This is how Kholofelo turned her frustration into a multifaceted business venture

Published Jul 1, 2024


Some people know their passion at an early age, it’s not a puzzle for them to tap into their calling, however, this is not a reality for everyone, some people discover their passion in roundabout ways.

Kholofelo Hope Nengwenda, 34, an entrepreneur born and raised in Lebowakgomo, Limpopo, said she has always been an over-achiever that also came with being the first born child.

She further explained that business was not something that always occupied her mind because she grew up in an environment where she never witnessed women flourishing in business.

“I think I have always been entrepreneurial but because I didn't have a good environment of business people surrounding me, I didn't know what that meant for me, should I decide to pursue it.”

After finishing her matric in 2007, Nengwenda went to the University of Cape Town where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Geology, Ocean and Atmospheric Science.

“I honestly didn’t do much with that qualification. I worked for the weather service for a couple of months and then I got married and moved to Mpumalanga where I got another job and worked as a Geography teacher,’’ she said.

The move to Mpumalanga was fractious, as it unleashed Nengwenda’s business potential after experiencing challenges when she had to find a domestic helper.

“I was not inspired to start the business, I literally was pushed. My husband kept telling me that I should start business because he saw something in me. Again, I was also not happy at work, I’m not a routine person and then I started pitching ideas to my husband.

“So struggling with getting a helper was my light bulb moment. I also knew friends in the area who also faced the same struggles. That’s when I thought about Household Maids & Cleaning Services.”

After registering her business, she went around the area and found unemployed women, trained them and then registered them on her data base.

“We offer domestic placement services, cleaner placement services, cleaning services as a whole which includes deep cleaning and laundry, and we also offer training in child-minding. We also have gardening and horticulture services,” she said.

The company grew to be registered as Mukhoni Cleaning Specialists which has now created employment opportunities for approximately 50 people.

Among the 50 workers, 35 are permanent. Her company has also placed at least 20 domestic workers.

Seeing her first business growing at unprecedented speed, Nengwenda was propelled to achieve more laurels in business academia which will contribute towards her other business aspirations.

She went on to study Management Development Programme at Wits Business School, and after completing the course, she went on to study for a Master of Business Administration at the University of Pretoria.

Driven by her entrepreneurial spirit and a hunger for growth, Nengweda diversified her business portfolio by running two Galitos franchises in different parts of Gauteng. She also runs a Cartridge Depot, specialising in re-manufacturing ink, toners, and cartridges.

In conclusion, Nengweda said she doesn’t make any exceptions when hiring family members because of the potential dangers attached to mixing business and family.

“My advise in the event a family member is seeking employment, HR processes should be followed ... I try not intervene and should they be successful, the work environment is neutral too,” she added.

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