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Nowongile Cynthia Molo (1949 - )

The Order of the Baobab in

Nowongile Cynthia Molo (1949 - ) Awarded for:
Her outstanding contribution to the development of women through the Women in Agriculture and Rural Development (WAARD), a self-empowerment initiative that changed the lives of many families.

Profile of Nowongile Cynthia Molo

Ms Molo is a household name in community organisation and a consummate leader who has her roots in the former Transkei where she was born in 1949. She completed the Junior Certificate (Form 3) at Bethel College. Some of her additional courses included Political Theory, Leadership Skills and HIV and AIDS. 

She worked for the Department of Education in the Eastern Cape, where she was mainly involved in the building and renovation of schools, and later became a project manager in the Department of Agriculture in that province. 

Apart from all these activities, Ms Molo has been an active field worker since 1978, starting first at Africa Cooperative Action Trust and later mobilising communities on issues affecting them. She was also one of the founding members of the Dispute Resolution and Peace Forum in the entire Transkei homeland. 

She founded the Vukani Women’s Organisation, a structure which later became the African National Congress (ANC) Women’s League in the Transkei Region. From 1993 to 1997, she served on the National Executive Committee of the ANC Women’s League as organiser. 

Ms Molo became WAARD President and worked closely with the Department of Agriculture at all levels. So magnificent has her influence been that several women from her organisation received female farmer awards. She currently serves as council member of Black Economic Empowerment at U-Vimba Bank. 

Apart from the reward of seeing fellow women making a difference in their economic lives through her influence, Ms Molo has received several awards in the province, including an award from the Eastern Cape Premier for Commitment to Language, Customs and Traditions and an award from the Agriculture MEC for her contribution to the development of rural women. She was also awarded the Female Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2010.

With her rich life derived from enriching others as a community organiser, motivator and development advocate, Ms Molo has made a huge impact on rural development, which distinguishes her for the award she is receiving.