Women are generally underestimated simply for being a woman, hence the belief that we cannot perform like men in their work environment. However, given the equal opportunity as men, we see that many women perform wonderfully in their careers and becoming successful as entrepreneurs.
Nozuko Mayeza is one of the few South African women breaking glass ceilings and navigating her way through male-dominated industries successfully. As a woman of great business sense with a passion to see her business and other small businesses succeed, Nozuko also trains young women on how they too can break through in any industry.
Nozuko is the founder of Tulsawiz Logistics (Pty) Ltd which has operated in the supply chain sector for several years. Nozuko also has her eyes set on expanding her horizon with her successful strategies that have gotten her far. SLA contributor Neo Cheda met Nozuko through a mutual friend who introduced us a few years back and was attracted to her as most strong women are attracted to other strong women! Nozuko gladly took up the opportunity to meet with Neo and to share her story of how she has risen and continues to soar and overcome societal norms and tribulations that try to hinder successful people from exercising their personal power.
So, why logistics?
Well, after spending seven years in the financial services industry, banking to be precise, I figured this was not for me.
From a young age, I had always wondered why there was heavy traffic and so many trucks on the road and what they were on about. I then realized that logistics permeates every field, be it fashion, technology, construction, science and more. There were opportunities waiting for someone with my kind of passion and skills set in logistics. My current role spans client relations, managing diverse stakeholders, finance, and connecting with industry experts. This is what I enjoy.
How did you begin your journey?
There is a lot to learn from men in terms of how they do business –everything from their work ethic, confidence and their strategies to solving problems.
A male friend of mine after attending a networking event, introduced me, to logistics. He mentored me and taught me all about the business dynamics until I acquired my first contract. I even worked as a subcontractor for him until I eventually landed on my feet.Nozuko Mayeza: There is a lot to learn from men in terms of how they do business Click To Tweet
You’ve been making the headlines and I recently saw a TV interview of you. Tell me, what has driven you to succeed?
It’s mostly about following my passion and proving to myself that I can be more.
I attribute the greatest lessons in my life to the hardships I endured along my journey and credit my mother for my tenacity. Born and raised in a village called Ndakeni/Ntlenzi in Eastern Cape, my twin sister and I had to juggle a home run shop and take turns with the younger siblings. Since then I have been business savvy and pushed to find ways to make things happen. My success in this field was born from life’s hard lessons. I chose to learn “how to be better” from each one and never quit on myself!
It takes a lot of courage and with no money and finance, I had to hit the ground running. Getting big contracts is extremely difficult, but the trick is to never give-up. I was not received well as a woman in the industry but my strategies helped a lot.
How is it being a single mom with a high-powered career?
Though this can all be very challenging, it’s important to find ways to integrate work and life. I don’t approach it as though someone else was meant to help me parent my child.
I’ve taught my son total independence, he knows I won’t make it to all his rugby matches etc, and he is cool with that. Whenever there is an issue (teenage problems) I find a solution quickly to avoid escalation.
What advice do you have for women considering a career in logistics?
Logistics is an exciting and challenging career choice that brings with it a lot of rewarding relationships and lifelong customers. I have witnessed first-hand over the last six years the growth of women in the industry and seen their roles continue to strengthen. Hopefully, in the next decade the term “a man’s field” will no longer exist in supply chain management.
I am very passionate about mentoring and helping other women discover and exercise their potential and at the moment I have a few ladies I mentor as they start their own businesses! Society needs more entrepreneurs to eradicate poverty and make the world a better one. The main challenge however, is the lack of skills in demand, funding, and basic knowledge. This is where I step in and freely provide any knowledge to powerful women as I walk them through their path and start-up phase.My success in this field was born from life's hard lessons - Nozuko Mayeza Click To Tweet
Any other highlights to date?
I recently traveled abroad for a business trip which enabled me to form partnerships with international companies. This was an experience which has made realize how far I have come.
I also write and have co-authored a book entitled “Share Your Story, Vol. 5”. Also be on the lookout for my new book titled “Plan Your Walk and Walk Your Plan” which should be published by December 2017.
Tips for emerging female entrepreneurs:
- Dedication- Know what you want and go for it.
- Network often
- Keep pushing- Quitting is not an option
- Get a mentor- I credit mine for contributing to my business success
Failure is never an option and the strength of will to succeed needs to be a constant factor in any businesswoman’s mind-set. Nozuko Mayeza
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