Yolisa Phahle was born in the United Kingdom, with firm roots in South Africa. Yolisa cut her teeth in the industry as a musician. She attended the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, majoring in classical piano and violin, but soon found herself immersed in popular music, sharing a stage with the likes of Duran Duran and Jamiroquai.
Yolisa joined the BBC World Service in 1998, training as studio manager and later as a music producer. Four years later, she moved to a post as the senior music producer at BBC 6 Music, the broadcaster’s first-ever digital radio station and its first new music channel in 30 years. She also worked as a sound and vision mixer in continuity for BBC television.
Her South African roots and love for African music saw her return to South Africa in 2004, where she joined M-Net as head of Channel O. In 2009, she became channel director for the local entertainment channels. In this role, she was instrumental in driving M-Net’s local content strategy by launching many successful local channels (including Mzansi Magic) and building a strong content team. She was appointed as M-Net South Africa CEO in 2013 before taking over the reins of the M-Net business across the African continent in October 2015. She holds an MBA from GIBS Business School.
Yolisa Phahle is the co-chairman of the M-Net presidium.
She will be speaking during Session 1.