Kaizer M. Nyatsumba

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Kaizer Mabhilidi Nyatsumba was born at White River, in the province of Mpumalanga, in White River, South Africa. He is the son of the late Silverton Manikani Nyatsumba and Maria Ntombizodwa Nkambule.

Kaizer went to a number of schools – Entokozweni Primary School at Ngodini (KaBokweni), Lwaleng Primary School outside White River, Ngodwana Primary School, Mshadza Secondary School outside White River and Dlangezwa High School in the Empangeni, KwaZulu-Natal area – before proceeding first to the University of Zululand and later to Georgetown University in Washington DC, USA.

He started writing plays, acting in them and directing them when he was still at Ngodwana Primary School, and continued to do the same at Mshadza Secondary School and at Dlangezwa High School. Some of his published poems were written when he was in Standard Seven (Grade Nine) at secondary school, and his first published newspaper article was in the now-defunct KaNgwane Times in Nelspruit when he was in the same grade.

A born leader, Kaizer was appointed Deputy Head Prefect at Mshadza Secondary School, Deputy Head Prefect at Dlangezwa High School, Editor of UNICOM at the University of Zululand and Chairman of the University of Zululand chapter of the African Writers’ Association, which he launched. Upon his return to South Africa upon completion of his studies at Georgetown University, he was elected Assistant Secretary of the African Writers’ Association at national level.

Kaizer worked for 15 years as a journalist, a profession in which he excelled and rose meteorically to become South Africa’s first African Political Correspondent and first black Political Editor on a formerly white newspaper, The Star in Johannesburg, and the country’s first African Editor when he was appointed founding Editor of The Independent on Saturday in Durban. He also edited the Daily News in that city, before being posted to London, with his family, where he was Associate Editor on The Independent.

Kaizer was one of seven South African journalists sent by Independent Newspapers to the Harvard Business School and the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University for an intensive, two-month-long Senior Leadership Develop Program in 1996. He is also the only journalist within the Independent Newspapers Group to have been seconded to The Independent in London, then the international flagship within the Irish-owned media group.

Kaizer left journalism at the end of 2002 and joined Anglo American South Africa in January 2003 as Vice President: Corporate Affairs, with responsibility for marketing. In that capacity, he persuaded Anglo American to back South Africa’s bid for the 2010 FIFA World Cup and represented the company on the Board of the 2010 Bid Company. He travelled to a number of countries – where Anglo American also had a presence – with then 2010 Bid Company CEO Danny Jordaan to campaign for South Africa’s bid to host the 2010 World Cup.

With Jordaan and then First National Bank Marketing Director Derek Carstens, Kaizer visited Barcelona and Madrid – where they met Barcelona FC and Real Madrid FC players, including Ronaldinho – in an attempt to get either one of the Spanish giants to visit South Africa to play against the country’s top teams, Kaizer Chiefs FC and Orlando Pirates FC, as part of the promotion of South Africa’s candidature for the World Cup. They even travelled to Valencia to watch Real Madrid beat Valencia FC 1-0, thanks to Ronaldo’s goal, and flew back to Madrid with the team in its plane.

Regrettably, the two Spanish teams could not accommodate a visit to South Africa, thus opening the way for London-based Tottenham Hot Spur to play against Pirates in Durban and Chiefs in Cape Town.

Kaizer has also worked for Coca-Cola South Africa as Public Affairs and Communications Director, Sasol Ltd as Group General Manager: Corporate Affairs, Marketing and Black Economic Empowerment, KMN Consulting as Managing Director and PetroSA as Vice-President: Corporate Affairs and Shared Services. He is currently Chief Executive Officer of the Johannesburg-based Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa. 

A Certified Director (IoDSA), Kaizer holds a BA Honours from Georgetown University, an MBA from the University of Hull, a Post-Graduate Certificate in Economics from the University of the Witwatersrand, an Advanced Management Programme Diploma from the University of Pretoria’s Gordon Institute of Business Science and a Journalism Diploma from the Newspaper Institute of America. He has served on the Boards of Business Against Crime (South Africa), the National Business Initiative, the Tourism Business Council of South Africa, the 2010 Bid Company, the Anglo American Chairman’s Fund, the Anglo American Medical Aid Scheme and the Sasol Social and Community Trust and the PET Recycling Company, among others.

Kaizer has published seven books: When Darkness Falls (poetry), UMLOZI (Zulu poetry), A Vision of Paradise (short stories), In Love With A Stranger (short stories), ALL SIDES OF THE STORY: A Grandstand View of South Africa’s Political Transition, as well as Silhouettes (poetry). His seventh book, Incomplete Without My Brother, Adonis, was published in July 2014