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THE ELLE BOSS 2016 AWARDS DINNER. A CELEBRATION OF EXCELLENCE

A night of sisterhood, inspiration, business excellence and courageous women. Where do we even begin?

Last night was incredible as we sat down for a three course dinner and drinks (Veuve Clicquot, naturally) at the 54 on Bath Hotel in Rosebank, Johannesburg. We were in the company of some of the most inspirational and undeniably consequential South African women, and that’s no hyperbole. Whether it was the 10 judges who sat on the ELLE Boss 2016 judging panel (know these women’s names. No really, you must!), or our six finalists, all young women rising and making moves in the world of business, there was no denying the spirit of excellence, sisterhood, celebration and well-deserved recognition in the room.

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Only in its second year, the ELLE Boss Award in partnership with Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award seeks to recognize young businesswomen in both the entrepreneurial and corporate sectors. ELLE publisher and award-winning businesswoman herself, Gisèle Wertheim Aymès put it more succinctly: “We developed the ELLE Boss award because we felt that there was a glaring lack of recognition for younger women as they rise to top,” and describing the ultimate ELLE Boss winner Gisèle says, “she is special, she is an igniter, she is an activator, she is audacious, forthright, confident and consistent.”

“An ELLE Boss woman is dynamic and creative. She has an awareness for the community and a deep sense of social impact,” adds Happy Ralinala, 2016 Chairperson of the judging panel and Managing Executive of Private and Wealth Banking Africa at Barclays Africa Group Limited.

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The ELLE Boss 2016 finalists, from left to right: 1. Vumile Msweli, Executive Head of Client Services Partner for Africa at Vodacom, 2. Magdel Kemp, owner, CEO at Kamers & Shopstar, 3. Faith Gwedashe, Phamarcist, Healthcare and Lifestyle ambassador & radio talk show host, 4. Linda Mabhena-Olagunju, the MD and founder of game changing renewable energy company DLO, 5. Carla Ferreira, founder of Saltycrax backpackers & NPO, SAVE, 6. Zama Khanyile, fund manager & Gauteng chair for AWCA

Over the next few weeks and months you will get up and close with our finalists and their businesses, across both the ELLE website and print magazine. As for last night, following a day of intense debate, the high profile panel of judges selected 6 finalists from the corporate and entrepreneurial categories. The atmosphere was electric as Vumile Msweli, Executive Head of Client Services Partner for Africa at Vodacom was awarded in the corporate category, and  Linda Mabhena-Olagunju, founder and Managing Director of DLO Energy Resources, was awarded in the entrepreneurial category, and then named as overall ELLE Boss award winner for 2016.

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ELLE Boss 2016 winner, Linda Mabhena-Olagunju

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The Prizes

In addition to the public recognition on the evening of the awards, the general press coverage, as well as features in ELLE South Africa, Linda will be flown to visit the prestigious Veuve Clicquot Maison and hosted by Veuve Clicquot in Reims, France, the home of Champagne. The trip will take place in 2017 and will include flight and accommodation.

Both Linda and Vumile will enjoy a special Veuve Clicquot Experience, including a private dinner for each of them and five guests, to relax and unwind, to savour the recognition of their meaningful achievement to date as a women in business.  All six finalists received Cell C Evolve Tablet sim and data mobile, as well as a Magnum bottle of Veuve Clicquot. And of course they will also be on the pages of ELLE South Africa.

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A special thank you goes out to our sponsors Veuve Clicquot, Cell C, as well as our judges. Our finalists were spoilt with a make up session at Stuttafords in Sandton City, before the big night.

Our dinner guests were treated to L’Occitane perfume “The Vert & Bigarade”, as well as Campo Marzio, Hyde Park notebooks and discount vouchers. It wouldn’t be an ELLE event without awesome goodie bags! Our goody bags consisted of Avene and Elancyl hampers, and our judges received Clarins hampers.

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Images: Themba Mbuyisa