Ask Me Anything – Personal Edition

  1. How would you describe yourself and your work ethic?

I am a hard worker, I am loyal, I am a woman of my word and I have integrity, I am reliable, disciplined, and professional. In my work, I always go the extra mile. I can be “black‑and‑white” and rigid in my approach, yet flexible enough to accommodate situations when presented with them.

  1. Which direction did you want to go in your career originally?

My first choice was to work in media. If that were not possible, business or law. My parents did not agree with my first career choice, so I chose law. I worked in a law firm and I enjoyed litigation, drafting legal documents, instructing counsel, and representing clients in court. After being admitted as an attorney of the High Court of South Africa, I continued working in the law firm. I then moved to a parastatal where I worked as a mediator before joining the corporate world, and there I began my career in corporate governance.

  1. What are your greatest achievements thus far?

My greatest achievements are being admitted as an attorney to the High Court of South Africa, graduating with my master’s degree in shipping, and starting and funding my own businesses.

  1. What are your biggest aspirations and goals?

I aspire to be an inspiration and an example to others both in business and in my personal life. My goal is to have a positive impact on business and broader society.

  1. What are your biggest challenges?

Challenges in life are a given, and they can be used to one’s advantage. Each one is an opportunity for personal growth and self-improvement. Ultimately the goal is to use what you learn while growing to become the best version of yourself. Being a first-time entrepreneur is a learning and growth experience for me. It tests me in so many ways, like resilience, patience, determination, self-motivation, and self-reliance – to name but a few. Building a business during a pandemic while staying afloat financially has been super challenging, but there is a reason for everything. I believe that this situation will only help me grow and improve as a person, an entrepreneur, and a businessperson.

  1. What about corporate governance and company secretarial work appealed to you so much that you decided to make a business out of it?

I think I always understood the difference between right and wrong. In my starry-eyed world, I always believed that business was done in an ethical way, until one day my bubble was burst. In my life, I was fortunate enough to be exposed to both corrupt and ethical business practices. Initially, I thought that the companies were bad, but as I witnessed more corporate scandals unfold publicly, I realised that good corporate governance practice starts with ethical leadership. I also witnessed how persons were promoted to leadership roles without any context or tools to deal with the governance aspects of these roles. This presented two especially important opportunities. Firstly, to help directors in the boardroom with technology, administration, and education. Secondly, to go beyond the boardroom and educate middle and senior management to be better equipped when reaching senior and executive levels in their organisation.

  1. How do you think you can inspire others?
  • By being authentic and true to myself.

For me it means to embrace my ideas, strengths, and my happiness. It comes down to being the person I know myself to be, on my terms. Another way that I stay true to myself is to take myself out of situations that do not serve me or when I feel my heart is not in it. It comes down to choosing “me” every time.

  • Leading by example.

For me it means that you practise what you preach. You do not need to be an expert at it, but you do need to be passionately involved.

  • Working quietly and letting my success be the inspiration.

For me it means to focus on what I want to achieve without worrying what everybody else is doing or thinking. As the saying goes: “If you are good at what you do, love what you do, you won’t work a day in your life”.

  1. Where do you see yourself and your company in the next five to ten years?

Over the next few years, I want a sustainable business that is financially beyond the break-even point and turning a profit. In future, I wish to expand and diversify the business. I also want to explore and develop skills that could aid in unlocking opportunities towards reaching future goals.

  1. How do you handle situations where people undermine what you do?

I do not take these situations personally and I do not get emotional about it. I believe that the matter should be addressed in a mature way to resolve issues as soon as possible.

  1. Who and what inspires you?

I find inspiration in a variety of people and things. I am inspired by people who are kind, humble, polite, intelligent, ethical, successful, achieved, firm, fair, yet ruthless when the situation calls for it. We need more people like this in business. More specifically, I would say the person who has inspired me most has been my mother. I also have a great respect and admiration for my previous long-standing chairman. If I had to choose a celebrity who inspires me, it would be Oprah Winfrey.

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