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Raymond Ledwaba, Vice-President: Product Control at Barclay’s Africa, 30

Raymond Ledwaba’s story is proof that determination and persistence pays off. One of six siblings, Raymond grew up in Soweto, with a father who had to work incredibly hard to support his family, as his mother struggled to find work. When his father informed he that he couldn’t afford to pay for university, Raymond realised that needed to work as hard as it took to win a bursary. Ultimately, his determination paid off and he passed matric with three distinctions resulting in a bursary to pursue a CA(SA) qualification.  

Raymond was seconded to PwC’s Chicago office during his articles – his first time ever to board an airplane and leave the country. His seven-month stay in America, he recalls, was the spark that ignited his desire to travel the world.

On completion of his secondment and return home, he looked for job opportunities that would take him outside of the country. His first opportunity was with PwC, where he worked in Nigeria assisting companies listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange to convert their reporting framework from the Nigerian GAAP to IFRS. In addition to his roles in Nigeria and the US, Raymond has also worked in Egypt and Kenya, as well as a number of other African countries, giving him a good understanding of working on the continent.

After his stint in Nigeria, he took on the role as southern African Innovation Manager at PwC, where he helped to work on the firm’s innovation strategies. At the same time, he started his MBA. Just five months into the MBA, Raymond received an offer he simply couldn’t refuse – the Barclay’s Africa Group invited him to join a team that was working on the implementation of various systems and processes across 12 locations on the African continent. “Joining this team was one of the best decisions I have ever made,” he says.

In his personal capacity, Raymond is the co-founder and CEO of Diski Nine9, an NGO that uses soccer as a tool to empower and educate South African youth.  

Although just 30, Raymond has already received a number of impressive accolades: in 2016 he was awarded the Mandela Washington Fellowship, which was President Barak Obama’s flagship programme for Young African Leaders (YALI). The year before, he was selected as one of 100 students from all over the world to participate in the 2015 MBA Summit. Moreover, he has been appointed as the 2018 head of the MBA Summit Organising Committee, where he will lead both a South Africa and a Germany based team in the organisation of next year’s event, which will take place in Cape Town. 

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