Swim where the fish swim, CITY PRESS, Careers 24
Phindile Manyoni's Life has taken her from real childhood poverty, to studying beauty therapy, and then marketing products, before moving into construction with her Mzilikazi Site Solutions company, writes Tip Is Be prepared entrepreneurs wear many hats. In the beginning Phindile Manyoni considered herself ''rich'' as she was growing up in the village of Nqutu, Kwa-Zulu-Natal, because, unlike her barefoot school friends, she wore shoes. She also considered herself fortunate to have clothes. ''I sold vetkoek at school which I would make the night before, to bring in some money. ''When I got back from classes I fetched water from the river so we could cook and wash. We had pit latrines. It was a really rural upbringing and it is still very countrified today.'' So determined was Manyoni to go on school outings that she made batch after batch of vetkoek, ''to pay for my trips.'' She wrote matric twice so that she could get a university exemption. Having achieved that laudable aim she discovered to her sorrow that her family couldn't afford to send her to varsity. Fortunately, she learnt about a bursary in holistic therapy at Hamelin College in Johannesburg, applied and obtained her diploma in beauty therapy. She was so keen to get on in life that at one stage she juggled three jobs working as a make-up consultant, a sales person and doing promotions for SA Breweries. It wasn't long before she yearned to study again and obtained her national diploma in marketing management at Varsity College in Johannesburg. Within two years of becoming a marketing account executive she was dealing with companies such as Vodacom, BMW and Nestle. Starting out But she wanted to run her own business. So, in 2009 she registered her company, Mzilikazi Site Solutions. And a couple of years later a good friend helped her to become part of a business delegation to Paris. ''I met people from Aveng, Basil Read and the National Empowerment Fund among others. They gave me advice on how to really push myself and be strategic if I wanted to land construction work.''