Sleeping Out and Changing the World

On the eve of Women’s Day 2017, Faith Khanyile, CEO of WDB Investment Holdings (WDBIH), will be taking part in The SheEO SleepOut™ and has challenged some of her most talented counterparts to bring along their sleeping bags…

A transformation catalyst at the boardroom table, Faith Khanyile is certainly not averse to rising to a challenge, both in and out of the Boardroom. So when faced with the opportunity of taking part in The SheEO SleepOut™ to raise funds for the Door of Hope charity*, she was one of the first CEOs to put up her hand and say “count me in”.

At a time when abuse, inequality and femicide are at all-time highs in South Africa, a special chapter of the popular CEO SleepOut™ was announced, supported by Minister of Women Susan Shabangu. The event calls on female business leaders to sleep outdoors for one night – to not only raise awareness of the issues facing women in South Africa, but also to raise much-needed funds.

 Taking part in the event comes with a significant price tag as each participant needs to raise a minimum R100 000 mandatory pledge in order to attend. Khanyile is up to this challenge…

“This initiative is very close to my heart and to the heart of WDB,” she says. “WDB is really about advancing women, it’s about developing women, it’s about transformation AND it’s about driving change – so for us as WDB and for myself personally, we were quite inspired and excited by the concept of The SheEO SleepOut™”.

She says The SheEO SleepOut™ creates an opportunity for women to take leadership and is a novel way to drive the change that they want to see happening in South Africa.


“The challenges of homelessness, poverty and inequality are challenges that we as women are really at the centre of. Those challenges impact us directly and I think this is an opportune time for us to be visible, to have those conversations, to have our voices heard but most importantly to take action,” says Khanyile.

Faith took part in the inaugural CEO SleepOut™ in 2015, and thoroughly enjoyed the camaraderie among her peers (all captains of industry). She is inspired by the fact that the event has awarded over R34-million to beneficiaries since its inception and believes the SheEOs will add significantly to this.

This time around she is calling on five of her influential business friends to ‘Rise to the Challenge’ and set up camp, namely: Janine Hills from Vuma Reputation Management; Mary Bomela (MIC); Sonja Sebotsa (Ethos Private Equity); Professor Shirley Zinn and Louisa Mojela (WIPHOLD). The organisers are hoping for 250 “industry leaders” to take part in the event, which lasts from 6pm to 6am. The fact that the SleepOut™ is taking place at the Union Buildings, the historic site of the Women’s March in 1956, simply adds to the gravitas and meaning of the occasion. R100 000 is just the amount to get you into the event, but raising even more might prove a powerful incentive for these self-professed over-achievers. Some healthy competition will no doubt set the leader boards alight as the event draws nearer and these mavens of industry do their best to outdo each other, all in the spirit of friendship and making a difference to those vulnerable children at the Door of Hope. One can only wonder what the conversations under the stars will be all about –who knows whether any real shut-eye will take place? – but you never know, by morning, The SheEO SleepOut™ participants may have solved all the problems of the world, and then some.


BOX: The SheEO SleepOut™ takes place on the eve of Women’s Day, 8th August at the Union Buildings. For more information, visit:

* The Door of Hope charity: Statistics state that in Johannesburg alone, at least three babies are abandoned every day. The Door of Hope charity aims to save abandoned babies and provide a safe family environment Visit:


To help Faith achieve her donation goal and help this wonderful charity, go to… and click on the button bellow: