You may know her as a corporate professional or perhaps you are familiar with her as a mother and a Christian – best seen in her church regalia, Nosiphiwo is a pioneer and one of the women leaders of our day. Nosiphiwo is a geologist by training and while she’s been at this for years, she has earned herself highest accolades and positions in various mining houses. Nosiphiwo holds a B.Sc. Hons in Geology and Masters of Business Administration. She is currently employed as a Senior Manager for Mineralogy division at Mintek.
“In my current role I managed a team of Mineralogist ensuring that we deliver on our commercial strategy and increase Mineralogy market growth and innovative new service offerings. I also drive the research strategy and operations towards increasing Mintek’s reputation, using local and international collaborative partnerships.”
Nosiphiwo chosen geology out of curiosity. She was interested in the subject Geology, ultimately loving it. “What I love most about Geology is that your day is not the same as yesterday. There are new challenges to solve every day.”
Tell me about your upbringing, dreams & aspirations, educational and heritage.
I was born in Mdantsane, a township few kilometres outside East London. I am a third born out of six children. I was raised in a very strict Christian family. Missing church on a Sunday was never an option in our family. I automatically became a Christian myself. I have always been a go-getter, dream big kind of a girl. I grew up very hungry for success. My strongest belief in life is that you learn something new every day. My aspiration in life is to see more young people being hungry for education.
What is your side hustle business and or forums you actively participate in?
I am a Board member for Inyosi Coal (a BEE partner of Anglo American Coal), Ndonsa Mining and Khanyisa Mining. These memberships have taught me corporate governance, South African companies act and most importantly how to be an effective Board Member.
I am also a co-founder of Heels for Sustainable Growth (H4SG). H4SG is an organization that has been formed by a group of women who wants to participate in economic empowerment. The main core business of H4SG is agricultural farming. Within 2 years of its existence H4SG bought their own farm in the North West province and we are working on making it operational.
How did you come up with the idea for your business?
The idea of forming H4SG was initiated by a friend of mine Ms Pumza Mdingi –Dilika. She was already in the space of farming but realised that there was a huge gap of middle aged women being participants in the space of agriculture. We then came up with a recruitment strategy of inviting other women to buy into our idea. As of today we formed a co-op of 37 women and a PTY LTD company that we will be the vehicle for our commercial operations.
What about funding – what is easy or difficult and how did you navigate it
We bought our farm with our own contributions and we are now navigating the space of getting funding to make the farm operational. Looking for funding has not been an easy exercise, but we were fortunate enough to meet a venture capitalist company and they are assisting us with looking for options on how we can get funding.
How do you balance the two aspects of responsibility (work & business)?
It is very important to set boundaries. As Senior Manager at work I am unable to drop the ball, I set goals for myself and priorities (and stick to them). When you have a side hustles it means then more working hours for one. While doing this it is important to make time for your family as well. At some point one gets exhausted, it is important to factor in exercising and healthy eating to avoid the body from burn out. It is a juggle and trying to keep all the balls in the air – being focussed then becomes critical.
Did You Experience Failures as you built your business and how did you deal with them?
Yes we have experienced challenges along the way. Our first business initiative before the farm was a poultry one. Though we had customers, we realised very quickly that this was a volume business. Given that all our members had full time jobs, and that we didn’t have the hands required to invest fully in all aspects of making our business a success. We continue explore opportunities and building resilience in our approach to market.“Being full time employed and having a side hustle is not a child’s play. You need to keep reminding yourself why did you start? What is your ultimate goal? My goal is generational wealth and I can’t stop until I reach this goal. It is important to have support structure, people who can motivate you when you feel like giving up.”