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Shared Interest Celebrates 30th Anniversary With Voices Of Change Gala In New York City

  • 5 min read

Honoring Citibank, N.A., Lebohang “Lebo M” Morake and Wendy Luhabe and with Special Guests Reverend Naomi Tutu, Redi Tlhabi and Mungi Ngomane 

Celebrating 30 years of empowerment and  investing in Southern Africa, Shared Interest, a leading non-profit guarantee fund dedicated  to providing Black women entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises in Southern  Africa with access to the financing, markets and skills they need to build wealth, will host its  30th Anniversary Voices of Change Gala on Monday, April 29, 2024 at The Lighthouse 

Pier 61 in New York City

During the special Anniversary Gala event, Shared Interest will honor iconic “voice and spirit  of The Lion King” Lebohang “Lebo M” Morake, South African singer, performer, producer  and composer with the Cultural Innovator Award and Wendy Luhabe, South African Women’s  Economic Development Champion and Entrepreneur with the Women’s Economic  Leadership Award. Citibank, N.A. will be the corporate honoree and presenting sponsor  receiving the Corporate Leadership Award. 

Hosted by Celebrity Media Personality Makho Ndlovu, the 30th Anniversary Gala will feature  a private VIP reception, general cocktail reception, dinner, entertainment and spotlight cultural  messages of inspiration and entrepreneurial ingenuity made possible by our sponsors,  honorees, social impact investors and partners. The event is Co-Chaired by Tim Smith and  The Bergman Family and sponsoring the gala are The Altschuler FamilySusan Pritzker along with gala partners South Africa Chamber of CommerceInterfaith Center on  Corporate Responsibility (ICCR)Face2Face Africa and  

During the gala program, guests will enjoy a high-level panel discussion on Why Africa? Why  Now? The discussion will explore opportunities to advance an inclusive development and  human rights agenda in Southern Africa, particularly for women and youth. It will also  underscore the importance of leveraging the ties between the U.S. and Southern Africa to  drive sustainable social impact investments in the SME sector. Renowned South African  Journalist, Executive Producer, Broadcaster, and Author, Redi Tlhabi, will moderate the  discussion. She will be joined by special guests, Reverend Naomi Tutu, an Episcopal Clergy,  Race and Gender Activist, and Daughter of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, along with her  daughter, Mungi Ngomane, an Author, Public Speaker, and Human Rights Activist.

“As we celebrate our 30th Anniversary, the enduring vision that drives our work – then and  now – is to be a catalytic vehicle of financial inclusion, systems change, economic  empowerment and social impact that empowers Black women entrepreneurs and other small  and medium-sized enterprises to be engines of sustainable development and growth in  Southern Africa.” said Ann McMikel Executive Director of Shared Interest. “We are excited  to bring back our first in-person New York City gala since COVID-19 affording an exciting  opportunity to dually acknowledge the end of apartheid in South Africa and our strong anti 

apartheid roots by commemorating 30 years of our work to advance racial, gender and  economic justice in Southern Africa for our beneficiaries on the frontlines of food insecurity,  climate change, gender inequality, unaffordable housing, and fintech. We will also shine a  spotlight on the Voices of Change that are critical to scale the impact of our mission and  programs in a region of the world that is considered the most unequal by the World Bank.” “Through Shared Interest’s Voices of Change Campaign, ICCR is remembering the voices of  anti-apartheid leaders that were the foundation of the transition to power leading to the  Presidency of Nelson Mandela. ICCR and the faith community played a key role in the  decades of pressure against the apartheid regime. And today we are also shining a spotlight  on leading voices of change advancing the fight for economic, racial and gender justice.” said  Tim Smith Shared Interest Board Chairman and Senior Policy Advisor at the Interfaith  Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR). “The faith-based community has also been an  important bridge between investors and underserved communities in Southern Africa by  providing much needed investment capital. “This year’s gala spotlights 30 years of Shared  Interest’s work in Southern Africa. We are proud that so many faith-based investors have put  investment dollars to work as Shared Interest partners.” More than 300 U.S. and African activists, artists, civic and corporate leaders, and  development practitioners will gather alongside top diplomats, key U.S. policymakers, and  influencers to celebrate an evening that will showcase Shared Interest’s critical role in helping  ‘unbanked’ smallholder farmers, emerging business owners, and homeowners access credit  for the last 30 years. Previous galas have honored and engaged an esteemed list of global leaders and businesses including Avon Products, Chrysler, Colgate, Coca-Cola, BET, Johnson & Johnson, The  Nielsen Company, Merck, JP Morgan Chase, and PepsiCo, Nelson Mandela,  Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Graça Machel, Harry Belafonte, Danny Glover, Pravin  Gordhan, John Kani, Graça Machel, Thuli Madonsela, Barbara Masekela, Hugh  Masekela, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Kumi Naidoo, Anant Singh, Albertina Sisulu,  Sheila Sisulu, Susan L. Taylor, and India Arie. Doors open at 6:00 P.M. To purchase tickets to the Voices of Change Gala, please visit To stay up to date with Shared Interest and  the 30th Anniversary Gala, follow: InstagramXLinkedIn and Facebook page