Thank you to all our readers who have nominated these Top 6 local and international finalists in the All4Women 2017 Woman of the Year competition. Now we need you to choose a winner

Recently we asked you to nominate the women who you felt inspired you or made a huge difference in 2017. With the exception of Michelle Obama, we’re proud to share that South African women came out tops!

The women you nominated are role models for women everywhere – outspoken, courageous, not afraid to stand up for what they believe, or to flaunt their brain power – and their femininity …

Here’s a little more about each of them… (all profiles courtesy of Wikipedia)

Please remember to click on the button below to vote for your choices & and stand a chance of winning a R2000 Woolies voucher!

Top 6 South African nominees in alphabetical order:


1.     Basetsana Kumalo

Basetsana Julia “Bassie” Kumalo is a South African television personality, beauty pageant titleholder, businesswoman, and philanthropist. Her career began in 1990 when she was crowned Miss Soweto and Miss Black South Africa at the age of 16. She was crowned Miss South Africa in 1994 and in the same year became the first runner-up in Miss World.

While the reigning Miss South Africa, she started presenting the lifestyle television programme Top Billing. Kumalo is also the President of the Business Women’s Association of South Africa.

In 2002, under the Bassie brand, Kumalo launched an eyewear range, distributed through Torga Optical (60 stores countrywide).

Kumalo and her husband Romeo have launched the Romeo & Basetsana Kumalo Family Foundation, which will develop children, specifically those orphaned by AIDS and other related diseases.

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA: FEBRUARY 11: SA TV and radio personality Bonang Matheba during an interview on February 11, 2016 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Matheba announced her appointment as one of Revlon’s global ambassadors and will be jetting off to New York next week to meet with the cosmetic company’s president Lorenzo Delpani. (Photo by Gallo Images / Sowetan / Peter Mogaki)

2.     Bonang Matheba

Bonang Matheba (born June 25, 1987)[ is a South African television personality, radio host and businesswoman.

In 2007, she cut her studies short after she had auditioned as the host on South Africa’s most watched music series, LIVE. A few months after joining LIVE, Bonang became an overnight sensation and the most sought after celebrity in South Africa. She gave herself the title “Host with the most”.

Bonang hosted many major music and television awards like the South African Music, Channel O Music Awards, The South African Film and Television Awards and many other beauty pageants including Miss South Africa.

2017 Bonang released a book “From A to B” written by Black Bird Books’ Thabiso Mahlape. On July 14 her new reality show “Being Bonang” was aired on VuzuAMP, DSTV channel 103, The show gives us a glimpse of her day-to-day life.

Helen Zille (Photo by Gallo Images / Nardus Engelbrecht)

3.     Helen Zille

Helen Zille, is a South African politician. She is the Premier of the Western Cape province, and a member of the Western Cape Provincial Parliament. She served as leader of the Democratic Alliance, the country’s official opposition party, from 2007 to 2015 and as Mayor of Cape Town from 2006 to 2009.

Zille was selected as World Mayor of the Year in 2008. She was also chosen as Newsmaker of the Year 2006 by the National Press Club in July 2007. Zille speaks English, Afrikaans, Xhosa, and German.

Dr. Makhosi Khoza (Image source: ANA Newswire)

4.     Dr Makhosi Khoza

Makhosi Khoza is a South African politician and former member of parliament who served as chairperson of the portfolio committee on public service and administration. She holds a PhD in Administration and a master’s degree in Social Science.

She became known in 2017 for openly asking the president Jacob Zuma to step down.

On 21 September 2017, Khoza announced her resignation from the ANC to join the effort against corruption in South Africa.

In November this year she revealed that plans are afoot for her to head a merger of various local political parties to contest the 2019 general elections nationally.

Patricia de Lille (Photo by Gallo Images / Foto24 / Liza van Deventer)

5.     Patricia De Lille

Patricia de Lille (born 17 February 1951) is a South African politician who is the 33rd Mayor of Cape Town, in office since 2011.

She was the founder and the leader of the Independent Democrats, a South African political party which she formed in 2003 during a floor-crossing window. On 15 August 2010, the ID merged with the Democratic Alliance, South Africa’s official opposition, and de Lille took on dual party membership until her party was fully dissolved in May 2014.

De Lille was voted 22nd in the Top 100 Great South Africans, and is noted for her role in investigations into the country’s controversial Arms Deal.

Former Public Protector; Thuli Madonsela (Photo by Gallo Images / Beeld / Alet Pretorius)

6.     Thuli Madonsela

Our readers have nominated Madonsela as the “woman of the year” for the last five years in a row!

Thulisile Nomkhosi “Thuli” Madonsela (born 28 September 1962) is a South African advocate and served as the Public Protector of South Africa from 19 October 2009 to 14 October 2016. In 1996, she helped draft the final constitution of South Africa promulgated by then President Nelson Mandela.

Madonsela likened her role as Public Protector to the Venda chief’s paternal aunt known as the makhadzi, a non-political figure who “gives the people a voice while giving the traditional leader a conscience”.


Top 6 International nominees in alphabetical order:

‘Manus x Machina: Fashion In An Age Of Technology’ Costume Institute Gala held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Featuring: Beyonce
Where: New York, New York, United States
When: 02 May 2016

1.     Beyoncé

Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter (born September 4, 1981)is an American singer, songwriter, dancer, and actress.

Throughout her career, Beyoncé has sold an estimated 100 million records as a solo artist, and a further 60 million records with the group Destiny’s Child, making her one of the best-selling music artists in history. She has won 22 Grammy Awards and is the most nominated woman in the award’s history. She is also the most awarded artist at the MTV Video Music Awards, with 24 wins.

In 2014, she became the highest-paid black musician in history and was listed among Time’s 100 most influential people in the world for a second year in a row. Forbes listed her as the most powerful female in entertainment of 2015 and 2017, and in 2016 she occupied the sixth place for Person of the Year.

On June 13, 2017, Beyoncé gave birth to twins Rumi and Sir Carter at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, California.[197] In September 2017, Beyoncé collaborated with J Balvin and Willy William, and remixed the song “Mi Gente“.

European premiere of ‘Finding Dory’ – Arrivals
Featuring: Ellen DeGeneres
Where: London, United Kingdom
When: 11 Jul 2016

2.     Ellen DeGeneres

Ellen Lee DeGeneres (born January 26, 1958) is an American comedian, television host, actress, writer, and producer.

DeGeneres launched her daytime television talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, in September 2003.  It was nominated for 11 Daytime Emmy Awards in its first season, winning four, including Best Talk Show. The show has won 25 Emmy Awards for its first three seasons on the air. DeGeneres is known for her dancing and singing with the audience at the beginning of the show and during commercial breaks.

Forbes estimated DeGeneres’ 2017 earnings at US$77 million. In 2015, she was named the 50th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes and number two on the World Pride Power list. By July 30, DeGeneres has more than 71 million followers on Twitter and 47 million on Instagram, making her the sixth most followed user on Twitter and the 28th most followed user on Instagram.

Activist Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan (Photo by William Volcov/Brazil Photo Press/LatinContent/Getty Images)

3.     Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai (born 12 July 1997) is a Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest Nobel Prize laureate.

She is known for human rights advocacy, especially the education of women and children in her native Swat Valley in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, northwest Pakistan, where the local Taliban had at times banned girls from attending school. Her advocacy has grown into an international movement.

Yousafzai was injured on 9 October 2012 by a Taliban gunman when he attempted to murder her. She remained unconscious and in critical condition at the Rawalpindi Institute of Cardiology, but later her condition improved enough for her to be sent to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, UK. The murder attempt sparked a national and international outpouring of support for Yousafzai.

From 2013 to 2017, she was a pupil at the all-girls’ Edgbaston High School in Birmingham. In 2017, she was awarded honorary Canadian citizenship and became the youngest person to address the House of Commons of Canada. In August 2017, she gained admission to Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford to study for a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics.

4.     Michelle Obama

Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama (born January 17, 1964) is an American lawyer and writer who was First Lady of the United States from 2009 to 2017. She is married to the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, and is the first African-American First Lady.

As First Lady, Obama became a role model for women, an advocate for poverty awareness, nutrition, physical activity and healthy eating, and a fashion icon.

In May 2017, during an appearance at the Partnership for a Healthier America conference, Obama rebuked the Trump administration for its delay of a federal requirement designed to increase the nutritional standards for school lunches.

New York premiere of ‘Selma’ at Ziegfeld Theater – Red carpet arrivals
Featuring: Oprah Winfrey
Where: New York City, New York, United States
When: 14 Dec 2014
Credit: Ivan Nikolov/

5.     Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey (born Orpah Gail Winfrey; January 29, 1954) is an American media proprietor, talk show host, actress, producer, and philanthropist.

She is best known for her talk show The Oprah Winfrey Show, which was the highest-rated television programme of its kind in history and was nationally syndicated from 1986 to 2011 in Chicago, Illinois.

Dubbed the “Queen of All Media”, she has been ranked the richest African-American, the greatest black philanthropist in American history, and is North America’s first multi-billionaire black person.

Several assessments rank her as the most influential woman in the world. In 2013, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama and honorary doctorate degrees from Duke and Harvard.

The Met Gala 2017 – Arrivals
Featuring: Serena Williams
Where: New York, New York, United States
When: 01 May 2017

6.     Serena Williams

Serena Jameka Williams (born September 26, 1981) is an American professional tennis player. Williams holds the most Grand Slam titles in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles combined amongst active players.

She became the world No. 1 for the first time on July 8, 2002. On the sixth occasion, she held the ranking for 186 consecutive weeks, tying the record set by Steffi Graf for the most consecutive weeks as world No. 1 by a female tennis player. In total, she has been world No. 1 for 319 weeks, which ranks her third in the Open Era among female tennis players.

Many commentators, players and sports writers regard her as the greatest female tennis player of all time. On April 19, 2017, she announced a hiatus from tennis until 2018 because of her pregnancy.

On September 1, 2017, Williams gave birth to a daughter named Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. Despite being absent from the game, she ended the season no. 22.