Sponsored: Leading from the front, on the ground

I have the constant satisfaction of knowing that everyone at MTN is doing exactly what they need to do to keep us ahead, and to keep South Africans connected. I also have the confidence that we are industry experts. Our aim is to be agile, act with inclusion, serve customers with respect and always winning.

01 April 2024

Farah Abdulahi, Head of Department – Key Segment EBU, MTN South Africa.

Challenges inspire Farah Abdulahi, Head of Department – Key Segment EBU, MTN South Africa, and she expects excellence from all those around her, achieving this through her dynamic leadership – leadership by example, from the front and in the trenches. “This is how we get done what needs to be done. It’s MTN’s belief that leaders should be on the ground and that’s where I like to be, always striving on a personal and team level to achieve above expectations and constantly relaying the theme to be number one in everything we do – as a person and in the business context,” says Abdulahi. One of MTN’s philosophies is that one should be the CEO in their own space, which produces tangible competitive advantage through self-accountability and a sense of ownership that drives the desire for success.

“I lead a very successful and diverse portfolio within MTN Business. My portfolio, which is large enterprise, serves and delivers business solutions with the main focus to five verticals, including mining, oil and gas, manufacturing, banking and insurance, and transport and logistics.

“Our expertise, bold leadership, co-creation with our partners, quality network and widespread footprints are among our key differentiators in the market. MTN has, for the past few years, been recognised as best mobile network provider in South Africa, and MTN Business has recently been named SA’s best ICT solutions provider at the 2024 MyBroadband Awards.”

Committed to gender parity

Unlike some of the naysayers, Abdulahi believes that women have made significant inroads in stepping into leadership roles, especially in forward thinking companies like MTN, who value women and has demonstrated its commitment to gender parity and having balance between genders across the organisation.

“My own leadership team is predominately female and I am seeing an increase in women in leadership roles, championing and acting as role models for other women.”

One cannot, however, describe Abdulahi as gender biased. From a very large family of mostly male children, her parents moved to Zambia at a very young age, where she was subsequently born and bred and her MTN journey started in Zambia. She now has a son of her own. She has lived and worked on three continents for various companies, but she is an MTNer through and through, with most of her career based with MTN, describing herself as an “MTN Zambian human who brings knowledge from a passion for constant learning – and best practices – to the large enterprise segment.”

What she does believe is that through empowering women, there is promotion of global growth. “Anything a woman earns, she takes to her home to support her children, parents and family. This goes towards sustainable economic development – as does education.”

For more information on how MTN Business can co-create solutions for your business, contact us on

everywhere you go