Quick-fire Q&A with Unathi Mtya

Unathi is the newly appointed Chief Technology Officer at Grindrod Bank. She has many years of experience in the IT industry under her belt, having worked for both the public and private sector, leading a number of portfolios across a wide spectrum of ICT technical disciplines. She has also led multi-disciplinary technical teams across the entire ICT spectrum. With a career that started at First National Bank 20 years ago, Unathi also held key positions at Business Connexion, SITA, and the Parliament of South Africa, and has spent the past decade in senior and general management roles, culminating into the C-Level in IT leadership and management in the last five years.

Describe your leadership style
My leadership style is flexible and firm on non-negotiables; it’s inclusive and accommodating, with adequate engagement followed by decisiveness.

Your top tip to beat procrastination?
I start with something that inspires me so that I can have the energy to deal with my ‘to-do list’.

Favorite getaway destination?
Definitely New York!

Who or what inspires you?
My parents. I marvel at their consistent unwavering love and support. Any demonstration of a human spirit beating the odds is always an inspiration to me.

Your one wish for South Africa?
Incremental progress in the education and health sector. I feel like improvements in these sectors will automatically solve lots of societal ills.

If you could have any 3 people over for dinner, who would they be and what would you serve?
My late grandfather Mbuzeli Merriman Mtya, Michelle Obama and John F. Kennedy, Jr. I would serve my favourites: seared salmon with green leafy vegetables, a rack of lamb with mint sauce, and samp and beans with oxtail.

What is the one thing most people don’t know about you?
I’m strong, but I am also quite sensitive.

What would you do with an extra hour in your day?
Sleep!