In the words of her nominator, Faith Khanyile Nkosi has “accomplished great things from very humble beginnings. Growing up in a small, extremely rural village in South Africa during apartheid, she is a shining example of beating the odds. Faith was raised by humbly educated, entrepreneurial parents who believed that all children, male and female, deserved a real chance at success.”
Faith seized an opportunity to study at Emma Willard for a post-graduate year. She demonstrated remarkable adeptness and openness in adjusting to a new culture and a different system of education. Her academic preparation had been in business, and her year of liberal arts courses at Emma Willard added depth and breadth to her practical skills, priming her for the successful study of Economics at Wheaton College and an MBA in Finance at Bentley Graduate School of Business.
Faith lighted the way for her classmates as a candle page in Revels, symbolic of being the first student to introduce the school community to her unique South African heritage.
Since her return to South Africa following graduate school, Faith has worked in investment banking. Her career includes 12 years with Standard Bank, in various senior management and executive roles including Head of Corporate Banking from 2008 to 2013.
Faith is the recently retired founding member, chief executive officer, and director of WDB Investment Holdings Pty Ltd., a private equity investment arm of WDB Trust, based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Established in 1991, WDB Trust’s mission is to support and elevate the social and economic standing of South African women and their households, particularly in rural areas, through micro-enterprise loans and business skills training. Faith has been responsible for strategy formulation and execution, people management and leadership, sourcing of investments, stakeholder management, and representing WDBIH in some of its strategic investments as a director.
The driving force in Faith’s career is her passion for elevating women. Through her life and work, she is making a difference in the lives of South Africans and inspiring young people through mentorship and coaching.
Faith is a member of the International Women’s Forum (South Africa) and a recipient of the 2017 Business Woman of the Year Award (Corporate Category) from the Business Women Association of South Africa. In May 2016, Faith received an Honorary Doctorate in Laws from Wheaton College in recognition of her role in the empowerment of rural women in South Africa through WDB. Faith serves on the boards of Discovery Limited and Safari RSA Investments, and Seed Engine, a supporter and funder of SMMEs.
Her nominator concluded, “Faith is passionate about uplifting and empowering women. This is evident through the work she has done and continues to do. She deserves to be recognized as the extraordinary Emma Willard alumna that she is.” Faith’s alma mater agrees.
For leading by example to serve and shape the world through a career dedicated to elevating women and families in South Africa, the Emma Willard community proudly bestows upon Faith Khanyile Nkosi ’87 the 2022 Career Achievement Award.