07 June 2021

South African Female Entrepreneur: "TİKA Taught Us That We Could Improve Our Capacity"

South African female entrepreneur Nangazi Zondo said: "TİKA taught us that we could improve our capacity. They helped me understand what I want and more importantly what I want to be."

Zondo is one of the residents of Soweto, which is one of the famous black neighborhoods of Johannesburg, the largest city in the country.

The female entrepreneur, who was born and raised in Soweto which was designed as a "black ghetto" during the white supremacist apartheid regime, makes her products at the textile workshop in her yard.

Zondo is also one of the most successful trainees at the "capacity improvement program" organized by TİKA’s South Africa Office between May 17-21.

Zondo, who's planning to get into broader markets thanks to the information obtained from the program, told her entrepreneurship story.

Having expressed her affection for Soweto, the neighborhood where she was born and raised in, Zondo said: "Soweto is my home. Vilekazi, our street, was home to two Nobel Prize winners. One of them is our leader Mandela and the other one is the famous human rights activist Desmond Tutu. Nelson Mandela was our neighbor."

Zondo recorded that the neighborhood had improved over the years and that restaurants and stores had opened up in Vilekazi Street, one of the touristic centers of the city. She said that this was extremely important for the development of Soweto.

Zondo stated that she had learned how to sew dresses at the textile workshops where she used to work in her youth to contribute to the family income, and said:

"I saved for years to buy my first sewing machine. It was a simple domestic product; it broke down a lot. Back then, I would only sew for my family members and my close circle. When I started to grow my clientele, I had to buy an industrial machine but they were very expensive."

Having stated that the new coronavirus variant (COVID-19) has negatively affected her business, she said: "Of course, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, people have been spending less on clothes."

Zondo recorded that she began sewing masks at the beginning of the pandemic using her leftover fabric and that she even bought a new machine for that purpose.

"TİKA taught us that we could improve our capacity”

Having expressed that TİKA's capacity improvement training was very valuable to her, Zondo said: "TİKA taught us that we could improve our capacity. They helped me understand what I want and more importantly what I want to be."

Zondo recorded that she had the opportunity to improve herself in many areas thanks to this program, including legal procedures, financial management, social media and photography.

Having stated that she was able to market her products via social media and reach a broader market thanks to the trainings, Zondo said: "This information was very valuable and supportive for me. I'm grateful to TİKA for this."

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