As we close off women’s month, we celebrate one of the youngest businesswomen who is doing a sterling job while steadily climbing the events industry ladder. The phenomenal woman is Thabile Nomlala, a 24-year-old mother of one who hails from Maclear, a small town situated in the Eastern Cape.
It is safe to call her an up and coming promoter who has already started making a name for herself. Upon completion of matric in 2013 at Maclear High School, Nomlala enrolled at the Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth to study towards a BTech in Public Management and Leadership under the School of Governance in the Faculty of Arts, in which she graduated in 2018.
Her hard work explains why she defines herself as a young rural woman with nothing but dreams. A few months before graduating, the young businesswoman realised that she actually did not like her course and that it was not a career path she wanted to follow.
“I came to the realisation that I didn’t quite see myself in an office environment, I furthermore saw the need to build something that I could call mine, relate to and grow in, yet the odds were against me cause I had no idea where I’d obtain the resources,” said Nomlala.
“It was something I longed for, so I had to no way but to take a chance and make it work for my own satisfaction and sanity regardless of the results.”
That is when her newly born business Ngova Events and Promotions Company (NEP) was birthed. NEP organises and promotes events, it also focuses on branding, food, and manufacturing. For now, the company manufactures a grounded pork braai spice.
Proudest moment of Nomlala’s time as a new entrepreneur was when NEP held its ever event - a soccer tournament with up to R16 500 cash prizes excluding trophies and medals to be won. On this event, Nomlala worked with the former captain of Golden Arrows, Nkanyiso Mngwengwe. She said it was also a big challenge for her as an up and coming event organiser and promoter but she made it all happen.
Nomlala said she was learning a lot from her one-year-old company. Among other things she managed to learn is that she should not depend too much on people no matter how long they have been in the business.
“[I have also leaned] that there are no short cuts [and that] as a young woman you are always taken for granted by men in the industry,” she said.
“Every new establishment especially black-owned has one common challenge and that’s resources; financial resources and as a start-up no one is ever willing to support you, because you are a high risk to invest on,” said Nomlala explaining the challenges of starting a business.
The best advice that she got from anyone was: “Always secure the venue and sponsorships and then invite artists.”
“Never depend on the tickets money to pay an artist, before you book anyone, make sure you have enough cash and at the end of the day as a businessperson, you should be able to breakeven and not make any loss. Also keeping a great reputation for your company in order to build trust with artists or whomever,” she added.
Knowing that she is her only competitor has always kept her going in the events industry. As young as she is, she has created two permanent job positions and she offers about eight young people a chance to work when she has events.
“I believe that I have learnt a lot and achieved a lot through my failures, I also believe that the industry needs more young black women, and I am that woman.” – Thabile Nomlala, 24-year-old businesswoman.
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