An Ambassador of Goodwill~ Marlene Govender

Durban resident Marlene Govender’s major ambition in life is to become an ambassador for South Africa and a sincere economic player to upgrade the quality of living for people of the vast continent

Young and lovely South African Marlene Govender has been chosen as one of the top 6 finalists in the ‘Mrs Commonwealth South Africa 2018 Pageant’. The Grand Finale will take place at the spectacular Lyric Theatre, Gold Reef City on October 12 this year. The winner will represent South Africa at International Pageant in London in 2019.

“I hope to use this fantastic platform to ignite economic growth, job creation and skills development to improve the quality of lives of people in our continent. My aim is to decrease unemployment and poverty,” she says.

The Pageant, in its 5th year, is more than a women empowerment programme – it is an empowerment movement. It launched its ‘Commonwealth Women Unite’ campaign in February 2018. The organization, Commonwealth Pageants South Africa (Pty) Ltd, founded all the Commonwealth pageants in South Africa and owns the Mrs Commonwealth South Africa Pageant.



Last year in September 2017, Marlene resigned from her position at the Durban International Convention Centre (ICC) as General Manager, Marketing, Sales and Events to complete the dissertation element of her Masters in Business Administration (MBA) through the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN); Boom Marketing Management, UNISA.  

“The MBA programme was an incredible, inspiring, thought-provoking 2-year journey that has speared me into being a part of the solution for South Africa and Africa’s quadruple challenges of poverty, unemployment, inequality, etc. I wanted to put in sufficient time into the dissertation element of the programme as I had chosen a topic that I am sincerely passionate about which is ‘An Evaluation of the Economic Impact of the Durban International Convention Centre on the Economy’” she explains.  

She completed her MBA and graduated on April 19, 2018.  She hopes to register for part-time doctoral studies at UKZN with focus on Marketing Neuroscience and Consumer Psychology.




Marlene is the Founder and CEO of The Market Masters International (MMI) which was created to benefit several stakeholders in the business ecosystem in South Africa and Africa with strategic marketing solutions that could assist in alleviating challenges facing business, government and society and academia, to assist in solving the quadruple challenges facing South Africa and the African continent. 

“The knowledge that I gained from my experience at the Durban International Convention Centre (ICC) and the MBA programme together with business tourism experience has speared me into creating a strategic marketing consultancy which I believe can benefit several stakeholders in various values chain in South Africa and Africa. It will leave long-term sustainable benefit for future generations to come,” she remarks.  

“The 20 years of exhilarating global business tourism, marketing, sales, events, public relations experience and being part of a catalytic economic engine like the Durban International Convention Centre has revealed socioeconomic opportunity to position our country and continent as a severe economic player in the global business landscape,” she adds. 

This medium has the reach of 167 countries and over 300K viewership at present.  “We want to get this into all universities and schools to get down to grass roots level to keep our future generations more equipped to create an entrepreneurial mindset through real inspirational stories, knowledge sharing platforms,“ she asserts. 




“At this self-actualisation point in my life, I choose to use my values, experience, qualifications, relationships and business ethics to follow my real purpose which is to become an ambassador for our country and position us globally as a serious economic player to improve the quality of lives for all our people.  

“MMI was founded with passion and need to improve the quality of lives of all people on the African continent.  It is a catalytic organisation that I hope to expand into Africa so we can capacitate our continent together as a whole eventually enter global landscape by working with strategic AFRICAN and global partners with mutually beneficial objectives,” she observes.

On social work front, Marlene supports diverse social initiatives such as the Breast Cancer Awareness NPO and Pink Drive.

“I am now doing what I have always loved! I leverage opportunities in my present role as a woman entrepreneur since my focus is on the creation of entrepreneurship, innovation and economic wellbeing. I am constantly looking at collaborations and inspiring other women to become entrepreneurs themselves. I won’t like women to give their personal goals and ambitions at any cost!” she proclaims.    


Marlene Govender can be reached at Linked-in, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram


First Published: 28-Aug-2018- 17:10


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