Nowongile Cynthia Molo

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Nowongile Cynthia Molo


For her outstanding contribution to the development of women through the Women in Agriculture and Rural Development (WAARD) project, a self-empowerment initiative that changed the lives of many families, Nowongile Cynthia Molo was awarded the Order of

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The former Transkei (now Eastern Cape)

Nowongile Cynthia Molo was born in 1949 in the former Transkei (now Eastern Cape). She completed the Junior Certificate (Form 3) at Bethel College. She has also taken courses in Political Theory, Leadership Skills and HIV and AIDS.

Molo worked for the Department of Education in the Eastern Cape, where she was mainly involved in the building and renovation of schools, and later became a project manager in the Department of Agriculture in that province.

Apart from these activities, Molo has been an active field worker since 1978, starting first at the Africa Cooperative Action Trust and later mobilising communities on issues affecting them. She was also one of the founding members of the Dispute Resolution and Peace Forum for the entire Transkei homeland.

She founded the Vukani Women’s Organisation, a structure which later evolved into the African National Congress (ANC) Women’s League in the Transkei Region. From 1993 to 1997, she served on the National Executive Committee of the ANC Women’s League as an organiser.

Molo became WAARD President and worked closely with the Department of Agriculture at all levels. Due to her input, several women from her organisation received female farmer awards. She currently serves as a council member for Black Economic Empowerment at U-Vimba Bank. Molo is also the Director of Ilima Agri Service, a member of the National Marketing Council based in Pretoria, a council member of the National Wool Growers Association, and a member of the credit committee for Uvimba credit control and rural development finance.

Apart from the reward of seeing fellow women making a difference in their economic lives through her influence, Molo has received several awards in the province, including an award from the Eastern Cape Premier for Commitment to Language, Customs and Traditions and an award from the Agriculture MEC for her contribution to the development of rural women. She was also awarded the Female Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2010.

With her rich life derived from enriching others as a community organiser, motivator and development advocate, Ms Molo has made a huge impact on rural development. 

On 27 April 2011, the State President, Jacob G Zuma, conferred Nowongile Cynthia Molo with the Order of Baobab in Bronze for her outstanding contribution to the development of rural women in agriculture.

• Anon, (2011), Presentation Of National Orders , Nowongile Cynthia Molo, from The Presidency, [online] Available at  [Accessed 19 May 2011]
• Anon, Nowongile Cynthia Molo from Whos Who Southern Africa, [online] Available at [Accessed 19 May 2011]

Last updated : 24-Apr-2012

This article was produced by South African History Online on 27-May-2011

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