More about our Founder
“Good manners will open doors that the best education cannot.”
– Clarence Thomas
Riandi Conradie is a successful businesswoman, entrepreneur and etiquette specialist, and the Founder and Managing Director of the South African Etiquette Academy.
Riandi’s zeal and commitment to success are rooted in the ambition and vigour she exhibited from a young age. Riandi has provincial colours for duathlon and cross country running, and her determination to reach the highest levels of performance is evident from the success she has attained on the sports field.
Riandi consistently won gold (2001, 2004, 2006) and silver (2002, 2003, 2005) medals at the Athletics South African Championships from 2001 to 2006, captaining the North West Province at these events in 2004 and 2005. At the South African University Championships in 2007, she won a bronze medal.
The tenacity Riandi learned from her years on the track has been echoed in her professional experience. Selected as one of 20 young employees for her company’s young leaders programme, Riandi ultimately received the runner-up award for Internal Support Champion of the Year, and a certificate award for Internal Customer Excellence, while working as a business analyst in IT.
Riandi believes that etiquette and the knowledge of how to act in any situation has greatly benefitted her in a number of ambassadorial roles, including when she was the former Mrs. Charity South Africa, Miss Africa 2010, and Miss Teen Globe South Africa – also placing in the top 12 at the Miss Teen World pageant.
The establishment of the South African Etiquette Academy
Riandi’s inspiration for the South African Etiquette Academy came from her work at a corporate insurance firm, where a colleague approached her for assistance with business etiquette and mentoring. When her colleague was promoted, and after seeing her colleague’s continued professional success, Riandi realised the need for an academy with etiquette and confidence building as the main focus.
Her belief that acquiring these skills at a young age would lead to greater success later in life, lead to plans for an etiquette academy for children. To gain greater knowledge from the experts, Riandi attended a course at the British School of Etiquette in November of 2017, and she is looking forward to return again in the future.
Dreams and aspirations for the Academy
In the year following its inception, 80 students graduated from Riandi’s etiquette academy. Since officially rebranding as the South African Etiquette Academy, more than 500 graduates have benefitted from its comprehensive tuition and guidance. The Academy’s involvement with numerous charity programmes aims to reinforce a sense of gratitude, and to help its students to develop a heart to give.
Riandi believes that displaying impeccable manners and etiquette lays the foundation for success in every sphere of life, and she has great dreams for the South African Etiquette Academy. She aspires to establish the Academy’s programme in every city in South Africa, giving every child an opportunity to develop the very best versions of themselves, with the starting point being something so simple, yet exceedingly rare in the modern era: good, old-fashioned manners.