By Charndré Emma Kippie 

From Finance To African Youth Development 

Born in Zinyoka Village, just outside of King Williams Town, Ms Konehali (Kone) Gugushe is dedicated to making a positive contribution to African development, community development and youth empowerment, today. Her journey, thus far, has taken the path towards successfully developing corporate governance and social responsibility. Her efforts are geared towards uplifting children and communities all over the nation. 

Kone has emphasized the importance of taking a ‘people-centred approach to leadership’. Her determination has led to the cultivation of significant relationships throughout her professional career, whilst navigating numerous diverse roles over the past 20 years. 

However, before starting this journey, Kone became a qualified development Chartered Accountant (SA). In the last two decades, she has taken on many roles spanning over the financial services sector and development finance, and has previously worked for companies such as the Standard Bank Group, Nedbank and The Land Agricultural Development Bank of South Africa. She has acquired valuable expertise in Credit Risk Management, Investment Analysis, Business Process Improvement and Business Strategy. 

List of Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) – Rhodes University
  • Post graduate Diploma in Accounting (PGDA) – University of KwaZulu-Natal
  • Certificate in Theory & Practice of Auditing – University of KwaZulu-Natal
  • Strategic Leadership Development Programme (Business/Commerce) – GIBS Business School
  • Executive Leadership Development Programme – GIBS Business School 

After graduating from Rhodes University and University of Natal, Kone began her career with articles at the audit firm Moores Rowland in Cape Town. Thereafter, she worked at their New York branch and gained international experience in US auditing. After completing her articles, Kone worked at various banks. In addition, she gained experience in private equity management during her time working for Safika Holdings. 

Leadership & CSI Involvement 

Kone quickly developed a keen interest in development, spending five years leading the Nedbank Foundation – the primary CSI division of the Nedbank Group. Here, she drove the CSI strategy of the bank, which was geared towards making the group a key driver for upliftment in South African communities. A significant emphasis was placed on sustainability. 

Throughout her journey, Kone has cultivated a broad wide range of practical expertise and robust leadership traits. Adopting a holistic understanding of governance and risk issues that organisations face, Kone has dedicated her career to active stakeholder management, being a leader with integrity, and good governance. Her overall vision is to be an active agent in creating a brighter future for generations to come through fostering optimal social cohesion and strengthening communities. 

Inspired by her mother’s work in the NGO sector, assisting local communities with self advancement, Kone is committed to selfless work and assisting South Africans.

“I found a lot of inspiration in this [her mother’s] selfless work. It really gave me a great appreciation of what can be achieved if the right resources are channeled to help people advance themselves and not depend on the state”, she said. 

Gugushe’s Accolades

  • Fellow of the African Leadership Initiative (ALI)
  • A member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network
  • Emerging Old Rhodian Award (2014) 
  • Council member of the University of Johannesburg

The Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund 

As the CEO of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, Kone oversees and contributes to the organisation’s work in uplifting South African children and its Youth. The Fund leads various programmes and initiatives, such as Child Survival and Development, Child Safety and Protection, a Youth Leadership Programme, and the Sustainable Livelihoods Project. 

In a release made by The Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, Kone was commended for her expertise and devotion to serving young people:

“We are confident in Ms Gugushe’s wealth of experience and reputable leadership qualities will guide the Fund’s strategic focus…This will include strengthening Madiba’s vision for his legacy organisations for children (the Fund, the Trust and NMCH) by promoting synergies, collaboration, sustainability and alignment.”

About The Fund


The Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund strives to change the way society treats its children and youth. This long-term vision captures the central role society plays in shaping children’s lives.


To give voice and dignity to the African child by building a rights-based movement

Organisational Values 

  • The absolute belief that all children should enjoy the absence of hunger, abuse, exploitation and homelessness, underpinned by a clear notion that the eradication of poverty and its systemic causes are the ultimate desired change as opposed to ameliorating difficult circumstances in which targeted beneficiaries find themselves.
  • The belief that it is possible to have a world where children live with dignity, are safe, nurtured and their voices heard and that the transformation needed to create such a world needs every part of society to play its role.
  • A commitment to applying holistic and integrated approaches that recognise and treat children as part of families and communities, with institutional placements applied as the exception.
  • Children, youth and communities must participate in making decisions that affect their lives.
  • The viable application of service delivery approaches that are informed by children’s constitutional rights and, specifically with reference to the notion that all children have dreams and aspirations and should thus be afforded the opportunity to reach their full potential.
  • The promotion of a culture of best practices, innovation and openness to new learning and professionalism in achieving targeted, measurable results.

Contact Details 

Physical Address: 21 Eastwold Way, Saxonwold 2196, Gauteng

P.O. Box 797 Highlands North 2037

Email :​

Tel: (+27) 11 274-5600

Fax (+27) 11 486-3914

*Check out the latest edition of the Public Sector Leaders publication here.

For enquiries, regarding being profiled or showcased in the next edition of the Public Sector Leaders publication, please contact National Project Manager, Emlyn Dunn: 

Telephone: 086 000 9590 |  Mobile: 072 126 3962 |  e-Mail: