BACKSTORY: Brand SA’s Sithembile Ntombela
We question Sithembile Ntombela, acting CEO of Brand SA
What’s your one top tip for doing a deal?
There must be return on investment, impact and sustainability.
What was your first job?
Client service consultant.
How much was your first pay cheque, and how did you spend it?
About R10,000. It was good enough to buy groceries and pay the car instalment and rent.
What is the one thing you wish somebody had told you when you were starting out?
Having studied in townships with limited opportunities and role models, I wish I had known about investment and saving early; I wish I had been prepared for the corporate world.
If you could fix only one thing in SA, what would it be?
Access to education.
What’s the most interesting thing about you that people don’t know?
I am a twin and I come with twin superpowers.
What’s the worst investment mistake you’ve made?
Not doing enough market analysis with property agencies when buying a house.
What is the hardest life lesson you’ve learnt?
To forgive yourself when you have made mistakes and learn from those mistakes.
What is something you would go back and tell your younger self that would impress them?
Be kind to yourself, believe in yourself, and understand that everyone has their own path and journey.
If you were President Cyril Ramaphosa, what would you change, or do, tomorrow?
One of the biggest challenges facing our country is inequality and job creation. I believe that through technical skills and sustainable, inclusive economic policies and systems, this could be addressed. Young entrepreneurs are one of the country’s best hopes of solving the jobs crisis in our country. I would create a self-reliant society by introducing policies that will enable this. I am excited to be working for Brand SA, as it gives me an opportunity to contribute towards making an impact in society. Also, it enables me to articulate a vision that would speak to South Africans and make them believe in SA.
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