A force to be reckoned with, Nandi Dlepu never stops creating, seemingly always juggling several projects on the go. Currently a Business Unit Director at Thackwell & Whittaker, an award-winning production agency found in South Africa, Nandi also takes helm at WKND Social and Joho Moms, two social enterprises that work to connect people with a like-minded community.
What do you think has been the secret to your success?
I juggle a number of roles and responsibilities. Between my day job and my passion projects I have very limited time and because of this I have learnt to reduce the distance between idea and action. When I have a good idea I make sure to act on it and act on it quickly. I have also come to understand that perfection is the enemy to progress. Just do it and craft as you go along.
Why do you think it’s important that women support and mentor other women?
Mentorship in all its forms is very important to me and is in fact part my business. I run a woman's conversational platform called BLOOM for women to investigate, inspire and challenge one another through the power of meaningful dialogue. We also host a mentorship based conversation series that promotes inter-generational conversation. These talks feature big sisters (women over 25) and little sister (girls as young as 16years) and is a great opportunity to have candid and necessary conversations on life, love and politics.
Name the women who inspire you most?
I am a storyteller at heart and I am most inspired by women who have owned and inspired in this space. Women like Oprah Winfrey, Ava Duvarney, Lupita Nyongo, Chimamande Ngozi Ndiche ... the list is endless. These women make me feel that you can entertain and make a difference.
What is your advice for young women at the beginning of their career?
Resist the urge to follow the path. Your youth is the time to explore and figure out what works for you. It is never too late to pursue your dreams but it does get significantly harder to pursue a different career when you have kids and a mortgage.
What sentiment or life motto is your trademark?
I am highly inspired by the poem "Our Deepest Fear" by Marianne Williamson. The whole poem resonates quite deeply with me but what I really love is that I am able to pull out certain parts of it to help inspire and motivate me based on what I may be going through. Right now I am inspired by the following line;
"We are all meant to shine, as children do."
Photography by Stephen Ward. Interview by Natasha Inchley.