Profiling the Cream: Phillip Madinga

Every child has a role model. A person they emulate. Someone they want to be like when they’re old enough to shape the trajectory of their life. Or at least, try anyway. Even half of whatever that said person has achieved.

Ask a classroom full of kids what or who they’d want to be when they grow up you get responses like “a policeman”, “Uncle Luwendo”, “Superman,” “Nelson Mandela,” “Barack Obama,” Angela Merkel” or “Margaret Thatcher.”

The reasons for the choices are diverse and some don’t even make sense – kids, you know. Ugh.

If, I was to be asked the same question my response would be; I want to be Phillip Madinga.

Phillip Madinga, the man – not just the successful banking executive. And unless you’ve just crawled out from under a rock then chances are you’ve heard this name before.

Phillip is a soft-spoken and successful Malawian banking executive and the current Chief Executive Officer for Standard Bank Plc Malawi.

He has continuously earned his accolades for business success in the banking industry and frankly, who wouldn’t want to be him, am I right? Or at least half the person that he is.

The background

Phillip Madinga was born in December 1971 in Blantyre (Malawi), he completed his primary school education at several schools in Lilongwe (Malawi) from 1975 to 1986, his last primary school being Mchisu Local Education Authority (LEA) School where after completing and passing the Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) examinations, he was selected to go to Blantyre Secondary School (Malawi).

In 1990, he sat for the MSCE examinations and passed with Credit.

He then went to Chancellor College (now University of Malawi) where he graduated with a Bachelor of Social Science majoring in Economics in 1994.

On top of this, Phillip also holds a Bachelor of Business Administration (Honours) from the University of Stellenbosch Business School and a Master of Business Administration from the same Business School.

Over the years Phillip has also attended and completed several professional leadership, technical, and management programs and courses.

After he graduated from Chancellor College things just went uphill from there.

The Career

Phillip Madinga enjoyed an early career trajectory within several financial institutions.

Honing his commercial pragmatism and exposure at Investment Banking & Development Bank limited, one of the former Development Finance Institutions in Malawi, he smoothly transitioned into the Commercial Banking arena, where he has led and managed several business functions, ranging from Corporate and Investment Banking, Retail and Commercial Banking, Transactional Products & Services and Digital Banking and Customer Experience both at senior and executive management level.

As the CEO for Standard Bank Plc, his prime accountability is to provide leadership and strategic direction and execution of the Standard Bank Plc (Malawi) country strategy to optimize country business performance and maximization of revenue through growth in market share and retention of the existing client base, with the support of the Standard Bank Group.

Madinga is also currently leading the bank’s Digital Transformation journey towards the Bank becoming a much more digitally enabled and Platform-led business.

Ever heard of Unayo? Well, if you haven’t, you’re about to.

Before this, Phillip served as Head of Personal & Business Banking, Standard Bank Plc.

He has also worked with several other Banks, this as Chief Commercial Officer responsible for Business (both CIB & PBB) at NBS Bank Plc;

– as Group General Manager – Corporate & Commercial Banking for First Merchant Bank Ltd (now First Capital Bank);

– as Managing Director for FDH Bank Plc as Head of Corporate Banking and Head Corporate & Investment Banking for Standard Bank Plc (Malawi); as Head of Corporate Banking, Loita Investment Bank Ltd (now Ecobank Limited);

– as Deputy Head of Credit Management for Nedbank Malawi Ltd (now MyBucks)

– as Projects Monitoring & Supervision Officer for Investment & Development Bank of Malawi Ltd.

Easy, I will let you catch your breath.

In his own capacity, Phillip has been appointed to several key board roles, including as Chairman of the Board of Directors (between 2015 and 2020) for the largest hospitality business in Malawi, Sunbird Tourism Plc.

During his tenure, apart from the successful refurbishments of Mount Soche Hotel, Capital Hotel, Lilongwe Hotel, Sunbird Nkopola Lodge, and Ku Chawe Inn, his signature project was the recently unveiled Sunbird Waterfront Hotel in Salima, Malawi.

Phillip is also one of the first Commissioners appointed to the newly established National Planning Commission Board in Malawi.

He is also a Non-Executive Director on the Board of Illovo Sugar Plc (Malawi), where he chairs the Board Audit Committee.

The Footballer

Wait a minute, Phillip Madinga is not only a successful corporate connoisseur, he is also a gifted footballer who plied his trade at top level.

A brilliant attacking midfielder, Madinga started his football career at Blantyre Secondary School and it is while there that he was talent scouted by Wanderers Youth, where in just a short stint, he proved his salt and he was deservedly promoted to the senior team.

However, Madinga after sitting for his MSCE exams and smashed them with flying colours, he got selected to the University of Malawi’s Chancellor College for his tertiary education.

Soon as he arrived at Chancellor College, popularised as “the College that God loves” Madinga was drafted into the first team and soon thereafter he was playing for the University Football Club (UFC) a team that had a pool of talented footballers and ended up playing in the top flight, the Super League.

At this point, Madinga was at the ‘Sapitwa’ of his football career and it was not surprising that the Nomands came back calling and they successfully made him append his signature for them.

Madinga became one of the finest midfielders in the country. He was a marvel to watch and a darling of the Manoma supporters while a hate figure for opposition players and supporters.

But while at the pinnacle of his football career, Madinga soon found himself in a quagmire as he got himself a job and therefore he did not have enough time for football.

He found it hard to juggle between his new job and his passion, football.

At Wanderers Football Club, at one point when he got to training, Billiat Mkwapatira who was fondly known as Angelezi called him and said: “Iwe Phillip Madinga, bwanji ungosiya mpirawu, nanga wekha ukhale ndi ntchito ziwiri? Ifetu mpirawu ndi ntchito ndipo timadyera m’momu ndiye ukamatikhazikitsanso pa bench, ukufuna kuti tipite kukalima kumudzi?”

Madinga was at one point called to the national team but he turned down the call up to play for his country because he was so occupied with his work – an opportunity any footballer would jump on.

If not for his professional career, Madinga could have become one of the best footballers in the game.

Some people have got all the luck in the world – Phillip Madinga doesn’t have all the luck, he has all the blessings.

The Gist

Come on, I don’t believe there are that many people who wouldn’t want to be like what I’ve described above. So (in my next life) I do want to be a Phillip Madinga when I grow up. Why? Because this man is more than just his professional accomplishments.

He is the full package – all-around excellence personified.

His success didn’t happen by accident though. So please don’t talk about ‘favour’ or the zodiac signs, and neither did his success happen by chance. Truthfully speaking, luck has VERY little to do with one’s success.

You need to put in the works and be ready to seize the opportunity when it comes knocking on your door.

Not only is he a hard worker, but Phillip is also ethical, transparent and upholds unquestionable integrity, sound judgment, objectivity, and discretion.

I don’t know Phillip Madinga, personally but he inspires me and I am sure a lot more of my kind, and many of his current and former colleagues and clients hold him in high esteem and like they say Chichewa: ‘khalidwe ndi chuma’ (Your attitude will determine your success in life).

I know Phillip Madinga isn’t the only Malawian with such a brilliant track record and accolades.

There are so many Phillip Madingas around us, so instead of trying to compete with them, let’s kick our egos to the curb and try to emulate them. Or better still be the better versions of ourselves.

When you see a Phillip Madinga, fight those pangs of jealousy and envy, and instead do your best to improve, in whatever it is that you do.

Madinga is a cream. Let us embrace him.

Here is Madinga’s favourite quote.

“It is never wise to seek or wish for another’s misfortune. If malice or envy were tangible and had a shape, it would be the shape of a boomerang.” – Charley Reese.

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Bright Mhango
Bright Mhango
2 years ago

Very indepth. Brings out the person for us to experience him.

Baba Tunde
Baba Tunde
2 years ago

I know him, he works very hard no wonder he is a successful man

2 years ago

Beautifully written…..beautiful stuff

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