Noxolo Fani has long been a pioneer in the construction industry, with a career repertoire spanning nine years. As a graduate of the Gordon Institute of Business Science, Fani’s life experience and business acumen has ensured transformation within her sector. A visionary, Fani’s voice has shed light on the inequality she has witnessed, particularly in her role as a Future Females Johannesburg chapter ambassador for the empowerment of women.
“Growing up in a township, I came to see many inequalities quite early on. It became a great burden watching these inequalities reach the extent that they have, which fuelled my passion for change,” she says.
Following her studies, Fani became an entrepreneur at 25, pivoting into the construction industry and founding and running her company, Phenomenal Light Construction (also known as PL Construction), over the past four years.
“I had to be extremely creative when I entered the construction industry. I had not one ounce of education in the industry, but because of the help of those in the field, I have come this far.”
In 2019, Fani travelled to Berlin, where Phenomenal Light featured in the Built Environment Sector with Investec for its Global Exposure Programme. In collaboration with First National Bank, the company featured in the “She Means Business” podcast last year and as a company video profile for First National Bank XTV this year, showcasing how Fani has managed to push boundaries as a businesswoman in a male-dominated sector.
Earlier this year, Phenomenal Light was selected by Sasol for the 15 Women in Engineering Incubator Programme.
One of her proudest achievements to date was being awarded the Milpark Hospital project by WBHO to complete all concrete repair work and finishes in the first month of starting up her company.
Another of Fani’s many career successes was closing the Discovery head office deal with WBHO and TiBER Construction.
“That was a big one — it was actually a turning point for me in that I really became aware that I can truly do what I set out to do, despite the many obstacles and challenges.”
Fani believes businesses have a social responsibility, beyond profits, to provide work and opportunities that will lead to sustainable growth and combat unemployment and poverty in South Africa.
Phenomenal Light has served as an employment channel for young adults, particularly women from poverty-stricken areas, and as a training space, assisting in securing mentorships for youth who require guidance.
Fani’s passionate leadership and initiative has ensured that youth from townships are employed and trained in an environment that fosters creative problem-solving skills and a sustained cycle of change.
Her company’s development of infrastructure has expanded to develop opportunities for young South Africans and the development of society as a whole.
“Young people are the driving force for development, but only if they are provided with the skills and opportunities to reach their potential,” she says.
Beyond her work in construction, Fani will launch a new initiative, Career Guardian, based on her previous success with Platform Excel, which will serve as an affordable online platform that offers career guidance to South African learners seeking employment after high school.
Fani featured in Forbes in 2021, where Platform Excel was selected as one of the 25 African female tech companies by the Future is Female mentorship programme run by C Moore Media International Public Relations.
Fani believes in “inclusive and equitable quality education that will change communities, South Africa and the whole world eventually”.