Magda Wierzycka was born in Poland in 1969. In 1981, her family defected to Austria, where she lived for eight months in a refugee camp. The family moved to South Africa in 1982. She attended Pretoria School for Girls before moving to Cape Town, having won a bursary to study actuarial science at UCT. After working for a number of financial services companies, she became CEO of the African Harvest Group, before she founded her own company, Sygnia Limited, and co-founded a UK-based venture capital firm, Braavos Investment Advisers. She has been an outspoken critic of corruption in business and in government. In 2020, Forbes magazine listed her among ‘Africa’s 50 Most Powerful Women’. She divides her time between Cape Town and London with her husband and two sons.