The National African Federated Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Nafcoc) mourns the passing of one of the organisation’s past national presidents, Dr Archie Siphiwo Nkonyeni. He died on Saturday.
Nkonyeni was born in Qhora village just outside of Butterworth in the Eastern Cape.
Dr Nkonyeni was a qualified accountant, a businessman and also an active member and leader of the Black Management Forum.
He joined Nafcoc in its early days, first serving in the Transkei Chamber of Commerce (Tracoc).
Nafcoc said in a statement that Nkonyeni rose through the ranks to serve in various capacities at the NAFCOC national office, culminating in him being elected president of the federation. The statement described Nkonyeni as a fearless business leader who was not shy to express his views, even on controversial issues of the day.
“He was also an empowerment champion and mentor to many young businesspeople. He was also a published author and writer. Dr Nkonyeni had businesses in various fields, including his two passions; property development and agriculture.
"In 2012 he authored his second book "Black Property Pioneer", in this he penned the open secrets behind his success and tenets to upcoming business people to be “forthright and commanding”, if necessary, in their path to success," said Nafcoc.
Nafcoc president, Sabelo Macingwane, said the federation is saddened by the loss of a counsellor and a leader of Nkonyeni's calibre.
“He was a giant, one of the best brains the country and Nafcoc has ever had. He was a fountain of knowledge. When you were with him you often left with something new. He was one of the leaders who thought out of the box, who was keen on trying new ideas and methods, even if those methods wouldn’t succeed. He knew that even in failure, one learns invaluable lessons.
“It is sad to lose leaders like Dr Nkonyeni at the time when their knowledge and experience is solely needed in South Africa. We are saying to Dr Nkonyeni’s family, friends and colleagues that their loss is our loss and the loss of many in South Africa and beyond," he said.
Macingwane described Nkonyeni as an adoring father, a loving husband and a caring human being.