Trailblazers in Tech: 3 Remarkable Women Shaping the Future

The Women in Technology Network in Zambia has demonstrated remarkable success in fostering mentorship within the tech community. Having successfully managed two cohorts, the network experienced a remarkable 152% increase in participation between the first and second iterations. The program’s inclusivity is evident with the engagement of 53 mentors, showcasing a commitment to diversity. Notably, the initiative transcends gender boundaries, as male mentors actively contribute to inspiring and empowering women within the technology sector. The network’s impact is not only measured in numbers but also in the tangible growth and empowerment experienced by its participants.

The mentorship program was founded by three women; Brenda, Matambila and Towela, who stand out not just for their technical acumen but for their dedication to creating a more inclusive and equitable future for the technology industry. Through their visionary leadership and unwavering commitment, they inspire others to reach new heights and redefine the possibilities within the ever-evolving world of technology. Learn more about these incredible women here.

Brenda Zikonda-Kumisuku

Founder of Honeypot Consulting | Cybersecurity Manager at Big 4 UK

Introducing Brenda Zikonda-Kumisuku, a cybersecurity professional and advocate with over a decade of diverse experience in technology and cybersecurity, acquired from vast international exposure working with multinational corporations and consulting firms, serving clients across various sectors and industries. Presently, she serves as a Cybersecurity Manager at a Big 4 consulting firm in London. Brenda’s central responsibility encompasses conducting thorough evaluations of cybersecurity maturity, risk, data, and privacy, while also devising customised strategies to meet the specific needs of individual clients. Brenda embodies a rich reservoir of knowledge and expertise in her domain.

Brenda has held significant roles, including Assistant Manager at Deloitte

Spain, where she oversaw the delivery of comprehensive security services for African-based clients from the delivery centre. Before this, she served as a Modern Workplace Solution Specialist at Microsoft South Africa, focusing on revolutionising workflow and collaboration methods for public sector clients.

Her efforts aimed at cutting overhead costs within departments and delivering real-time services to citizens.

With an entrepreneurial drive, Brenda established Honeypot Consulting, a boutique cybersecurity firm dedicated to crafting end-to-end assessment strategies for client decision-making. Additionally, within the consulting firm, she launched Honeypot Chats, a podcast aimed at demystifying cybersecurity for a broader audience. Brenda takes on the roles of founder and co-host for this podcast endeavour.

Apart from her involvement with the Honeypot brand, Brenda holds a founding executive position at the Women In Technology Network (WiTN) in Zambia.

WiTN’s mission is to foster gender equity within the STEM industry and offer mentorship and representation for women in the field. Additionally, Brenda contributes as a founding member of the Walk with Courage Foundation, which aims to provide shoes to disadvantaged households, including those headed by single parents or grandparents, and orphaned individuals in Zambia.

Brenda’s contributions to the industry have been celebrated through notable achievements, including winning the Outstanding Woman in Tech Diaspora award at the 2021 Women in Tech Africa Awards. Additionally, she was invited by MiT Horizon in February 2023 to share insights into her career journey during a webinar titled “Tech Profile: Building a Career in Cybersecurity”, alongside her co-host. Brenda has also shared her experiences as a guest speaker, discussing the impact of mentors on her life and her journey in cybersecurity, on the WITN “My Tech Journey Series”.

Furthermore, she was featured in the “Monthly Virtual Series: Women in Cybersecurity” for Women in Tech Africa in April 2023.

Brenda’s  career trajectory has been truly remarkable, marked by exciting challenges and a bold determination to challenge the status quo and break barriers.

Matambila Karima

Regional Chief Information Security Officer at a Multinational pan-African Financial Services Group

Meet Matambila Karima, an exceptional Information Security professional making waves in East and  Southern Africa. Currently holding the esteemed position of Regional Chief

Information Security Officer for five regions at a Multinational pan-African financial services group, she oversees the strategic development and implementation of a comprehensive cybersecurity program, offering expert guidance in this pivotal domain. She’s not just safeguarding digital assets, she’s pioneering change.

Matambila’s career trajectory began with her role as Country Head of Information Security for Ecobank Zambia, where she honed her expertise in securing digital landscapes. Before that, she served as Team Lead in IT Security  Risk Management for Atlas Mara Zambia.

Beyond her corporate responsibilities, Matambila is the co-host of a Cybersecurity Podcast, the HoneyPot Chats podcast, where she engages in insightful conversations, bringing her wealth of knowledge to a broader audience. Her prowess in the cybersecurity domain has garnered international recognition; she was honoured as a member of the Influential League of FinTech Leaders in SADC by BII World at the 2022 9th Africa Bank Summit, and presented her insights on ‘FinSec Strategies for the Future of SADC’s BFSI Industry.’ In February 2023, MIT Horizon also took notice, featuring her and her podcast co-host in a webinar on ‘Tech Profile: Building a Career in Cybersecurity’. Her impact extends beyond podcasting and recognition. She was a guest speaker at the 2023 BongoHive FireSide Chat, ‘Breaking Barriers: Women Who are Using Technology and Innovation to Change the Game’.

Notably, Matambila is not only a luminary in the tech world but also an active contributor to community and industry development. As a member of the Rotary Club of Nkwazi, she serves as the New Generations Director, embodying her commitment to fostering positive change. Additionally, she lends her expertise as an advisory Board Member for CISO Alliances Zambia Chapter and played a pivotal role in the founding committee for the Women In Technology Network Zambia (WiTN) Membership program cohorts 1 and 2.

Her story is more than a career; it is a testament to breaking barriers and reshaping the tech narrative. Follow her journey for a dose of inspiration and a glimpse into the future of cybersecurity.

Towela Zulu Mukosa

CEO BI Technologies | Africa (BI Tech Africa)

Meet Towela Zulu Mukosa,  the visionary CEO behind Bl Technologies Africa (Bl Tech Africa), a pioneering digital solutions provider established in 2016 and headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa. Armed with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Management from the University of Natal, and bolstered by an MBA from the prestigious Gordon Institute of Business Science, Towela has emerged as a driving force in the realm of Information Technology.

With over 16 years of immersion in the Information Technology sector, Towela has honed her expertise in Business Intelligence, data analytics, and robotic process automation. Her career trajectory has seen her spearheading digital initiatives across Africa and Europe, spanning diverse industries and clientele, including the public sector, multinationals, and public companies in five African countries.

Towela’s influence extends beyond boardrooms; she is a sought-after speaker at technology forums and women’s empowerment conferences, leveraging her platform to champion digital transformation and women’s advancement in tech and startups. Notably, Towela has assumed key roles within Bl Tech Africa as the Deputy Chairperson of the Board and Vice President of the Gordon Institute of Business Science Alumni Business Club, where she spearheads initiatives like funding programs for alumni startups.

In addition to her corporate responsibilities, Towela is deeply involved in community initiatives, such as her pivotal role in co-establishing a nationwide mentorship program for the Women in Technology Network Association in Zambia. She also co-hosts the empowering digital coaching podcast, “Let’s Konnect,” guiding young professionals through the intricacies of corporate dynamics.

Towela’s commitment to digital innovation is evident in her role as Chairperson of the Projects Steering Committee for an insurance company in Mozambique, as well as her leadership in monthly round table discussions featuring prominent voices in South Africa’s digital transformation landscape.

Beyond her professional endeavours, Towela finds fulfilment as a devoted wife and mother of four. Her zest for life extends to her love for travel, while her passion for empowering women in tech continues to be a driving force in her personal and professional journey.

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