Lindiwe Bhadi - I was lucky enough to have a great mentor, and be exposed to many things in business
Administration Manager, BusinessFit SA
Lindiwe grew up in a small township in KwaZulu-Natal called Lamontville. She reflects that while she would not say that she was poor when she grew up, she was not as fortunate as many other children were. After Lindiwe completed her matric certificate, her family could not afford to pay for her university studies.
So, said Lindiwe, “I got myself a job as a cleaner; I was a cleaner for 18 months. What motivated me the most was that I knew I wanted to do better in life. I knew it wasn’t the end of me being a cleaner.”
Fortunately, during this time Lindiwe got the opportunity to study through a learnership that was in marketing and sales. “I knew I wasn’t the right person for a career in marketing and sales. I will say that I can’t sell anything,” says Lindiwe with a laugh. So, I had to think what I would love to become in life. I went to on to study through Unisa and I successfully completed my studies in a business administration course.”
While completing the learnership programme, Lindiwe encountered David White, a businessman. David became Lindiwe’s mentor and was instrumental in motivating her to further her education and business career.
Lindiwe explained, “Through David White, I have been exposed to the business environment. He has pushed me to believe in myself and he has pushed me to be where I am today. He has exposed me to so many things in business. With his knowledge and through observing him, I think I am also now capable to assist other people in their businesses.”
In addition, working closely with customers has inspired Lindiwe to learn more about the corporate environment. “Through BusinessFit, I have met people with different passions and visions about their future. This keeps me inspired to continue working closely with people who want to make a change in South Africa.”
Building on her business experience, Lindiwe has also completed a certificate in national customer management as a customer relationship practitioner.
Some of the challenges that Lindiwe has faced in her career relate to encountering everything in the business environment as novel experiences. Lindiwe commented, “I wasn’t exposed to the business environment, so everything was new. I had to learn everything about the business world. I had to learn to communicate with people. There were a lot of things to learn. I had to understand the business that I was working in. I had to learn a lot about human resources services because that is what we do at our company. Over the years. I’ve learned a lot of things about businesses.”
However, Lindiwe explains that this experience has enabled her to help mentor other young learners to navigate their own business journeys on the way to success. She said, “Sometimes we get students and currently we have a young lady who has joined us for a learning programme to gain work experience. I am now more involved in those projects and I’m the one who takes the learners through the journey of getting to know and understand the working environment.”
Goals for the future
Reflecting on her future goals Lindiwe said that she would like to pursue her studies more. “I was thinking of doing bookkeeping because I am in the administration and accounts department, so I would like to further my studies even more,” she explained.
As previously mentioned, Lindiwe said that she was lucky enough to have a great mentor, and to be exposed to many things in business. This experience has allowed Lindiwe to make a difference in her workplace and she believes that she will be able to offer this knowledge to young entrepreneurs in the future. “Through the kind of exposure that I have obtained I think I’m also capable of assisting startup business to help them move forward and this is something I aspire towards,” commented Lindiwe.
The advice that Lindiwe would give to young women out there is to not give up. She explains, “I hope my story inspires you to keep on believing in yourself. Don’t give up. Keep pushing for the dream you have in your mind. The life that you want to live is possible if you continue to push for your goals.”
“Being part of this Top Business Women initiative for KwaZulu-Natal business women is marvelous for me. I never imagined that my story would be recognised, and I feel honoured to be part of this big, amazing initiative,” concluded Lindiwe.
When she is not at work, Lindiwe takes care of a son as a single mom and enjoys listening to music and reading in her spare time. She says, “What I do to relax. I love dancing, so if I’m not at work, I play a lot of music that I enjoy and I dance.”