Fayruz Mohamed, national chairperson at the South African National Zakah Fund. Fayruz Mohamed CA(SA) believes that by serving others, you can contribute to making a society that is more equitable and just.
Unwavering commitment, passion, and servant leadership
She currently serves as a non-executive director as well as an independent audit committee member at the South African National Zakah Fund.
Her roles extend within the financial services, Islamic finance, Islamic social finance, medical scheme, and public sectors. In addition, she is internationally qualified in Zakat management and Islamic finance.
Of her many career highlights, her appointment to head up one of KPMG’s advisory business units, followed by being appointed as associate director early in her career, stands out.
Being appointed as the first female national chairperson of the largest and longest serving zakat management institution in South Africa, was also a proud moment for Fayruz.
Her efforts and work in the Islamic finance industry earned her many the professional and prestigious accolades and recognition, including WOMANi Influencer of the Year 2022, and sixth most influential woman in Islamic Business and Finance by WOMANi in 2021.
Receiving the SAICA Difference Maker award for SDG and sustainability is another lifetime highlight. ‘I am immensely honoured to have represented South Africa and the South African National Zakah Fund (SANZAF) on various international fora to share my knowledge on topics related to governance, women in leadership, and Zakat.’
‘I believe that several deserving individuals are contributing to making this world a more just, equitable and compassionate one. My unwavering commitment, passion, and servant leadership, no doubt, have played a role in my receiving this Difference Maker award, of which I am tremendously humbled.
‘The fact that I did receive the award, gives me inspiration and encouragement to continue to serve humanity with sincerity and excellence and I trust it will inspire and create positive change so others may do the same. I acknowledge that without my team it could not have been possible. I pray that my efforts in implementing good governance, effective policies, and ensuring the organisation remains relevant, sustainable, and complies with best practices are making a difference,’ she says.
‘Coming from humble beginnings, one can understand the need to build impacting communities. I am extremely privileged to have been allowed to serve our community in my role as the National Chairperson of SANZAF and through the government oversight roles that I play. It has given me immense fulfilment and meaning and has played a pivotal role in my professional and personal growth and learning.’
Her ultimate goal has always been to find the balance between faith, family, work, and service to humanity. ‘Fortunately, I was able to work reduced hours for most of my career in the corporate sector. This meant that along with financial independence, I was also able to be a wife and mother who could continue to use my professional skills in a voluntary capacity – to focus on empowering women, in particular in the decision-making areas, and to guide them on how to navigate and stand for such positions.’
Fayruz is passionate about women’s empowerment, especially in the workplace. ‘I believe that we need to have an abundance mindset and make space for other like-minded women.’
This belief has led her to establish SANZAF’s National Women Empowerment Programme and develop and enhance policies for the improvement of her women team. She was also involved in the development of SANZAF’s Women IBF (Islamic Business and Finance Forum) which aims to create a platform for women within the IBF sector to foster development, knowledge sharing, and networking with like-minded women.
‘I believe that as women especially, we need to surround ourselves with people who mentor, encourage, motivate and empower us. I urge women to remain humble as they learn, unlearn and relearn. Humility does not mean that we deny our strengths, but that we are honest about our weaknesses, however, we need to embrace both.’