Anna Mokogokong is a medical doctor by profession, who set off in 1995 to start what has today become one of South Africa’s biggest business success stories. She is a businesswoman who has received international acclaim for her entrepreneurial ability. She has been a born entrepreneur as she has traded sandwiches for cash from a tender age in primary school. Anna Mokgokong was born in Soweto and raised in Swaziland. She promotes women to be on boards as well as in the procurement sector. She considers herself self as an activist in this regard. She went on to complete her BSc. from the University of Botswana before going to Medunsa to complete her MBChB. It was during this time that Anna’s real entrepreneurial flair came into being.
She is presently married with two children. In 1981, whilst studying medicine, Anna started a business selling handbags and belts to her fellow students and residents at Medunsa. Through a contact in Swaziland, she was given R40 000 worth of stock. The business became a huge success and diversified to include African clothing and curios. The lecturers at medical school did not like the fact that Anna was running a lucrative business whilst studying and tried to persuade her to drop her business interest and focus on her studies even though she was one of the top performing students at Medunsa. She rose above the discouragements, and the undeterred Anna continued with her business. By the time she completed her medical degree, she was able to sell her business for R150000. Anna used this capital to establish the Hebron Medical Centre in 1992. Overcoming significant obstacles, she built the center from a zero-base into a primary health care and baby welfare clinic with over 40000 patients, serving eight villages.
As an entrepreneur, Anna is passionate about ensuring that previously disadvantaged South Africans have the opportunity to participate in the broader economy. She has made tremendous trademarks as has served on various boards. Dr. Mokgokong serves on the Boards of Novartis SA (Pty) Ltd. (Pharmaceuticals), and Fasic Investment Corporation (Pty) Ltd./Fasic Limited with significant holdings in Lion Match and Kimberly Clark. She believes that while CI Holdings strives to maximize shareholder value, it is companies who promote the wider interests of their stakeholders and of society that have the strongest chance of long-term success.
As a businesswoman she has received international acclaims for her entrepreneurial ability – co-owner of Community Investment Holdings (and South Africa’s Business Woman of the Year in 1999), her list of accolades is as long as her list of executive portfolios and directorships she holds at some of South Africa’s biggest and most esteemed organizations and corporations. Today, she is worth an estimated R107-million; Dr. Mokgokong has been identified as one of the top ten wealthiest black South African entrepreneurs. Her multibillion-rand company (Community Investment Holdings), which she jointly owns with business partner Joe Madungandaba, is one of the most successful companies of its kind in the country.
Anna Mokgokong is the Co-founder and Executive Chairperson of Community Investment Holdings. She is also a Non-Executive Director of Afrocentric, a board member of four listed companies and chair of three, including Shoprite Checkers, the largest retailer in Africa where she is the first woman director. Mokgokong notes that governance plays a critical role in enabling the sustainability of any business and can save you the pain of having to clean up. She sits on the board of several organizations.
As CIH executive chair, Mokgokong joins a select group of black women leading successful businesses. However, her success should perhaps be rated above that of most black executives because she did not take over her position at a company with successful investment, but rather had to put together deals that have built CIH into the company that it is today, in line with her belief in hard work as a pathway to success.
She has received several awards and recognitions.