Kwena Mmamaro, who hails from the Sekhukhune district in Limpopo, is the founder and director of Naum Kwena Cleaning Service, a thriving entrepreneurial undertaking. Mmamaro’s company manufactures cleaning detergents and, as an offshoot to the primary business, also runs a grass-cutting service.
With several business-related qualifications under her belt, Mmamaro — much to the initial dismay and confusion of her family and friends — declined her first job offer following her studies. Instead, she was determined to start her own business.
She knew this was a risky choice as there are no guarantees in business, but being entrepreneurial felt like her calling. Mmamaro was business savvy from a young age, even selling snacks to her classmates during break time in primary school.
Going into detergent manufacturing was a no-brainer for her. “I like the cleanest space — if an environment is clean, your mood will always be happy and you can think clearly and creatively.”
Her interest was sparked when she visited some office spaces in her community and was concerned about how dirty and neglected they looked. Mmamaro also realised that there would always be a demand for cleaning products because every household and business needs them.
Since she founded the company in 2019, her community has been very supportive and the business is growing steadily.
Something Mmamaro has always loved about having a business of her own is how it allows her to be independent. It is important to her to be able to stand up for herself and to do things for herself. She also loves that she is able to share what she has with those in need.
I don’t have much, my company is not making millions, but the little that I do have I like to share with people,” she says.
In 2021, the Limpopo co-operative governance, human settlements and traditional affairs department built 100 houses in the Apel community. Keen to get involved, Mmamaro put in the labour and helped a Mpogeng family to build their house.
She spent her 28th birthday at the Maretlagadi Welfare Centre volunteering with children with disabilities. Since then, she has befriended the children and visits, volunteers and donates to the centre whenever the opportunity arises. She also contributes by buying school shoes for young learners.
In the future, Mmamaro hopes to upgrade her manufacturing plant by buying a machine that will aid her in producing the detergents and assist in growing her business, creating more employment opportunities for those around her.
In line with her intent to lead with empathy, Mmamaro also dreams of starting a foundation where she will be able to help children with disabilities and to feed those in her community who are hungry.