Official website of Mpho Makwana

ABOUT Mpho Makwana

Mpho Makwana was born to the Makwana family who belong to the Baroka ba Mampoleng clan, whose family totem is the Lion, the Spiritual leader of the church, His Grace The Comforter - The Lion King of Judah.

Mpho Makwana

Mpho is an accomplished business leader with diverse experiences spanning a period of more than 25 years in executive and C-Suite roles in the public and private sectors.

He is currently Independent Non-Executive Chairman of JSE-listed Arcelor Mittal South Africa Limited and also serves an Independent Non-Executive Director on the boards of JSE listed companies such as Adcock Ingram Holdings Ltd (AIHLF.PK), Nedbank Group Ltd (NDBKF.PK), Nedbank Ltd and Sephaku Holdings Limited (SEPJ.J)

He further serves as Chairman of Epitome Investments (Pty) Ltd, Information Technology Alliance (ITNA) (Pty) Ltd and the Boardroom Alliance (Pty) Ltd – which holds the sub-Saharan trading license for Executive Search firm Heidrick & Struggles. Non-Executive Director BioTherm Energy (PTY) Ltd; one South Africa’s foremost renewable energy companies.

He also volunteers as a Member of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital Fund’s Fund Raising Committee and is a Trustee on the Board of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund.

During the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Mpho led the team that kept the lights on; firstly as Interim Chairman & CEO (3rdQ 2009) and as Chairman of Eskom Holdings from 10 June 2010 until his term as Director concluded on 27 June 2011, after serving on that board for nine years.


Praise Names such as Gosebo, Hunadi, Ngoato etc among the Bapedi and other cultures of Southern Africa have been symbolic of the egalitarian intent embedded in the African values of Motho ke motho ka batho. In a Lekgotla atmosphere women and men were addressed not by first name nor by surname but through their praise name to create a climate of egalitarianism in conversation. The second role of praise names was the important role they played in heritage and identity. As Gosebo ‘a Phogole I automatically locate myself in lineage as Gosebo son of Phogole – my father.

We have an opportunity to invest in transferring this to our children and children’s children, a task I believe if well executed will infuse African pride in our “born frees” Millenniums generation and future young generations. Our children are being dislocated spiritually, their Africanness is being eroded when we don’t teach them to speak their native languages, Sepedi, isiZulu, isiXhosa, isiNdebele, TshiVenda etc.

I am going to invest some time and resources in this area as part of my contribution towards a prosperous South Africa, united in its diversity.

I intend to use the platform provided by social media to start this dialogue and through that catalogue the meaning of totems and praise names of peoples of Southern Africa.

Join the dialogue, share your views via e-mail to I will celebrate / profile your totem and praise name under the heading Totems & Praise Names of the South.