Sinqobile Khuluse is an attorney by profession. She currently works for Sandock Austral Group Holding Company as the Chief People Officer. Sinqobile is a member of the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry Council and is the Chairperson of the Manufacturing Forum.
Sinqobile is responsible for everything people related in driving the Human Resource (HR) strategy, planning and policies. The core business of the Group is in the naval ship building and ship repair with operations based in Bayhead precinct. She is responsible for the end-to-end HR offering that includes talent acquisition, organisational development, and organisational effectiveness, helping to support the execution of ship building and other projects in the organisation.
After high school, Sinqobile pursued her studies towards a BA and LLB degree. She completed her articles and went into practice. As Sinqobile has always had a love for employment law, she spent some time specialising in employment law.
Sinqobile was in the midst of studying towards a masters in employment law when she was offered a great opportunity to join a labour boutique firm. A short while later she was offered an amazing opportunity to become their senior manager heading up their labour relations. Sinqobile moved across into a more corporate role and was then promoted to a sister company as Human Resources Director. She explained, “That’s how I transitioned from being an attorney into being in the HR space and I am thriving. I am really enjoying the challenge. To me it’s much more vibrant than the legal field. It’s agile and flexible, fast paced, and most importantly, I get to interact and impact people’s lives. That for me is one of my passions, it’s my purpose; making a difference in the trajectory of people’s lives and making an impact, that really excites me. I’m enjoying my HR journey – HR has stolen my heart.”
HER BIGGEST INSPIRATION
Reflecting on what has inspired her, she says that her biggest inspiration is her mom who Sinqobile said has always been a strong, courageous woman. She started working as a social worker and worked her way up in the department of social development.
“She steered our family and put us through school. My mom is a real hard worker. Her courage and resilience is what I draw strength from and everything she does, she does with so much care and patience. She has been very supportive in my career,” said Sinqobile.
Outside of her mom, Sinqobile draws inspiration from various people like Brené Brown who talks a lot about leading with bravery and courage. She is also a fan of Vusi Thembekwayo – The Black Dragon. “For a lot of young people like me who come from the township, we now know that the world is full of possibilities, and you shouldn’t limit yourself to where you are, there are so many opportunities out there. I draw inspiration from people that take the courage to do things that are less popular and the courage to do the things that are not so easy.”
LIFTING AS WE RISE
Most importantly, says Sinqobile, she has set a goal for herself to tell her story and to continue to encourage other women and young people. She says, “I strongly believe in lifting as we rise. As my life has had challenges, it’s very important for me to tell my story. It becomes like a treasure map or a guide of sorts to people who are still starting out into their careers.”
“Most interestingly, you don’t have to have everything worked out, you don’t have to have everything scripted, it’s quite possible for you to go from studying law into HR and into business, the possibilities are endless.”
Sinqobile’s advice is don’t give up; it’s not going to be perfect but it’s definitely going to be worth it. Very often we try to plan as much as we can and picture our lives, we set goals and very often compare ourselves to our peers.
“I live by a beautiful quotation I came across, it said – life is tough my darling but so are you. I think it’s that resilience that we need to build into young people, so that they know we are not all going to progress at the same pace. We are not all going to achieve the same milestones and we set high expectations on ourselves. It’s good to be ambitious but know that not everything you want for yourself will come at a time when you want it or plan it.
Be strong in your faith, that will build your resilience, I pray a lot, I meditate, and I ask God for guidance, and I know that everything happens for a reason, so I’ve just got to embrace the challenge. So, my advice is to be brave, the thing the scares you the most, that challenges you the most, go for that and grab it with both hands.”
In terms of her personal life, Sinqobile is a mom of three, she has two daughters and one little boy who is five years old. They live with her fiancée. Sinqobile says that she is blessed to still have her mom and dad who play a big part in her life and provide that support structure that she needs.
Sinqobile says that she loves travelling. “I love seeing new places and tasting new culinary delights. I want to believe that I’m very adventurous. I always want to try something new, if there’s a new restaurant, I’ll be the first one in the queue wanting to see what it has to offer.”
In conclusion, says Sinqobile, “The name Sinqobile in Zulu means that we have succeeded. And that’s what I always carry as part of my journey and purpose; that is in the togetherness that we preach as Africans – a culture of Ubuntu. I am because you are, my success is everyone’s success. I hope that I continue to fulfil my parents’ prophecy.”