Been there: I was on the verge of financial exclusion at Wits in my first year. Worked many odd jobs to raise money to pay for the fees, even stood at the traffic lights distributing pamphlets to pay my way through university. After months of trying and queuing up every morning and afternoon, I got a student loan from TEFSA now NSFAS. I was very emotional when I finished paying back the loan when I started working.
Done that: I was a director level, woman CIO in a global multi-national bank. I walked away from that to run my own business. I felt it was the right time to venture out and make a real difference in our country. I wanted to set up a platform from which people from all walks of life could find a home, where they could have an opportunity to thrive and not just be a number. I wanted to use every little resource at my disposal to create jobs and prove that we all deserve a chance to live a dignified life. I also mentor a number of people who are still in big corporates and struggling to navigate the harsh dynamics. I also spend a lot of my time sharing my experiences and learnings with other entrepreneurs both men and women, young and old.
Watch out: Sure am going places. In a short space of time I have been able to build a very successful and profitable business with over 40 people in its payroll. This company also supports other businesses, graduates, interns and contributes towards worthy causes. In 2014 when the company was only a year old, I was able to conclude an enterprise development partnership with a JSE listed company, Adapt IT which employs over 800 people and services customers across 38 countries; globally. This was a mutually beneficial agreement that has yielded wonderful results and continues to grow from strength to strength.
Quote: “Today is the tomorrow you were worried about yesterday, live it to your fullest for it may never be gifted again”- Amanda Dambuza