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Five Firsts – From a Woman CEO to Woman Army Commander


Presidential candidate Salome Zurabishvili attends a news briefing dedicated to the results of the presidential election at her campaign headquarters in Tbilisi, Georgia November 28, 2018. REUTERS/David Mdzinarishvili

After 17 years at Investec, Peggy Sue Khumalo is the first black woman to head the Standard Bank wealth unit.

According to Business Day, the former Miss SA will start her new job in February.

This year has been one of firsts in business, politics, sport and education as organisations and public structures diversify and transform.

Here are five firsts that recently made headlines:

1. UK’s first black female history professor

Cameroonian Olivette Otele is the first black women in the UK to be awarded a professorship in history.

Otele became a professor at the University of Bath in October, specialising in collective memory and geopolitics.

“Historians are a very close-knit group. It’s not surprising that there’s only two of us (black professors). First a black man was appointed two years ago and now me, ” she told BBC.

2. Tuks appoints its first black vice-chancellor

After serving as the vice-principal at Wits University, Tawana Kupe has been appointed the new vice-chancellor at the University of Pretoria. The Zimbabwean native is the first black vice-chancellor in the 110 years of the university.

Kupe holds a bachelor of arts, a masters in English and a PhD in media studies from the University of Oslo in Norway.

3. Ethiopia’s first female president

Sahle-Work Zewde was elected Ethiopia’s first female president.

Previouslyl she served as ambassador to France, Djibouti and Senegal.

Zewde was also the first woman to serve as the UN’ special representative to the African Union and head of the UN office to the AU.

4. Slovenia appoints its first female army chief

Slovenia has appointed Major-General Alenka Ermenc as its newarmy chief.

According to Reuters, Ermenc is the only woman to head up a Nato country’s army. She has served in the army for 27 years.

5. Georgia’s first female president-elect

Governing party candidate Salome Zurabishvili has been elected the country’s first female president.

Zurabishvili won almost 60% of the votes in the second round of voting on Wednesday November 28. Her presidency is due to start on December 16.

The 66-year-old former diplomat served in France’s foreign services and was later posted to Tbilisi, Georgia, where she became a Georgian citizen by presidential decree. She was appointed foreign minister in former president Mikheil Saakashvili’s administration.

Presidential candidate Salome Zurabishvili attends a news briefing dedicated to the results of the presidential election at her campaign headquarters in Tbilisi, Georgia November 28, 2018. REUTERS/David Mdzinarishvili
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