5 March 2020 | 2 Minutes

Lele Modise’s calm demeanour is the hallmark of a woman handling constant, taxing legal issues with style and professionalism. As Chief Legal Counsel for MTN Group, Lele exemplifies the kind of smart, executive drive women in business often exude. As International Women’s Day looms on the 8 March 2020, one would be hard pressed to find a more fitting and savvy poster child for celebration than Lele Modise. With qualifications in some of the most intricate and convoluted areas of law, Lele strides across a power list of local women who have distinguished themselves as legal eagles.

To say that corporate investment banking must be a fraught and complicated field, is an understatement. Nonetheless, it’s been in such fields that Lele has excelled, having joined MTN Group’s Executive Committee after a long stint at Absa. Skilfully facilitating complex and weighty deals is Lele’s forte and providing legal structures and solutions at the highest level has been standard fare for this dynamic business leader. An inspiration to African women everywhere, Lele has dealt with the most challenging issues in business, and now brings her remarkable expertise and experience to MTN Group’s successful expansion on the continent.

In an era of heightened awareness around sustainability and gender equality, Lele brings an extensively detailed and honed perspective to MTN Group. Having excelled in a very male dominated arena, Lele has also shown African women and aspiring girls just how far it’s possible to go. For a snapshot of the growth of women in the legal field of South Africa and Africa as a whole, look no further than the talented Ms Modise. On a growing list of executive, leading women in Sub-Saharan Africa, Lele epitomises gender diversity in the ICT industry.

As a former partner at Bowman Gilfillan, Lele’s knowledge of the intricate landscape of corporate legality is now hard at work for MTN. There’s nothing quite like starting out right, and Lele is the kind of polished leader ideally qualified to head the legal challenges of MTN Group’s transition to a digital operator and expansion across the African continent.

Having been admitted to the High Court as an Attorney in 2003, Lele has since worked extensively across Africa. A Masters in Banking Law is just as challenging and detailed as it sounds, but Lele passed with flying colours, and now heads MTN’s legal presence on all fronts. As the MTN Group expands, environmental, sustainability and compliance issues will come to the fore. Lele exemplifies the kind of astute leadership needed to take the company to greater heights.

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