but Mpumi is the exact opposite of that. She is one of the most selfless people on this planet with a heart so huge one wonders how she balances the two

When Mpumi is not discussing mines and commodities she enjoys spending time with family and friends, she loves shopping (naturally). She is well travelled and also dedicates her time to inspiring women and the youth, reminding them that you too can turn an ordinary story into a extraordinary one if you willing to break the sweat.

Did i mention she is not even 40 yet, you will be reading about her in Forbes magazine soon, just remember you read about her here first. We declare Mpumi a Nunnovator, we salute you Mbokoto.