Gladys Mawoneke

12th May 2017


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Full Name: Gladys Mawoneke

Position: CEO of Breva Beverages

Main Activity of the Company: Breva Beverages is a manufacturer, marketer and wholesaler of alcohol-free beverages for adults

Date and Place of Birth: July 31, sometime in the 1970s, in Zimbabwe

Education: MBL, University of South Africa School of Business Leadership; LLB; BA; diploma in journalism

First Job: I was a writer for a lifestyle magazine for a month before my mother told me to resign because I was unhappy and miserable

Career History Prior to Current Position: I started off as a journalist and then became an attorney. Prior to founding Breva Beverages, I worked for British American Tobacco South Africa as an attorney. I joined the organisation after university as a management trainee. I worked in its corporate affairs and legal departments before I left to find my music

Size of First Pay Packet: Z$600 a month, in 1992. I had hoped to earn Z$1 200 but my boss deducted half that amount. When I told my mother how unhappy I was, she told me to quit. In South Africa, my first pay packet, in 1999, was R6 400 a month

First Job with Present Group: Founder and CEO

Number of People under Your Leadership: Seven permanent employees and lots more to whom we outsource various services

Management Style: A combination of affiliative, democratic and coaching

Personal Best Achievement: Going to university as a mature student

Professional Best Achievement: Developing Breva and launching it in Woolworths and Pick n Pay

Person Who Has Had the Biggest Influence on Your Life: My father, who taught us to be entrepreneurial and to dream big

Person Who Has Had the Biggest Influence on Your Career: My mother’s younger sister, who went to university in her late forties; when I saw her do that, I knew that I, too, had to go to university

Person You Would Most Like to Meet: Indira Nooyi, CEO of Pepsi

Businessperson Who Has Impressed You Most: Indira Nooyi

Philosophy of Life: What is the worst that could happen? If they say no, I will be in exactly the same situation as before, but if they say yes, I will be in a better position

Biggest Ever Opportunity: Having Breva listed in Woolworths and Pick n Pay

Biggest Ever Disappointment: Being turned down for funding by the Industrial Development Corporation in 2012

Hope for the Future: That Breva becomes a household global brand

Favourite Reading: The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell

Favourite TV Programme: Ina Garten’s cooking shows

Favourite Food/Drink: Breva, with any meal

Favourite Music: Gaither Vocal Band

Favourite Sport: Swimming

Favourite Website:

Hobbies: Cooking (and, thereafter, eating what I would have cooked), reading and swimming

Car: Volvo

Pets: None

Miscellaneous Dislikes: Pettiness and arrogance

Favourite Other South African Company: The now defunct Mallinicks Attorneys, for its soul, which Gerald Mallinick brought to the firm

Favourite Foreign Company: Heineken

Married: Single but open to persuasion

Children: None yet

Clubs: None

Edited by Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


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