Welcome to Andile Lunga Stofile’s world, where philanthropy meets professional with everything in between. With an extensive 19+ year professional background involving the intricacies of full-scope facilitations, socio-economic transformation and corporate leadership development, his work always aims to instil large-scale positive change – what he terms “Leadership with a Soul”. If you’re looking for a renowned business transformationalist, global communicator, philanthropist, and life-business strategist, get in touch.
Andile Lunga Stofile was raised in a tight-knit community in rural South Africa and eventually rose to the ranks of the C-suite. During his formative years, Andile was immersed a communal ecosystem guided by the wisdom of elders who relied on storytelling traditions and its capacity to solve complex problems.The lessons Andile gleaned left an indelible mark on him and reinforced his overarching belief that storytelling is the foundation of true human connection.
Andile has been singled out as a transformational leader in Fortune 500 and Fortune 300 multinational organizations such as Microsoft, IBM, and S. Africa-based firms with a global footprint. With an extensive 19+ years of background in the field of Telecommunications and ICT, Andile was involved in corporate leadership development, public/private sales optimization, and socio-economic transformation.
Andile is the enthusiastic proponent of “Leadership with a Soul,” a values-driven approach to capitalism, infusing it with the uplifting qualities of his ancestral heritage. Today, Andile is looked to as a renowned business transformationalist, global communicator, keynote speaker, philanthropist, and life-business strategist. Andile is driven to connect, communicate his knowledge to others, and create lasting reforms on the socio-economic landscape.
Storytelling has characterized much of the human experience, with a formal study concluding that “the presence of good storytellers is associated with increased cooperation”. My experience as a renowned Business Transformationalist, Global Communicator, Philanthropist, and Life-Business Strategist has worked to confirm this assertion.
Born and raised in South Africa’s vastly rural and impoverished Eastern Cape Province, I was exposed to a sense of active citizenry early on, witnessing the entire community galvanized to solve local socio-economic issues.
It was here, at my grandparents’ home in Ncambedlana Farms in Mthatha, and my uncle and father figure’s home in the small town of Bizana which borders the previous Transkei and KwaZulu-Natal, that I first saw a powerful communal ecosystem at work and established what some may call “my why”.
The practice of routine storytelling was tightly woven into the fabric of society – recanting experiences and soliciting advice from the elders came as naturally as breathing. Where I came to appreciate storytelling as a means of problem solving was in the realisation that the most tangible solutions were found not in the textbooks, lecture halls or even boardrooms but in leveraging the power of storytelling as the basis of human connection.
It is not lost on me that Bizana is the birthplace of global icon, Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. A boots-on-the-ground freedom fighter for much of her life, she used her qualification in social work and profound insight into the inner workings of society to care for communities and effectively mobilize a nation. I can easily draw comparisons to my uncle and father figure who was a General Medical Practitioner in the same community. Without relying on government funding, the community put systems in place that would allow them to benefit from one another’s successes, circulating what little wealth existed to uplift the poorest among them. Each day would end with a gathering of the community Elders kwa Tatu’ Sfile’s shop to connect and talk about pertinent matters relating to business and the community at large.
One could say that my uncle and father figure took the notion of community to the extreme, insisting until his last breath that that he would not get a pool at his house despite the wishes of his 5 children. This was because his conscience would not let him have a pool while there were communities around him that did not even have a cup of water to drink. I have a similar outlook on life in. Throughout my lateral career successions, I have looked in the mirror only to see his reflection staring back. Leveraging this rich heritage, I am compelled to focus my efforts on being an exceptional transformational leader with global relevance, helping to create a better world for us now, which future generations can be proud of.
Visionary leadership and professional excellence have been both a birth right and a calling that I have had no option but to fulfil. My maternal grandfather was the first black magistrate in the Transkei and, at a young age, my paternal great grandfather designed the African National Congress (ANC) flag that was adopted during the organisation’s 1925 annual conference, and has become a worldwide symbol of the struggle for freedom.
It is against this backdrop, and through my extensive 19+ year professional background involving the intricacies of full-scope facilitations, socio-economic transformation, corporate leadership development, and public/private sales optimization, that I have come to understand connection as the foundation of good business.
It is my mastery of the act of sharing, openly collaborating, what the modish conglomerates call ‘transparency’, more than anything, that has positioned me as a global leader with the ability to transcend boarders and cultural norms to cooperate, pool resources and, dare I say it, innovate. More than anything, what I know to be true is that storytelling is the universal language.
Holding a Commerce Degree with majors in Law and Economics and various industry certifications, I have proactively focussed my career across the Telecommunications and ICT sectors for nearly two decades. Throughout this time, I have been appointed to various senior leadership positions. I have been responsible for private sector Fortune 500 and Fortune 300 multinational organizations, the public (government) sector, as well as roles targeting Africa and Middle East Business. As such, I have built a large inventory of career progressions and awards for excellence in quick succession which ultimately became the catalyst for my current endorsed standing in a C-level position.
My efforts within these change-oriented spaces have not only helped translate big picture transformation goals into tangible realities, but have inevitably spearheaded philanthropic objectives. This is all achieved with a cornerstone goal to ensure a better life for impoverished, rural, and remote communities.
From international relationship building, philanthropic networking strategist relations, and keynote speaking to transformational business and life coaching, I have a genuine ardency for what I do and demonstrate this through my ongoing devotion to innovating viable paths forward for both business and community engagements.
To advance this concept and start a movement of next generation of ‘Leaders with a Soul’, I host Leadership events focused on nation building and African socio-economic transformation. My flagship gathering is my Annual Birthday Networking and Leadership Event, where I invite inspirational and exceptional C-level executives in SMME and multi-national organisations, coupled with leaders in civil society movements.
I include only those who have made a lasting impact on my life during the year, using my networking skills to share best practice through storytelling. The intention is to create a springboard for new ideas and build a foundation on which empires and legacies may be built. This has allowed me to impel Professionals to re-direct their skills back into the continent’s socio-economic growth – an area in which I thrive.
As an illustration, a friend, confidant and influential leader who is a qualified chartered account, and the former Chief Financial Officer of a multi-national private sector organisation with a balance sheet of close to a Billion Rand, decided to take a 2 year sabbatical, leaving behind his new wife and infant daughter to follow his calling to serve pro-bono in a rural area in the Easter Cape. The impact of this decision was that, for the first time since the dawn of democracy, the municipality received a clean audit and national government was able to transfer much needed funding for service delivery programs.
None of this would be possible without my inherent ability to connect with, incentivize and guide other change-makers and global trailblazers towards transformation. I have always maintained that when great minds come together, it sparks something much greater than what we can anticipate.
With my inherent calling, my work is always with the goal of instilling large-scale positive change, ensuring everyone in the immediate and global communities, as well as throughout the corporate pipelines gain positive, constructive experiences along the way. In one of my signature keynote addresses aimed at life and business transformation, I refer to this approach as “Leadership with a Soul”.
The substance of a Soulful Leader was instilled in me from my youth in the Eastern Cape – paradoxically magnificent and terrifying. Leading with Soul is, in the most basic terms, the natural way of my people, my ancestral heritage, and, in my educated opinion, the only way forward if global businesses are to see revitalization after the pandemic.
Designing my expert services on a foundation of integrity, and employing the language of storytelling as a leadership tool has allowed me to become the endorsed business leader and community activist I am today – one who incessantly strives to raise the standards for my corporate network, the community, and the human experience as a whole.
I have woven this soul-deep concept into practice at many junctures in my life and career, perhaps most notably in my work to conceptualise and initiate programs that will assist retrenched and unemployed individuals to reskill for the global digital economy. This includes ensuring sufficient funds to activate them country wide during the Covid-19 pandemic. Focused primarily on those in outlying areas and rural communities, these initiatives will see participants gaining basic digital literacy skills so they can effectively move up the value stack, break free from poverty, and enter the mainstream economy by obtaining Global Certifications – the proverbial key to the world.
In much the same way, it was while on stage facilitating conversations at my birthday event that I decided to take a year long sabbatical as the calling was to great and made me restless. This was with the vision of serving pro-bono in a Government as well as in pro bono consulting for SMME organizations wherein I could use my years of business strategy and execution thereof to help them break their glass ceilings and reach unprecedented levels of revenue growth.
My personal give back initiative, The Abahlaliworld.com, is another way that I have actualized what might otherwise be brushed off as impracticable theory. The initiative galvanizes South African Professionals (both Young Professionals and Elders) towards a common goal of building impactful legacies. This is achieved by applying their skills and resources to problem areas, rather than throwing the cheque book at the challenge. As I mentioned at one of our Annual Baraza Leadership Sessions focused on national and international issues around socio-economic transformation, unless you have an emotional connection to the core of your soul, there is no way you can genuinely contribute. After throwing caution to the wind and taking a sabbatical, which I refer to as my broke holiday for national service, in 2009 I was forced to turn inward and get this initiative off the ground while we officially launched The Abahlaliworld.com in 2010.
To say this endeavour was one of the greatest challenges I have faced would be an understatement. After a series of fortuitous events, opportunity met preparation and, with the help of a few good people, we are now a network of over 5,000 Professionals country-wide. Providing procurement opportunities, education in the form of soft skills, networking services, and interventions, The Abahlaliworld.com stands as a functioning virtual economy where the most influential people in Private, Public, and Civil sectors of society take it upon themselves to give ambitious businesspeople the opportunity to grow within a passion-driven network of like-minded leaders.