Sifiso Dabengwa
Sifiso Dabengwa
Sifiso Dabengwa
BornSifiso Dabengwa
ResidenceSouth Africa
NationalityZimbabwe, South African
EducationB.Sc. in Electrical Engineering
Alma materUniversity of Zimbabwe, University of the Witwatersrand
  • Engineer
  • Administrator
Known forFormer MTN Group CEO

Raymond Sifiso Ndlovu Dabengwa is Zimbabwean telecoms executive who is based in South Africa. He is mostly known for his former role as CEO of the MTN Group. Dabengwa was the Group President and Chief Executive Officer of MTN Group until November 2015. Prior to joining the MTN Group in 1999, where he held various jobs before he became CEO. Dabengwa holds a B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering, an MBA and EDP.

Personal Life

Dabengwa was in a long relationship with State Theatre CEO Xoliswa Ngema. They were engaged but never married. Ngema tried to lay claim to Dabengwa’s fortune after he broke off their engagement, arguing that the engagement ring she wore was a wedding ring, but Dabengwa’s attorneys discovered that the two were never married according to common law. Ngema withdrew her case.[1]

After Ngema withdrew her appeal for divorce, she was served with a warrant to pay Dabengwa around $50,000. Ngema asked for a suspension on the warrant while she planned a second court case, in which again claimed she and Dabengwa had been legally married, and that she was entitled to half of his wealth. The judge didn’t see any reason for her second case to hold up in court, either.


Dabengwa holds a BB.Sc. (Elect. Eng.), MBA and EDP. Dabengwa earned a bachelor of science in engineering from the University of Zimbabwe, as well as an MBA from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. Between receiving his first degree and his second, Dabengwa spent a few years serving as a trainee on the British Rail, and eventually on the Zimbabwe Railways.[2]


Dabengwa, BB.Sc., served as the Chief Executive Officer and President of MTN Group Ltd. from March 31, 2011, to November 9, 2015. Mr. Dabengwa served as Chief Operating Officer of MTN Group Ltd. until March 31, 2011. He served as Managing Director of MTN SA of MTN Group Ltd. Mr Dabengwa served as Chief Operating Officer-South Africa of MTN Nigeria Communications Ltd. He served as Chief Executive Officer of -MTN Nigeria Communications Ltd. since November 1, 2004, and also served as its Managing Director. He was responsible to develop and implement strategic direction, ensure profitable growth and meet required performance targets. He served as Group Chief Operating Officer of MTN Group Ltd. until November 2004. His major achievements have been to maintain and improve the MTN's group's market position, despite increased competition and demand for resources. Prior to MTN, he served several years at Eskom, whereas a Member of Eskom's Management Board, where Mr Dabengwa was responsible for all of its distribution operations, including sales, customer service, marketing, engineering and technology. At Eskom, he was also responsible for the planning and implementation of the national electrification programme, one of the most successful projects of the Reconstruction and Development Plan. He serves as a Director of MTN Nigeria Communications Limited. He serves as Director of Leaf, E-Bucks, MTN International, MTN Network Operator and MTN Service Provider. He serves as a Non-Executive Director of Peermont Global Limited. Mr Dabengwa served as an Executive Director of MTN Group Ltd. from October 1, 2001, to November 9, 2015. He served as an Independent Non-Executive Director of Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. from January 1, 2004, to November 10, 2004. Mr Dabengwa holds B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering, MBA and EDP. Before working at MTN, Dabengwa sat on the management board at Eskom—the public electric utility company in South Africa. One of Dabengwa’s most notable achievements there was planning and implementing the national electrification program which increased electricity in South African households from 35 percent in 1990 to 84 percent in 2011.[3]

On January 20, 2018, he was announced as one of the board members in the South African power utility, Eskom board following the removal of Eskom executives implicated in corruption.

MTN workers strike against Dabengwa

Workers on strike at MTN demanded that Dabengwa returned to his home country of Zimbabwe, claiming that he didn’t believe in giving his employees a decent, living wage. The strike came at a time of heightened xenophobia in South Africa, and strikers held signs demanding that several MTN personnel who were not from South Africa return to their native lands.Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name cannot be a simple integer. Use a descriptive title

Resignation from MTN

Dabengwa resigned after MTN's Nigerian operation was slapped with a US$5,2bn fine by regulators in Nigeria after its subsidiary there failed to cut off more than 5m unregistered Sim cards. The fine was later reduced to $3,9bn. MTN has been criticised by some of its shareholders for paying Dabengwa an R23,7m golden handshake.

Dabengwa joined South African technology group, Gijima.[4]


  1. Kashiefa Ajam,MTN boss off the hook over 'marriage', IOL, published: February 6, 2010, retrieved: January 20, 2018
  2. 8 Things You Didn’t Know About Former MTN CEO Sifiso Dabengwa, Moguldom, published: 11 May 2016, retrieved: 24 Aug 2018
  3. Julia Austin, 8 Things You Didn’t Know About Former MTN CEO Sifiso Dabengwa, AFK Insider, published: May 11, 2016, retrieved: January 20, 2018,
  4. Duncan McLeod Ex-MTN CEO Sifiso Dabengwa joins Gijima, 26 May 2016 , Published: , Retrieved: 21 Nov 2016