Ancillar Nombewu wears many hats. As a journalist, she writes for the people. As a businesswoman, she is making waves.
After completing her honours in journalism at the University of Johannesburg, Nombewu dove straight into work for Caxton Community Newspapers. Her writing focused on holding those in power accountable and inspiring action.
Shortly afterwards, her talent and drive caught the eye of a headhunter at Forbes Africa magazine, where she worked for a number of years. During this time, Nombewu’s love of storytelling led her to win several awards. In 2016, she was named the CNN MultiChoice Maggie Eales Young Journalist of the Year, as well as Sanlam’s Young Journalist of the Year in 2015.
Nombewu believes in the value of unbiased storytelling, as well as the importance of shedding light on African stories. Despite her numerous accolades, Nombewu feels that true success is creating positive change for others.
“I know that I’m here to be of service to South Africa and the world,” she says. Her role as a United Nations Refugee Agency Ambassador is one that she does not take lightly:
I’ve been blessed to have my path connect to my purpose and I’m proud that I walk it truthfully and honestly.”
Nombewu’s transition into entrepreneurship is another point of personal pride. In 2017, she founded Rallinca Media, an African-focused media and public relations company. The company handles a range of media, from print and digital to broadcasting, as well as conferences and media events.
Rallinca Media has several notable clients, including Sibanye-Stillwater, Native Child and Haute Afrika.
“We continue to introduce new ways of marketing and disrupting the industry to ensure growth for our clients, while also growing our business and team,” says Nombewu.
Of course, every career has its learning curves. For Nombewu, the biggest lesson came during the early stages of starting the company.
Not wanting to leave anyone behind, she chose to hire friends and family over more qualified applicants, which negatively affected Rallinca Media. These mistakes caused her to lose clients, which was a hard knock on her business and personal life.
Fortunately, these tough times motivated Nombewu to pause, realign and rebuild from scratch. Her renewed approach of positivity and decisiveness revolutionised Rallinca Media and its trajectory as a business.
Nombewu knows now that putting on one’s “big girl pants” is the only way to succeed. Today, the company continues to flourish.
“I’m proud that I’ve been able to create change in the various spaces that I occupy,” says Nombewu. She is committed to fulfilling her purpose of telling truthful, authentic African stories.
Nombewu dreams of a future in which every woman in South Africa believes in and loves herself. “That would be the beginning of real change, as it starts from within,” she says.