Award winner makes lemonade out of lemons

Friday, September 1, 2017

The Winner of the SME Recognition MTN Women in ICT – Partnership for Change Awards was inspired to start her own business after her daughter was diagnosed with autism.

As a single parent, Matau Ramapuputla, wanted to instil self confidence in her daughter and wrote a book about the power of self-believe.

Ramapuputla’s publishing company has an Information Technology (IT) division which focuses on turning books into eBooks.

Her book “Bathobela Can” is available on OverDrive and as a hard copy at Shoprite.

“When I wrote the book, I decided to have my own publishing company and I realised that there was need for Information Technology (IT) within the publishing space.

“The book is about me telling other parents that there is hope, my daughter is in Grade 3 and she reads,” Ramapuputla said.

She said it was humbling that MTN had recognised her work.

The MTN Women in ICT – Partnership for Change Awards were held on Thursday evening in Johannesburg.

Department of Communications Acting Director General Qinisile Delwa attended the awards which celebrates the contribution women professionals have made towards the growth and development of the information communication technology (ICT) sector in South Africa.

MTN Group CEO Rob Shutter called on the captains of industry to leverage their influence to strive for gender parity in the organisations they lead.

“Regrettably the ICT sector in South Africa is one of the least transformed sectors in our economy.

“These awards reminds us of the importance of forging ahead with a quest to create an enabling environment and a workplace where the development of women in the sector is encouraged and nurtured,” Shutter said.

He said women have an instrumental role to play in the ICT sector.

“The MTN Women in ICT – Partnership for Change Awards are a reaffirmation of our conviction that changing gender demographics is the right thing to do,” Shutter said.

This year, MTN introduced a new awards category called the Minister’s Recognition category. 

This category gives the Minister of Communications - as a custodian of the communications sector - the discretion to nominate a female professional in the ICT sector whose work has helped to bridge the digital divide and facilitate access to communication services.

The award was won by Charmaine Houvet who is the Public Policy Director Africa at Cisco Systems.

“Houvet has straddled the ICT sector between government and private sector. She is very passionate and involved in the sector as the Chairperson on the ICT Women’s Forum. She also mentors young women in the sector,” acting Director General Delwa said.

She said it was sad that the sector does not have a lot of women despite the fact that government has an ICT BEE Charter and transformation policies in place.

She encouraged the sector to ensure that it was diverse. –