Mati Nyazema, Executive Director of the Sandton Convention Centre (SCC), has been selected as a finalist for the Businesswoman of the Year 2011 Award, hosted by the Business Women’s Association of Southern Africa (BWASA).
The BWASA is the largest and most prominent association of business and professional women in South Africa, and the voice of women in business. Since its inception in 1980, the Businesswoman of the Year Award has become South Africa's most prestigious award for women in business.
The award has a number of purposes, which have remained consistent over the years. It recognises and honours the achievement of South African women business leaders. It helps to create a cadre of women role models and also makes a tangible contribution to the next generation of women business leaders, by having all proceeds of the annual event go to the BWA Bursary Fund.
Mati has a rich history of empowering women and a personal passion for advocating women’s issues, mentoring colleagues and raising the profile of women in business. “I am very honoured at being selected as a finalist for this prestigious award.
South African society has progressed far in recognising women, but much advocacy still needs to be done to entrench women in the business world,” says Mati Nyazema, Executive Director at the Sandton Convention Centre.
During Mati’s tenure, the Sandton Convention Centre has won several accolades, including:
- 2006/2007/2008 - Best Exhibition Venue by the Exhibition Association of Southern Africa’s (EXSA)
- 2006/2007/2008/2011 - Favourite Technical Venue - Technical Production Services Association (TPSA)
- 2006/2007/2009 - Diamond Arrow Award by Professional Management Review (PMR)
- 2007 - South Africa’s Top 300 Performing Companies (TopCo Media)
- 2007 - Best Conference Venue (The Star “Your Choice 2007 Award”)
- 2007 - Golden Arrow Award - Best Exhibitions Venues in South Africa - PMR)
- 2007 - Imvelo Awards - Best Energy Management
- 2009 - Top 5 Event & Exhibition Venue - PMR
In 2010, the SCC was selected as a finalist for the Best Marketing Awards hosted by The International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) during their annual congress in Hyderabad India.
The year 2010 also heralded a stellar performance for the SCC as it obtained the highest ever occupancy and revenue during the 2010 FIFA World Cup in June and July. The SCC hosted many key 2010 FIFA World Cup events, some of which took place in the build up to the kick-off. Soccerex, the global leader in the business of football was successfully hosted, as was the prestigious 60th FIFA Congress which kick-started the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
During the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the South African Broadcasting Corporation's broadcast centre was set up at the SCC and it also played host to the Heads of States Breakfast, the unveiling of the Brazil 2014 logo and campaign, the Mandela Day Dinner and Sony's closing dinner featuring Beyoncé and Shakira.
An impressive line-up of meetings, events and conferences has already been confirmed for 2011 and beyond. Sandton Convention Centre has already been appointed as the venue of choice for many future international congresses and exhibitions, for example the India Clothing and Textile Trade in 2011, the International Federation of Societies of Cosmetic Chemists Congress and the International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation in 2012, the 4th World Conference on Doping in Sport in 2013 and the 21st General Meeting of the International Mineralogical Association in 2014.
In addition to her SCC responsibilities, Mati spearheads the BBBEE implementation within the Southern Sun Hotel group. To her credit, Southern Sun won the 2011 Top Empowerment Company award in the Travel, Leisure and Entertainment category. Says Mati: “I am an ardent believer in the possible, and I do believe that given South Africa’s political legacy, there is an ethical obligation for all South African organisations to deliver more economic empowerment to our communities”.
“The last decade has seen several African economies shifting towards growth and development. A lot has been said about “it’s Africa’s time”. What we have not heard enough of, is that it is time for the African woman to stand tall and proud. I am looking forward to continue being a champion of women in Africa, showcasing and documenting women’s issues and successes and eventually driving change and transforming perceptions” concludes Mati.