Letty Ngobeni is a remarkable woman who has overcome many challenges to become a successful entrepreneur in South Africa. She is the founder and owner of multiple businesses, including a maintenance company, a catering company, a butchery and grocery store, and a guesthouse. She is also planning to open a culinary school next year. Her story is an inspiration to many, especially women and young people who aspire to achieve their dreams.
Ngobeni was born in a small village called Nkuri in Limpopo province, where she faced poverty and hardship from an early age. Her family could not afford to pay for her school fees or uniforms, and she often went hungry. She did not let these difficulties stop her from pursuing her education, and she became a teacher for 19 years, specializing in accounting, business economics, economics and organizational management.
She decided to leave teaching and start her own business in 2012, after noticing a gap in the market for maintenance services. She founded Integrico Trading, which provides construction and building maintenance, cleaning services and grass cutting or garden maintenance. Some of her clients include City Power, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, MTN, Broll, Redifine, City of Tshwane, Munaca Technologies, Merseta and others.
She later expanded into the catering industry with Mndhavazi Caterers, which has 18 corporate canteens. She also ventured into the retail sector with OBC Vosloorus, a butchery and grocery store in Midrand and Johannesburg. In addition, she opened RNB Boutique Guesthouse in the West Rand of Johannesburg, which offers luxury accommodation and conference facilities.
Her latest project is RNB Culinary School, which is accredited by SETA. The school aims to train chefs and employ them after graduation. She plans to open the school next year.
Ngobeni is not only a profit-driven entrepreneur, but also a purpose-driven one. She believes in giving back to her community and empowering others. She supports several charities and initiatives that help children, women and the elderly. She also mentors young entrepreneurs and provides them with guidance and opportunities.
Ngobeni has faced many challenges in her entrepreneurial journey, including the Covid-19 pandemic and the rolling blackouts that have affected South Africa. She contracted Covid-19 herself and was very ill, but she recovered and continued to run her businesses with the help of her managers. She says that she has learned to appreciate the value of life and not to take material things for granted.
She also says that she has learned the importance of cash flow management and avoiding debt. She does not believe in using other people’s money to make money, because it can lead to financial problems when unexpected situations arise. She says that she did not owe anyone anything when Covid-19 hit, which helped her survive the crisis.
Ngobeni is an example of how one can rise from poverty to prosperity with hard work, determination, vision and passion. She is also a role model for women entrepreneurs in Africa, who face many barriers and challenges in their endeavors. According to the Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs 2021, South Africa ranks 23rd out of 58 countries in terms of women’s advancement outcomes, knowledge assets and financial access, and supporting entrepreneurial conditions. The report also states that only 19% of business owners in South Africa are women.
Ngobeni hopes to inspire more women and young people to pursue their dreams and achieve their potential. She says that she does not believe in victims, only victors. She says that one should not allow their background to define their destiny or grant poverty the authority to define their destiny. She says that one was made for greatness and that there is no champion without a fight. She says that the obstacles one faces are the stepping stones that guide one to their great destiny.
Letty did not get comfortable in her poverty, she decided to challenge the statuesque. Today we celebrate a go-getter who is enterprising. You are truly a Rising African and an able role model for the new African. Rising Africa is a dynamic platform that highlights the remarkable achievements of Africans worldwide and provides up-to-date information on scholarships and sponsorships available to African youth. Our vision is to inspire and empower the next generation of African leaders by showcasing the diverse accomplishments and talents of Africans across different fields, including technology, business, arts and culture, and social activism.
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- Roberts L (2022) The Joys Of Profit And Purpose For This South African Entrepreneur. Forbes Africa. https://www.forbesafrica.com/entrepreneurs/2022/12/16/the-joys-of-profit-and-purpose-for-this-south-african-entrepreneur/
- Mubarik A (2023) SA woman comes out of abject poverty to own multiple businesses. Her story will inspire you. Face2Face Africa. https://face2faceafrica.com/article/sa-woman-comes-out-of-abject-poverty-to-own-multiple-businesses-her-story-will-inspire-you
- Mastercard (2021) Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs 2021. https://newsroom.mastercard.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/MIWE-2021-Report.pdf