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Series 2, Episode 1: The Sipho Nkosi Business Leadership journey

I saw my role as healing people, to heal the nation … to heal my team.

Sipho Nkosi is a South African business icon who has created a mining empire, but his father’s attitude to the challenges of Apartheid South Africa is what shaped his mission.

“I saw my role as healing people, to heal the nation … to heal my team and I think we’ve gone a long way to creating people who mirror what South Africa could be if we did things correctly.”

In March 2016, Sipho Nkosi retired as CEO of Exxaro Coal. His credentials include being the former president of the Chamber of Mines South Africa, a non-executive director of Sanlam and of course one of the founders and the CEO of Eyesizwe Coal, which eventually merged with Kumba Resources and became Exxaro Coal.

His story is punctuated with the good, the bad, the ugly … and famously iconic names. Graham Boustred, Gavin Relly – these are the calibre of people who mentored Nkosi as he negotiated the corridors of power in an unfairly-weighted system in South Africa at the time.

Regarding his ideas about business, Nkosi maintains that leadership is not the result of an event, but rather a continuous process. “… over time as you embrace certain things, as you learn certain things … then your eyes open up to the fact that you can do something; you can be somebody; you can make a contribution to the country”.

In this face-to-face interview, Nkosi shares his journey to being a business leader, without any convenient self-censorship. Along the way he delivers personal insights and gems of wisdom – very much like the riches delivered by the mines that he guided for so many years.

In partnership with FNB, Moneyweb presents this bespoke leadership video series with top business people. The interview draws on the person’s life, failures and the lessons they have learnt on their journey to the successful leadership positions they hold today.

Other business leaders share their stories here.

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