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NONDUMISO MTHWA

Updated: Nov 23, 2022

NONDUMISO MTHWA married her childhood sweetheart when she was 19 and started her family two years later – and nobody really expected her to have a career, let alone a significant business.


Twenty-two years later, she’s the founder and CEO of Idwala Property Group, a certified estate agent and a master practitioner in real estate. She also holds a BCom Degree in Business Management and has served as a board member of the Institute of Estate Agents of South Africa (KZN and Coastal Region).


Nondumiso has received numerous awards and accolades, has been featured in magazine articles and appeared on television. She is also a sought-after public speaker. Nondumiso has been awarded the Standard Bank Top Women in Property Award 2022.


LEARN ALONG THE WAY

Nondumiso describes her career progression with a sense of conviction. She joined a multi-level marketing organisation and discovered her natural ability for sales. She joined the real estate sector as an employed estate agent and worked her way up, growing her skills and knowledge along the way. “It’s not all about numbers,” says Nondumiso, “It’s about the people and helping them get what they need.”


Moving into the property sector gave Nondumiso the opportunity to take this approach into a new area but she had to educate herself in the industry. “I started from ground level and worked hard to get exposure to every aspect of the real estate business and get the right qualifications. I’m particularly proud of my BCom. I registered in 2019 and I’ve just graduated – and it’s not easy to study when you have a husband, two children and a business to run!” But studying late did have one advantage – she often studied together with her sons! “We’re a close family, and we’ve gone through everything together,” Nondumiso laughs.


Nondumiso’s philosophy is that you have to grab every opportunity with both hands. She became the top agent in the business, and when the agency principal told her he was moving on to something new and offered to sell her the franchise, she plucked up her courage and agreed.


But life isn’t always easy. She bought a going concern with an office, a reputation, and experienced staff. But when they heard the owner had left the business, everyone else left too. There she was, with rent to pay and a big debt – and no-one but herself to make the sales! It didn’t take her long to come up with a plan. Nondumiso recruited a colleague from her multi-level marketing days. He had great selling skills, and she knew she could train him in the property sector. She convinced him to take a leap of faith and re-started the business.


But Nondumiso soon discovered that there’s an immense difference between being an employee and running the business. Between dealing with managing staff, dealing with service providers, and controlling the finances, she had almost no time for herself or her family. Undeterred, Nondumiso learnt along the way, and today the Idwala Property Group has three offices with 22 staff, and the business includes residential sales, commercial letting, off-plan marketing of property developments, property valuations and in-house bond origination. She’s come a long way from that stress-fuelled time when all the staff walked out when she bought the business.


THERE IS NO PLAN B

Nondumiso says she had no option but to be resilient. “I had to succeed. I had nothing to fall back on, so I didn’t have a choice” Her philosophy? “Believe in whatever you do and give it your all. Show up and do the hard work.”


PART OF A GREATER COMMUNITY

Nondumiso also has a strong heart for her community. In 2018 she introduced an internship programme, taking 39 graduates on board to introduce them to the industry. Her company also sponsors several community empowerment and outreach programmes. “These have made a mark on society,” she points out, “but I’ve also grown personally through these projects.”


INSPIRED BY GOD AND FAMILY

Growing up in a happy, loving home, Nondumiso has been blessed with a supportive family of her own. My husband and my two sons are my biggest cheerleaders,” she says, “And my late mother was a force to be reckoned with. She didn’t have much but she did everything with determination and commitment. And I want to make them proud.”


A VISION FOR THE FUTURE

Nondumiso aspires to be recognised as a thought leader in the property industry. “I want to speak for those who can’t speak for themselves and inspire those who want to join this industry.” She points out that it’s a complicated business with rigorous compliance requirements and lots of red tape. “But I can be a signpost for the possibilities, so others can aim high too.”


Idwala Property Group is currently a KZN business, with its stronghold in the Durban area, but Nondumiso has a vision to take the business national. “If it’s dreamable, it’s probably doable,” she points out. “And once we’re national, the next step is to go into the rest of Africa.”

OPEN YOUR PIPES

Nondumiso wants young businesswomen to fly. “Don’t be afraid to take a chance on yourself. Open your pipes and see how far you can go. If there’s something you want, go after it. See how far you can go and go beyond your fears. We all have fears. Do it anyway.


You’ll learn as you go and discover who you really are. Have faith in what God has made you and you’ll be surprised by what you can do.”


GRATITUDE IS YOUR SUPERPOWER

“Whatever you do in life, be grateful. Live a life of faith and positivity and remember, your journey is not the same as your neighbour’s. So don’t compare and walk your own path with gratitude.”


When she’s not working or inspiring her staff, her clients and the people around her, Nondumiso relaxes with feel-good movies, walks on the beach, and listens to other inspirational leaders.


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