By Koketso Mamabolo
The Standard Bank Top Women Entrepreneur of the Year of the Award for 2021 went to Thandeka Ndlovu-Mngomezulu, Executive Director and founding partner of Thasola Consulting and Total Serve Facilities Management. Ndlovu-Mngomezulu is also the Chairperson and shareholder of Intergr8 Property Management, as well as a founding member of INK Foundation, an NPO doing work in the northern townships of Durban where she grew up.
The self-taught culinary chef and sustainability enthusiast holds several board positions for private companies across sectors. Ndlovu-Mngomezulu represents South Africa at the Vital Voices VVGrow Programme, a gathering of 50 women from all corners of the world to discuss ways to empower women entrepreneurs on a global scale.
She started TotalServe Facilities Management from scratch in 2013 and in a short time has established the facilities management, cleaning and hygiene company as an industry leader with 560 employees. To fund TotalServe Facilities Management, Ndlovu-Mngomezulu used provident fund withdrawals.
“Since a very young age I have been very independent and always had a dream of having my own business. With that came hard work, I knew that if I was committed to my employers I would be successful in implementing all the processes and tools to then start my own corporate company,” said Ndlovu-Mngomezulu when asked about what inspired her to start her own business.
TotalServe Facilities Management is a beacon of hope for transformation efforts as it exemplifies the empowerment agenda that is necessary for the development of the South African economy. The company is wholly owned by women, who also make up the entire board of directors, 90% of management and 80% of staff.
Through Thasola Consulting, an accounting, corporate compliance and governance firm, Ndlovu-Mngomezulu has been assisting SMMEs in various stages of development. The firm employs over 50 people and has helped over 100 SMMEs in the past 10 years.
Ndlovu-Mngomezulu’s charity, INK Foundation, supports communities through donations and upliftment initiatives, part of which involves scholarships for the youth. She sees her business as a vehicle for change as well as growth. Speaking to Daily News editor, Ayanda Mdluli, she said, “What impacted me the most was seeing people I grew up with not realising their dreams, and giving up. So, at the end of the day I wanted to inspire other people to have employment and be leaders in the sector as well. Which is why I chose this particular career.”
Thandeka Ndlovu-Mngomezulu truly is an inspiration and her work deserves all the honour and recognition she has received.
Honours Degree in Commerce
Taxation and Project Management Diplomas
Certifications from GIBS, UCT GSB and Wits for leadership and SMME development
Awards and Nominations
Top Sustainable Company in SA 2019
Vision 2030 SMME Award Finalist
Leading Women in Property Nominee 2018 (Women in Property Network KZN Chapter Awards)
Mail & Guardian’s 50 Top Women in Business 2021
Impilo Private Partnership Project Consortium
BioTech Innovation Hub
The Sharks Medical Company
Bay Union Financial Services