Nobubele Nzima is a woman firm in her character, consistently striving to make a difference in communities through the development of women leadership and youth empowerment. Self-described as a woman of pure intentions, she believes her brand as a businesswoman is defined by her passion.
Nzima’s CV is a testament to her drive and ambition, with Covid-19 acting as a catalyst. The pandemic forced her to come to grips with the terms and conditions of her corporate position within one of South Africa’s most popular retail stores.
“The treatment [of women] in the male-dominated environment led me to be depressed for years,” she says, adding that the experience made her realise that working for someone else was not her calling — hers, she believes, is creating employment opportunities for others, especially women and young people.
“There was no way I was going back to jobseeking with that experience and that’s when I left everything and started my business from scratch, with nothing but my little savings,” says Nzima.
I’m all for women in leadership and women empowerment, so any movement that’s created to protect women, children and youth, I’ll always support with everything in me.”
Focusing on the future is at the top of Nzima’s priority list, with youth and women empowerment a prime concern. She hopes to continue expanding her businesses, creating opportunities for the previously disadvantaged and continuing her work as an activist against gender-based violence.
The Mthatha-born go-getter is the director and founder of three business ventures: Bellarosa WIP Agricultural Primary Co-operative, a poultry farm, Bellarosa WIP Productions and Future Builders Foundation (FBF).
Her upbringing in the Maydene Farm township provided her with first-hand experience in learning the needs of rural communities, which has shaped her work with FBF.
“We help five schools in our community with uniforms, shoes and books for learners. We organise workshops for teenagers and young people to help fight drug abuse and rape,” she says. “We also encourage the youth to start businesses working with the National Youth Development Agency Mthatha.”
Nzima’s work in communities has garnered her significant decorations and distinctions. She was named one of Nestlé Bar One’s youth changemakers in its It Starts With One campaign, she was chosen as one of 35 delegates to attend this year’s French Embassy Women Agripreneurs Programme and she is a trainee for the World of Innovators, a 100-day challenge that mobilises South Africans in the fight against gender-based violence and femicide.
A life of purpose was always on the cards for Nzima. Her advice?
“Life is full of opportunities for youth and women. Ask for help, talk to people, pray for direction and always remember to be kind to yourself.”