This South African Media Princess seems to be the stuff that legends are made of. Born in 1975, Khanyi made history in 1995, when she was just 20 and a journalism student at the University of Witwatersrand. She was the first black News Anchor for SABC1, South Africa’s national broadcaster a position she was appointed to from a low-paid freelance reporting job.
Her stint in broadcasting was eventful and the ratings for the evening news bulletin which she anchored reportedly sky rocketed. To ape a phrase, Khanyi was the country’s media sweetheart. To cull a quote from Mfonobong Nsehe’s article on Forbes “Everyone just loved watching her,” said Justus Sikinya, a 40 year-old investment banker based in Pretoria. “I remember back then, most of us men didn’t watch the 8 O’clock news because we cared about current events. We watched news because we just wanted to see Khanyi Dhlomo on TV. Seeing her on TV made us sleep well at night.” Aint that right!
However much the men of South Africa loved to see Khanyi on their screens, Khanyi loved something else even more. She loved print media and editing! Even as a TV personality, she constantly sought opportunities to work as an editor, and an opening for a fashion and beauty assistant at True Love magazine-a women’s magazine with a continental reach-seemed like the right place to be; even though it may have appeared regressive at the time; it goes without saying that you are the architect of your dreams. As we say in pidgin, ‘Na you know how e dey do you for body.’*
Khanyi toiled through the ranks at True Love, doing more gruelling field work than editing; but she kept her eyes and ears wide open and mastered the finer details of the magazine business while she did her chores. The moment she had been waiting for finally came in 1995, with an opening amongst the top brass. The publishers selected Khanyi as the ideal candidate to steer the course of the magazine to even greater heights, and she was ready, and set to go! Success they say, happens when preparation meets opportunity; how are you grooming yourself to be prepared when that opportunity comes knocking?
At only 22, Khanyi was appointed editor, and within a year, True Love’s circulation reportedly doubled and expanded into various countries outside South Africa including Nigeria. In 2003, Khanyi stepped down from the magazine and relocated to Europe temporarily. Whilst there, her genius continued to shine as she served as the Manager of South Africa’s Tourism Board in Paris, France. She subsequently undertook an MBA at Harvard Business School where she met Jonathan Newhouse, Chairman of Conde Nast International (publisher of Vogue magazine), who became her mentor.
With lessons from her mentor, Khanyi returned home to South Africa, revamped and ready to take on the world of print media and this time she was starting hers! She founded Ndalo Media — a joint venture with Media 24, the publishing arm of Naspers, Africa’s largest media company. Through Ndalo, Khanyi publishes two magazines; Destiny Magazine and the Destiny Man, both highly successful magazines that combine business and lifestyle content to cater to successful, professional, stylish and intellectually curious men and women. In 2008, Ndalo Media founded DestinyConnect.com, a website that serves as the online extension of Destiny’s publications. The website integrates an interactive social media platform with original and exclusive content, video footage, blogs, forums and business and personal profile listings.
Named ‘Most Influential Woman in South African Media’ by The Media Magazine in 2003, Khanyi was selected as a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader in 2010, and made the 2011 Forbes list of 20 Young Power Women in Africa.
In 2013, Khanyi launched her Hyde Park luxury boutique, ‘Luminance’ under the banner of Ndalo Luxury Ventures, an enterprise which she described thus: “The Luminance Private Label brand will positively impact the local clothing industry as we have contracted a Johannesburg factory that is female-owned and run to manufacture 50% of the range. They’ll have an ongoing engagement with our Italian manufacturers creating the other 50% of the garments, which demonstrates our passion for skills transfer in the local sector.” Talk about diversifying, right?
Khanyi is married, and at the last count, a mother of two. She is a thriving, dynamic woman who ensures she is prepared to utilise the opportunities that come her way; are you prepared?
*Na you know how e dey do you for body.’- Only a person truly knows what troubles/ails him.
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© 2013 – 2017, Jennifer Nkem-Eneanya. All rights reserved.