Speakers and Influential Partners
Ebrahim Ismail Ebrahim – Director at the In Transformation Initiative
Ebrahim’s experience in national transformation began at a young age. In 1952, he joined the South African liberation movement as a youth activist, and participated in the Congress of the People Campaign, which drew up and adopted the Freedom Charter in 1955.After the banning of the African National Congress (ANC) in 1960, Ebrahim joined the armed wing of the ANC, Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) in 1961. He was arrested in 1963 and charged under the sabotage act with eighteen other accused in the Pietermaritzburg Sabotage Trial. He was sentenced to 15 years on Robben Island.
He was released in 1979, but was restricted to his hometown in Durban and banned from participating in any public or political activities. In 1980, he went into exile, and managed the political underground from the frontline states bordering South Africa.
In December 1986, he was kidnapped from Swaziland by the South African Security Forces and detained in South Africa, where he was severely tortured. He was charged for high treason and sentenced to 20 years imprisonment on Robben Island. In 1991, the Court of Appeals ruled that his kidnapping from a foreign country was illegal, and that the South African court had no jurisdiction to try him. He was subsequently released from prison in early 1991.
In July 1991, he was elected to the National Executive Committee of the ANC and also became a member of the National Working Committee. During the CODESA (Convention for a Democratic South Africa) negotiations, Ebrahim was tasked by the ANC to establish the Patriotic Front, which consisted of over 93 organisations. The Patriotic Front brought together political, religious, community, cultural and civic organisations. The aim of the Patriotic Front was to achieve consensus on both the negotiation process and the final outcome of the negotiations that led to the establishment of a democratic South Africa. Ebrahim also participated in the CODESA negotiations.
Ebrahim was elected a member of the National Assembly of Parliament in 1994. In August 1997, he was elected Chairperson of the Foreign Affairs Committee and also became a member of the Joint Select Committee on Intelligence. Ebrahim resigned from Parliament in July 2002, to take up the position of the Senior Political and Economic Advisor to the Deputy President of South Africa.
Since 2002, Ebrahim has been actively involved in conflict resolution efforts between Israel and Palestine, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), as well as in Burundi, Kosovo, Bolivia, and Nepal.
In 2006 Ebrahim was appointed as Head of International Affairs at the African National Congress Head Office.
In May 2009 he was appointed as Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation. He continues to serve as a member of the ANC’s National Executive Committee.
After the May 2014 elections in South Africa, President Jacob Zuma appointed Ebrahim as his Parliamentary Councillor for the next five years of his term.
In 2015, Ebrahim was honoured for his lifelong contributions by King Felipe VI of Spain.
Zaida Enver – CEO and Co – Founder of Pure Grit Project and Exhibitions Management
Zaida Enver spent many years in legal finance and international trade working for the British Trade and Investment Office. She started her Project management career at Kagiso Media managing some of the largest exhibitions and events in South Africa. In 2010 Zaida started the Pure Grit Group with business partner Guido Ceruti. Zaida still project manages some of the largest and most prestigious events on the global calendar, including the Tourism INDABA – The third largest Tourism Exhibition in the world and the largest on the African continent. Zaida has won numerous awards for both her local and international exhibitions. In 2016, Pure Grit was the runner up in the prestigious EY International Entrepreneur Award.
Zaida Enver is extremely passionate about empowering and developing women, employing 90% women at Pure Grit.
Miranda Isaakidis – Owner and Co – Founder of Indulgent Spa
Miranda Isaakidis has been involved in international trade for over 20 years as a strategic research specialist and during her career has covered a comprehensive range of sectors. She has worked for international organisations including Accenture, Barclay’s Bank, the US Embassy and British Consulate. In 2005, Miranda co-founded Indulgence Spa Products, a wholesale distribution and manufacturing company which specialises in the supply of high-end products for the spa and hospitality industry. She has been awarded the Outstanding Achievement in International Trade and Investment award by the D Group/British Foreign Office and was recently appointed Chair for WPO Johannesburg, Chapter 2.
Wendy Tlou – Founder of ChicAfrican & Vice President of Communications and Brand at LONMIN
Wendy Tlou is an exceptional force to be recon with in the Communication and Branding space. Not only has Wendy worked on some pretty noteworthy projects, her entrepreneurial spirit is just as impressive. Wendy started her career at South African Tourism, developing and implementing their Global Communications Strategy. Her portfolio quickly expanded and once Wendy left SA Tourism, she joined The Communications Firm, taking on large projects for Clients like the Reserve Bank , MTN SA and the Government Employee Pension Fund. Wendy did not stop there, a year later she joined Ekurhuleni Metro Municipality as their Head of Department: Communication, Marketing and Brand Management and then moved to Brand South Africa as their Chief Marketing Officer. In January 2015, Wendy started ChicAfrican, a content platform to showcase Africa’s finest, upcoming product and design with the drive to move the African continent into the global collective consciousness. Wendy is also currently the Vice President of Communications and Brand at LONMIN.