anc spokesperson in parliament, master's graduate



any of us at some point or the other have made some sweeping assumptions and conclusions about officials in public service, government or the ruling party. This week, we sit down with 26-year-old Acting Spokesperson for the African National Congress in Parliament – and recent Master’s Graduate, Nonceba Mhlauli, who tells us about the ups, downs, and sometimes twists of spin!

Born to a political family in Upington, Nonceba says that from a young age, various influences within her family and community shaped her interest for current affairs and politics.

“My grandmother, who is a major figure in my life, always encouraged us to join the ANC and be active members of the movement, so there was a natural progression when I arrived at University. I met like-minded people and joined SASCO (the South African Students Congress). I also studied politics and journalism which deepened my interest in politics, media and communications”.

She points out that working for the ruling party in Parliament has its fair share of challenges…

“One of the most unfortunate misconceptions people have about those who work for the ANC is that we do so out of self-interest or wanting proximity to power and resources.

It couldn’t be further from the truth. I have met and work with some of the most selfless people who go above and beyond their call of duty to serve the ANC and the people of South Africa”.

Given the space she’s in, Nonceba is naturally drawn to other #BossLadies within the ambit of politics… “I generally love strong women who are unapologetic about their capabilities and who go about their work with quiet dignity, conviction and dedication. There are millions of women like this, but amongst those stand out for me are; Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Thoko Didiza, Thandi Modise and Naledi Pandor”.

Nonceba is without the airs and graces that sometimes accompany those working in this field. She’s often seen sporting her trademark afro and cites Vaseline Blue Seal as her ultimate go-to beauty product. She counts her home province (Northern Cape) as well as the Eastern Cape as her favourite getaway destinations; “I’m yet to take my first international trip, which is probably something I should address quite soon”, she laughs.

TOP TIP! If you, just like Nonceba, are yet to take your first international trip, why not check out the top 10 things you should know before travelling abroad for the first time.

#BossLady Opinion: Have you travelled outside of South Africa? Share your travel experience with us by commenting below.



  1. Thulile Khanyile

    Oh wow, inspiring story.

    So my experiences outside the country have all been work related or maybe I should say related to my career development. These have been in the form of a science conference in Hawaii, USA, then Tanzania for an Africa leadership programme and back to the USA in Massachusetts for the SOLVE MIT conference. Travelled to Nante in France for a nanomedicine workshop and my last travel out of the country was back to the US, in the state of California but more specifically San Jose where Stanford university is situated where I attended a bio-entrepreneurship workshop.

    I usually make sure to do a lot of sight seeing even with limited time. Meeting people from different walks of life has contributed significantly to the person I am today. I think Tanzania brought out of me a need to serve society and contribute to the development of the citizens of this country. SOLVE taught me to embrace and seek out opportunities to be the least intelligent person in the room as it has grown the person I have become.

    Then there’s the shopping and hitting local bars and clubs now and then. I am yet to travel out of the country purely for pleasure though. I can’t wait…

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