ENGINEERING CATEGORY: Herewith are the nominees!

Congratulations are in order for our top six nominees in the ENGINEERING category!

Yolanda Mabuto

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CEO of Divaine Growth Solutions, a professional organisation in the energy sector that provides consultancy work and efficient project management services as well as addressing gender inequality challenges.
Divaine Growth Solutions implements and facilitates 2030 Sustainable Development Goals around Clean & Affordable Energy, Gender Equality and Education. focusing on encouraging youth to focus on STEM by providing programs and mentorship geared to supporting their careers.
She is the National Secretariat at Association of Municipal Utility Electricity’s Women in Electricity program. The program aims to empower and develop women in the energy sector and focusing on talent development in the STEMI field.
She is actively serving at the BRICS Business Council under the Clean Energy and Green Economy Working Group, she also holds executive positions in various Gender Advocacy, Education Socio -Economic Growth drive within the continent. In 2019 she partnered with ESKOM’s EXPO for Young Scientist driving the Women in Science drive through visiting schools in Western Cape and encouraging them to focus on STEM and fostering innovation.
She sits in different boards and advisory positions including African Utility Week, Power Gen – Africa and Association of Municipal Electricity Utility – Women in Electricity.
In 2018 she was chosen as an African Change Maker representing South Africa. She is the National Director of Global Brand Ambassador for United State of America’s organisation. She holds qualification from UCT Graduate School of Business, she is an Education and Economic Activist, a pioneer for Women’s Advancement.

Onkabetse Chaane

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Onkabetse Chaane is a registered Candidate Quantity Surveyor with the South African Council of Quantity Surveying Profession (SACQSP). Onkabetse started her academic career at the University of Pretoria and boasts a BSc. Quantity Surveying degree as well as a BSc. Quantity Surveying Honours degree. She is currently pursuing a MSc. Quantity Surveying degree specializing in Green Buildings. She is an As Built Green Building consultant, qualified through the Green Building Council of South Africa in 2016 (GBCSA).

During her career in Quantity Surveying, she has been involved in numerous projects ranging from R9 million to R0.5 billion, some of which are currently in the construction phase. Her exposure has included business strategy development to reposition and rebrand a well experienced Quantity Surveying organisation in order to expose them to new growth opportunities and instill sustainable building principles.

Onkabetse will use her practical & academic experience, leadership & technical skills and her heart for rural African communities to drive Bopelokgale as the beacon of socio-economic & sustainable infrastructure design, enhancing and benefiting the lives of all African people and their economies.

With her leadership skills and heart for rural communities in Africa, she pursued to launch Bopelokgale (Pty) Ltd., which focuses on sustainable buildings. She looks forward to introducing sustainability to rural areas in African communities by incorporating socio-economic solutions to benefit the economy.

Thandi Thabethe

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Thandi is a Chemical engineer. She holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) with Cum Laude at University of KwaZulu Natal.

Thandi’s research paper,  was her way of contributing and voicing out the concerns that we as women face on a daily bases in our different paths of life, focusing more on business career journey. The topic for her research was about Transformation in the Petroleum Retail Business: A Case of African Black Women Ownership of Engen Service Stations in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Her topic aimed to expose the industry to ordinary African females so that those who are interested to enter this business in this industry can know the challenges and suggested solutions to them

She is a mentor and a coach to young engineering graduates both at work and in the community.

She is the founder of youth mentorship program that is starting to get shape in Durban. Thandi is a member of Women with Drive committee and worked with the eThekwini Municipality.

Sthembile Tshikosi

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Sthembile Tshikosi, is a serial entrepreneur, a big dreamer, trailblazer and a sealing breaker in the engineering space, and now recently in the beauty industry, through her skincare brand Skumba Organics. She is also passionate about health and wellness, having studied Naturopathic Nutrition through a UK based College of Natural Medicine.

She is working towards owning her own chain of private clinics around the country.

Ditebogo Koenaite

Engineering (7)

DT as she is affectionately known, is a qualified female pilot.She holds a Commercial Pilot license (CPL) and is working towards obtaining the highest license in a fixed wing capacity, that is, an Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL).

She is currently a Flight Operations Inspector in training at the South African Civil Aviation Authority. Flying has always been something she aspired towards and has turned out to be one of the only things she loves to do.

She is passionate about aviation awareness in rural South Africa, and sets aside time to conduct outreaches at schools. She received a bursary to complete her CPL in 2016 and wants to further expand awareness on various platforms about the aviation industry to young people as much as possible, so as to demonstrate to them that they too can soar to greater heights.

Tshego Cornelius

Engineering (6)

Tshego is a Power System Protection Engineer with experience in the design and
development of protection systems. Her work experience includes high voltage systems,
secondary plant, project management (PMBOK), tender adjudication and evaluation as well as compilation of technical specifications and standards.
Her career as an Engineer in Training in 2009 within Eskom’s Transmission Division and is now the Engineering Design Application Manager within the Eskom’s Group Technology Division.

Her leadership highlights includes Leader of the Young Professionals Forum (YPF) at Eskom, Chairperson of the SAIEE Central Gauteng Centre and most recently, Chairperson of the Women in Engineering South African Section (WiE-SA) for the IEEE.


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The Womandla – Women in STEM Awards shines a light on the achievements of women in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics industries and recognises excellence among those who strive to make a positive difference in the community.

Nominations can be sent for entrepreneurs or professionals of any related organisation, from all industries and from the private and public sectors.

Nedbank Women in stem awards


Date: 17 August 2019

Venue: The Vineyard Hotel, Cape Town

Time: 09h00am-12h00pm


Banking Details:

Womandla Foundation NPC. FNB Business Acc 62811072876

Reference: YOUR NAME, STEM

Molo Mhlaba: A Pan-African iSTEAM primary schools for girls

Sihle Nontshokweni recently met with the Molo Mhlaba team to learn more about the vision of their upcoming school.

molo mhlaba

By Sihle Isipho Nontshokweni

Molo Mhlaba is a network of Pan-African iSTEAM (Innovation, Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) primary schools for girls who aim to educate girls from pre-primary up to primary school level.

This project offers an alternative pathway for primary education in South Africa. Commonly, to attain high-quality education children from low-income communities have had to shun black and colored schools adjacent to their homes, refusing to be trapped by geography. On the daily, they are transported past railways and bridges, tearing down soft zonings and apartheid spatial engineering to access the likes of “Model C” schools.

Starting from 2018 they will receive their first intake of 60 learners. The energy and passion this team carries for their work is palpable and contagious. This is demonstrated in the words shared by Rethabile Mashale, Director of Molo Mhlaba:

“Once you see the complex challenges these children face, and upon witnessing the impact that your work can make- you can’t help but think, keep working- keep working- you’ll sleep when you’re dead” says Mashale.

The Molo Mhlaba schools are changing this narrative; that to access good education, you ought not to move further away from home. Their first school will be launched in Khayelistha, a township area in Cape Town. Their broader vision is to launch high quality schools across South Africa in low-income communities.
Till now, there have been no iSTEAM schools targeted at grooming girls in low income communities. This alternative promises to cultivate the potentials of girl learners whilst nurturing and affirming their African identity and womanhood. Through a pan African perspective, these schools seek to groom the next generation of young woman leaders, without exposing them to the aggressive assimilationist script that has characterized most Model C schools.

To learn more visit

Our contributor, Sihle Nontshokweni, hails from the Eastern Cape. Her primary research is on education change, with a focus on social cohesion is formerly White only schools. She identifies as a writer and storyteller. Her short stories and thought-provoking pieces on social dichotomies can be found on

The sky isn’t the limit, it’s my office!

We are often told that the sky is the limit. Oyama Matomela, a commercial pilot license holder at 22, South African brand ambassador and strong believer in our living God disputes this, saying it’s more like her office. She is a loving, fun person, with a whole lot of spunk. She believes that laughing is one of the best things on earth and describes herself as sassy, driven, goal-orientated and ambitious beyond her abilities (sometimes). She is added to the ever-growing list of Sorority Sayings contributors, and this is what she had to say!


SS: When did you realize that you wanted to be a pilot?

OM: Early memories of family trips taken to the Port Elizabeth International Airport to watch in fascination while the aircrafts take-off and land, brought to me an unimaginable dire need to venture into Aviation and Piloting in my teen years

SS:When did you qualify?

OM: The Department of Roads and Transport of The Eastern Cape awarded me a bursary to commence my initial pilot training (theoretical and practical) at 43 Air School, Port Alfred in January of 2010. A life-changing year and eight months was spent in what was the most challenging and seemingly impossible experience that without a doubt tested my passion for flying. This tested me, drove me to work harder than I ever thought I could. There was no limit I would not stretch to, to achieve my goal of becoming a multi-engine, instrument rated commercial pilot in August of 2011.

SS: What where the biggest obstacles to obtaining your wings?

OM: It became difficult for a low hour pilot such as myself, to find a job in this ever growing Aviation Industry. In December 2012, I self-studied gearing myself to write the Airline Transport Pilot License Examinations in March 2012 which I did and successfully passed all of them.I then enrolled for the September 2012 Grade III Flight Instructor Rating course (fixed wing) with the aid of The Department of Roads and Transport of The Eastern Cape, which I successfully completed and became a qualified Grade III Flight Instructor in December 2012.

SS: Please share some of the struggles that women face in this industry.

OM: As females we are, for the most part, raised in a different light. Playing with dolls in princess castles rather than being exposed to machinery, while men are generally exposed to racing cars as young boys, this raises the stereotype that compared to men, females do not have the natural ability to fly. As a female pilot in a male dominated industry, you take these stereotypes in your stride and pray more often, work harder, practice discipline and sacrifice your all. With passion, half the battle is won.


SS: You recently won an award, what was it and how were you selected?

OM: I was recently nominated for CEO Communications’ “Most Influential Women in Business and Governance”. I was notified by CEO Communications that I had been nominated. I then had to fill in an extensive questionnaire of my qualifications and role to society in the Aviation Sector. A selection process narrowed the nine thousand nominations and entries to just under one hundred. It was an incredible honour to be nominated for this role and an overwhelming surprise to receive a finalist award in the Aviation Sector.

SS: How do young girls, who look up to you, join the industry?

OM: I would definitely encourage young women and girls to pursue a career in the Aviation industry. Young girls should start off on the right foot at school in concentrating on Mathematics and Science. These are two subjects that sponsorships and bursary benefactors base their selection processes on.

Mostly,as women we shouldn’t limit our dreams. Nothing is impossible, even the word says “I’M POSSIBLE”.


Happy Birthday Captain Ojams! We celebrate you! Keep rocking the runway!