Finalists Announced for 5th annual Standard Bank Rising Star Awards


After receiving hundreds of entries and going through thousands of pages of nominations, motivations and verifications, the finalists for the 5th Annual Standard Bank Rising Star Awards have been announced!

Over the past four years, these awards have been identifying, recognising and celebrating young talents across all industries in South Africa, and the fifth year is no different. “We are delighted to have so many entries from across the country from such a broad range of talent,” says Laura Barker, Managing Director of BlackBark Productions, organisers of the Rising Star Programme. “It is encouraging to see these awards grow year-on-year – it means our goal of recognising and developing talent is coming to fruition.”

The awards are for young, talented individuals in the 28-40 year age category, and form part of a unique platform where winners can go beyond just the recognition for work already done, and participate in a leadership and development programme throughout the year after winning. They also have a unique opportunity to network across industry sectors, with both their fellow winners, and top minds in the country through a mentorship programme.

As headline sponsor, Standard Bank is committed to identifying and celebrating talent across industries. “Every year we are impressed with the calibre of entries from our talented young workforce, and this year is no different,” says Standard Bank’s Global Head of Resourcing, Amelia Muller. “There is another excellent group of finalists going through to the last round, and the judges are going to have their work cut out for them!”

The last round is rigorous, and comprises a three-hour Q&A session in front of a panel of expert judges. The criteria have been developed by USB-ED (University of Stellenbosch Executive Development) from their research into the Future Leader, and USB-ED will also moderate the judging process. The gala dinner announcing the winners will be held at the Sandton Hilton on 22 July 2016.

Judges include HR executives and directors from some of South Africa’s top firms – Zaid Shaik (Standard Bank), Busi Mashiane (African Rainbow Minerals), Lorato Mogaki (AngloAmerican), Melody Lekota (Cell C), Linda Mthenjane (FNB), Shaan Burnill (Standard Bank), Sharmila Govind (HSBC), Brigitte Chetty (Makro), Marc Privett (Media24), Jabu Mahange (Primedia), Shirley Machaba (PwC), Thami Msubo (Telkom) and Bedelia Theunissen (Absa), amongst others.

Because the nomination process and first two rounds are designed to ensure that only the best candidates go through to the final round, regardless of the organisations they represent, this sometimes results in anomalies. This year, one such anomaly is the dominance of Eskom candidates in the Energy & Environment sector, sponsored by Sasol.

“Having five finalists from one company in a sector shows that they are doing something right in appointing and nurturing young talent,” says Barker. “I am pleased that Eskom is showing this kind of investment in its people – it can only mean good things for us as a country going forward.”

Barker concludes with some words of wisdom for the finalists going in to the final round: “They have already proved they are worthy of being finalists in this tough competition. I hope to see them step up their game a final notch in the face-to-face judging round, and show South Africa why they deserve this personal and professional recognition of their drive and determination.”

The list of finalists is available at: www.risingstarawards.co.za/2016finalists, or see below.


Sponsors for the 5th Annual Standard Bank Rising Star Awards include Standard Bank, ArcelorMittal, Sasol, merSETA, Transnet Freight Rail, Hilton Worldwide, AJ Charnaud, Telkom, GradConnection, Vieple and Mulderbosch wines.

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