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Mentoring: Nozibele Zondi

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Nozibele Zondi,  has no shortage of entrepreneurial spirit.  Even with challenges she faced, Nozibele has proven that when you give something your all, it’s almost impossible to fail because God honours the diligent. Here is our interview with her.



Inside Woman: Please share your testimony of how you came to know Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Saviour?

Nozibele Zondi: I was born again in one of those Churches that didn't have a counselling team to  explain what it means to be born again.  So for many years I wasn't sure that I was born again until I went to another Church which challenged me to think about where I would go if I were to leave the earth. I needed to confidently know that I would certainly go to heaven and that’s what led me to making the decision.

Inside Woman: When did you set up Nubia Advertising and Promotions?

Nozibele Zondi: Nubia is my second business. In 2005 I bought a franchise called Platinum Produce in which never took off. I lost a lot of money but gained valuable lessons which built and made me a wise and a strong entrepreneur.  The idea of an advertising and promotions company came about in 2008 while I worked for the SABC. I remember how whenever I traveled, I would be writing the company profile, writing a list of clients I would target and ideas I would sell to them.  Just like everyone else I feared stepping out into the unknown and the thought of not having a pay cheque kept me employed. I finally gathered the strength and courage to resign and concentrate on the company full time in 2010.

Inside Woman: How did you get interested in advertising?

Nozibele Zondi: I studied marketing at Wits Technikon but my interest in radio advertising started when I did my internship with Radio 702.  I learnt more about the industry as I climbed the corporate ladder and worked for different broadcasters and that’s where I saw the gap.

Inside Woman: Please tell us a bit more about your company and your role in the company today?

Nozibele Zondi: The company is a promotional concepts creation company providing integrated marketing and communication solutions to companies who need assistance with communicating their advertising message effectively. We conceptualise advertising ideas, we do production and translations, brand activations and all of this we manage from briefing phase up to the last day of execution.

Inside Woman:  What part of your background prepared you for this venture?

Nozibele Zondi: Both my studies and upbringing helped in preparing me in this role.  I was born in a rural area in the Eastern Cape. I grew up in Katlehong, I obtained my tertiary education in Johannesburg, I worked and lived mainly in Johannesburg Northern suburbs. So the exposure in all these environments enabled me to teach advertisers who are mostly white, hungry for insights and guidance how to advertise effectively to black consumers of different backgrounds. Most advertising agencies know how to conceptualise ideas for urban black consumers but don’t know anything about those living in rural areas.

Inside Woman: There are a lot of advertising and promotions companies, how do you ensure quality standards in your organisation?

Nozibele Zondi: Our company is small but accountable and efficient. We involve our clients in all we do. We’re not about making a quick buck and running. The kind of service we offer requires that we build long term relationships and treat client’s businesses as our own.  We also request regular feedback from our clients and ensure every campaign we run meets their advertising objectives.

Mentoring: Nozibele Zondi


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Inside Woman: So what’s the one thing you wish you’d known when you started?

Nozibele Zondi: I wish I knew that entrepreneurship was a personal and a lonely journey.  I learned that our God-given vision is ours alone and its fulfillment is not dependent on anyone like friends or people we look up to for connections, etc.  What God wants to accomplish through us will come to pass no matter where we are, who we’re with and how ready we feel.

Inside Woman: What has been your motivating/driving force all these years that keeps you going?

Nozibele Zondi: It’s the legacy that I want to leave behind for my son and many lives I get to touch. For me this is ministry and has opened public speaking opportunities which I use to minister.  Whenever I’m faced with trials, which sometimes cause doubt in continuing with the journey forward, I always remind myself that the vision is bigger than any temporary pain I may feel and I immediately confess Philippians 1: 6.

Inside Woman: What are the three key things you need to be a successful entrepreneur?

Nozibele Zondi: Believe in yourself and your idea and be consistent.  In the beginning of my journey, things were extremely difficult but even when I had nothing, I always felt so rich because I have knowledge that I can use in any boardroom and people always listened.  Some of the closest family members also became supportive when they saw that I believed in my idea wholeheartedly.

Be patient. The concept of entrepreneurship is greatly misunderstood in our country. It’s associated with acquisition of material possessions at the quickest possible time. If you’re from a homeland or a township and living in a big city, being seen in the flashiest car makes makes you a hero. A successful entrepreneur knows that wealth is generated over a period of time through hard work, perseverance; and most importantly sustaining what has been generated.

Have character.  One of my favourite quotes says, “Ability may get you to the top but it takes character to keep you there”.

Inside Woman: Who is the one person that has inspired your entrepreneurial route?


Nozibele Zondi: It’s my aunt who was a domestic worker for many years but managed to take herself through adult school, did tertiary through correspondence until she qualified as a teacher.  She never allowed her background to stand in the way of anything she wanted to achieve and has recently retired after many years of teaching. Even today she is involved in entrepreneurial activities.

Nubia Advertising and Promotions?

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Inside Woman: Do you have a mentor and what role do they play in your life?

Nozibele Zondi: Yes I have and she provides both business and personal guidance to help with my growth and development.

Inside Woman: What role does prayer play in your life?

Nozibele Zondi: Prayer is everything to me and there is not a single area of my life that functions without it. I can never send a business email, phone or meet a client without seeking wisdom from God through prayer. With my own strength I could never do public speaking. I never send my son to school without praying and asking God to protect him.  Through prayer I’m able to discern  those business transactions that are mine and be at peace with whatever that is not meant for me.

Inside Woman: What have you learned about following your dreams?

Nozibele Zondi: According to Ecclesiastes 3: 1, "To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven". When God calls us into something, if we do not answer the call, he will raise someone else.

Inside Woman: Who or what is your source of inspiration when you are faced with challenges?

Nozibele Zondi:  I find it in Romans 8:18-39. This scripture gives me comfort, peace and strength that words can’t explain.

Inside Woman: Are there other entrepreneurial ventures that you are currently involved with?

Nozibele Zondi: Yes, I have also founded Nubia Domestic Placements which is a recruitment agency for domestic workers.

Inside Woman:  Is there anything you would like to say to women entrepreneurs, to encourage them as they embark on this journey on their own?

Nozibele Zondi: Never allow fear of failure to stop you from pursuing your dreams. Even with the best planning and preparation sometimes mistakes happen, learn from them and move on.  Failure is just an event and not a person.

Inside Woman: What tips would like to give to our women readers, who want to become entrepreneurs?

Nozibele Zondi: I know how starting a business can be a new year’s resolution for many years. It’s not easy giving up a good salary which affords you the "comfortable"  but the earlier you start the better.  Don’t wait for unfavourable circumstances i.e.  retrenchments, disagreement with a boss or pressure to work flexi hours because you have kids to spend more time with. Those are not the right reasons to  go into business.

Inside Woman: So many women are feeling stuck. What can they do to move forward to the promises of God in their lives?

Nozibele Zondi: It starts with knowing and understanding who you are in Christ as a woman.  Most women come from cultural backgrounds which discouraged success and made women believe that it is wrong to work hard and assume any position of power.  Humility and submission have nothing to do with giving up on your dreams. The fact that there desire inside of you  means that God wants to work with with you to achieve that desire but you have to take the first step of faith.

Inside Woman: Where do you see your company in the next five years?

Nozibele Zondi: The goal is to have offices in Cape Town and Durban as well as adding more services in our offering such as such as training division for DJs and media sales people.

For more on Nubia Advertising and Promotions visit their website

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