SLG – I am Bathabile Mpopu…this is my story

I am the co-founder of Nkazimulo Applied Sciences, a 100% African Black-owned and managed science equipment company. We help young people become scientists which they aspire to be. I am the managing director of Nkazimulo Applied Sciences and hold a BSc. Honours Degree in Chemistry from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, and a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business.


I grew up in Nongoma where I attended primary school and Ulundi where I attended high school. The education I received from these schools didn’t prepare me enough for tertiary education and I realised this, when I entered a science laboratory for the first time, at university. I had never been in a laboratory before and I was extremely intimidated and woefully unprepared for what I saw. In my high school, I was considered one of the best in class, but now I felt like one of the worst. This realisation shattered my confidence and severely affected my performance. My poor performance subsequently led to my non-acceptance into medical school and my hopes of becoming a doctor remained a dream.


When I finished studying the undergraduate degree, I worked at the same university where I could see many students battling the same way that I did when I first arrived at university. I knew that just like me, this was not an issue of capability but because many of these students were using laboratory apparatus for the first time in their lives. I thought that someone must do something about this problem. On the 25 January 2015, in my MBA leadership lecture, the lecturer asked us what type of leaders did we want to be? Then it hit me, that the right person to address this long- standing problem was me.


My first action was to go to schools to demonstrate science experiments. But I realised that this was not impactful as I was the one doing the experiments and not the learners. Consequently, I developed the concept of a portable science kit, which led to the inception of my company, Nkazimulo Applied Sciences in 2016.


I quit my employment and became an entrepreneur. The capital for the business came via entering business competitions, of which I won quite a few. Nkazimulo Applied Sciences operates from New Germany, KwaZulu-Natal.


OUR VISION

A South Africa, where every child has an opportunity to fall in love with science and excel in it. We do this by providing science kits, that can be used at school and at home so that learners can discover science and perform science experiments.


OUR MISSION

To be the number one provider of science kits for learners for both school and home education.


OUR PARTNERSHIP WITH SLG

This partnership started in 2019, where SLG registered our services to provide community schools with science resources. This partnership has directly impacted over 2000 learners in 2020. More than 2000 learners will benefit from portable science kits in 2021. The teachers will be able to access mobile science kits as well. The beneficiary schools are mainly from the Molweni, KwaMashu and Pietermaritzburg areas. The schools also receive training to better equip teachers to use the science kits as they teach learners.


Our packages include online lessons, which will allow the learner to interact with the content online, that will enable us to track how each learner is performing.


Running a business is not easy, but partnering with SLG, through their socio-economic, enterprise and supplier development programmes, helped us to expand in 2020, even during the tough times. We are looking forward to a great 2021.

For more information contact:

Nkazimulo Applied Sciences,

Bathabile Mpofu

T: +27 82 301 6726

E: Bathabile@nkazisciences.co.za

W: www.nkazisciences.co.za


SLG

T: +27 31 812 0555

W: www.slgas.co.za

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