Jerry Mabena

Jerry Mabena

Current title
Chief Executive Officer, Thebe Services Division;
Chief Executive Officer, Thebe Tourism Group


Course at Wits Business School
Certificate Programme in Accounting and Finance, 2010
International Executive Development Programme, 2015


A defining moment in my career

Two events forged my career path. When I was 29, I came up with a concept that I sold to my then employer, Telkom. I used to run the advertising and promotions department for Telkom when I started working on a plan to pitch selling advertising space on phone cards. The idea was that the consumer uses the phone card many times to make a call. Each time they use their cards, the advertiser’s product or service gets exposure. I bought the advertising space for 5c a card and sold it for 7c, across up to three million cards per month. That was my first adult, postgraduate entrepreneurial venture.


I was later head hunted by Kagiso Media, but didn’t initially get the job to run their exhibitions business and subsequently their property holdings business. Getting the job happened in a peculiar manner. I was first turned down for the role, and only got the job after asking the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Kagiso Media to present my ideas to them. The Kagiso Media experience helped prepare me for my current employment at Thebe, first in property and later into a bigger role looking after their services portfolio.

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