Naledi is a feminist movement builder who curates and facilitates platforms for dialogue and learning for African women as a pathway to achieving social justice and systems change.
Until August 2021, Naledi was the chief executive officer of the Zanele Mbeki Development Trust (ZMDT), a civil society organisation based in South Africa, committed to improving the status of African women. Through her role, she has contributed to advancing the dream of an inclusive society by centring and elevating the voices and lived experiences of marginalised African women. Her work has provided a way to influence policy and societal discourse on development matters. She has achieved this in part through managing and curating a feminist fellowship programme for young African women and co-facilitating one of the largest gatherings of African women, the African Women In Dialogue (AfWID) platform.
Naledi’s prior experience also includes six years in the inclusive finance sector working and advocating for access to developmental financial resources by rural communities in South Africa. This work centred around providing financial, capacity, and sustainability support to predominately women-owned micro-businesses in rural and peri-urban areas. She also served as former Chairperson of the Mutual and Federal Community Trust - a grant-making institution supporting the sustainability of community-based organisations.
These professional and community-building milestones are testaments to more than a decade’s-long dedication and service to advancing women’s rights and peace on the African continent. Naledi has had significant engagements in gender and peace policy dialogues with civil society organisations and governments in Africa and around the world. Notably, she has given testimony and presented to the UN Security Council on best-practice methodologies on the issue of Women, Peace and Security (WPS).
Naledi holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Finance from the University of the Witwatersrand and a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Administration from the Gordon Institute of Business Science.
What inspires me is the fact that change is a constant feature of humanity. I am aware that certain aspects of my present reality were once a dream and that I am reaping the freedoms birthed by generations of women and men before me. The most frustrating aspect of change-making is the fact that our work seldom comes with a predetermined “ETA” and so it is difficult to gauge progress and tangible impact whilst on the journey. However, history has taught us that change is often certain and that injustices are surmountable. I know that every day my work contributes to the collective pile of straw by change-makers all over the world and that will ultimately break the back of injustice and inequality.