You can bet your bottom dollar that this 'darkie' won't raise false hopes

From schoolboy in Mthatha to top CEO: this is Mteto Nyati's story

29 August 2019 - 12:30
'Betting on a Darkie: Lifting the corporate game'.
'Betting on a Darkie: Lifting the corporate game'.
Image: Kwela

'If you want to take the system down, provide a better alternative at least. At heart I’m an engineer. I want to encourage people to fix things, not to raise false hopes.'

Mteto Nyati knew as a schoolboy in Mthatha, working behind the counter at his mother’s trading store, that he wanted to fix and build things.

After completing his studies in mechanical engineering at then Natal University, he turned down a Rhodes scholarship and headed for Johannesburg to take up a position at Afrox.

He was the only black engineer and the sole advice he received from his superiors was “don’t mess up”.

He didn’t.

Today, Nyati is one of SA’s top CEOs, having steered Microsoft South Africa and MTN South Africa out of troubled times.

He is currently guiding the transition of Altron from a family business, started at the height of apartheid, into a high-performing international IT company with a social conscience.

Mteto Nyati is group CE and executive director of Altron. He served as CEO at MTN, where he was responsible for returning the business to growth by overhauling employee engagement and transforming customer experience. Named as one of Yale University's World Fellows in 2004, he is also a joint winner of 2013's IT Personality of the Year.


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