The Excellence Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Gala Dinner was held in the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin on October 19th to celebrate the induction of Divine Ndhlukula and Jean Oelwang to the Excellence Hall of Fame.
Guests enjoyed an evening of drinks and jazz followed by dinner and a “fireside chat” with the inductees. John Bourke, President of the Institute, began by welcoming guests from the public and private sector from Ireland as well as those who had travelled from Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas.
Divine, Founder and Chief Executive of SECURICO, an award-winning security company in Zimbabwe, was presented with her award by Yiannis Lagos, Fellow of the Institute. She is a multi award-winning serial entrepreneur, philanthropist, speaker, and advocate for the empowerment of women, and is one of Africa’s most successful businesswomen. She was recently chosen as one of Forbes “50 over 50” women in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (2023).
Jean’s award was presented by Marie Lindsay, Fellow of the Institute and Excellence Hall of Famer (2018). Jean is President and Chief Executive of Virgin Unite which she founded with Richard Branson. She has worked on the incubation and start-up of numerous global initiatives including The Elders, The B Team, The Africa Donor Collective, Ocean Unite, The Caribbean Climate Smart Accelerator, and The Branson Centres of Entrepreneurship.
Jean also received video messages of congratulations from Ajaz Ahmed, Former President of Ireland and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson, and Richard Branson.
The presentations were followed by a lively “fireside chat” with the inductees, hosted by Stephen Smith, Fellow of the Institute.
BEX President John Bourke said “Once again we’ve had a fantastic evening celebrating two exceptional people – Divine Ndhlukula and Jean Oelwang – who strive for excellence in everything they do. Women who are shining lights on the journey to excellence and who have made enormous contributions to the world of business, social justice, philanthropy, and, by doing so, to society overall. We are honoured to welcome them to the Excellence Hall of Fame.”
Attendees at the event received a copy of Jean Oelwang’s book Partnering.