07 February 2021
BY MARGARET HARRIS I SUNDAY TIMES
Tell me about the work Abaguquli does.
Abaguquli means transformers, translated from Zulu. It is also our philosophy. We aim to transform lives through education and innovation. We are a black, women-owned level 1 BBBEE registered nonprofit organisation dedicated to transformation.
Our objective is to prepare the youth for the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) through training, information and access to opportunities. Our mission is to empower youth with skills to become financially independent and do freelancing, start co-operatives or their own business.
What led to its formation, and who are its main beneficiaries?
I realised there is a disconnect between the skills and qualifications the youth have and the skills required for 4IR. I wanted to equip unemployed youth with the skills required not to enter the job market but to make them financially independent and able to work anywhere in the world, even remotely. There is already a high number of unemployed graduates, which means we need a different model, a different approach.
You are also the owner of consultancy Cinga Solutions. What does it do and how do you balance the two roles you play?
We design BBBEE strategic models that give our clients the edge above their competitors. We manage projects within the BB-BEE space. Both roles are rewarding because making a positive impact on a business and/or the community makes me happy. BBBEE is rewarding because it is my area of expertise and I get to be part of the companies’ initiatives to give back and create platforms for the unemployed to be upskilled as part of their BBBEE spend. I have a strong team and support from friends and family. I also try to keep a healthy, balanced life and, of course, lots of cappuccinos to keep the business innovation and energy going.
How did lockdown affect Abaguquli and Cinga, and the way you work?
It was an emotional roller-coaster personally as I lost loved ones to Covid, but for both Cinga and Abaguquli it was an “I told you so” blessing in disguise as it pushed companies to act faster and do more.
What lessons have lockdown and the pandemic in general taught you?
I am grateful to be alive and appreciate everyone and everything I have, because I may not be here tomorrow.
What did you want to be when you were a child?
The president. I wanted to print more money so nobody would be poor and help everyone struggling with a job or a house. I wanted to be the president who created a better country for all and to end apartheid, inequalities and poverty. I even wrote my own speech for when I would be sworn in.
What advice do you have for SA’s matrics and recent graduates?
First, don’t believe what the generations before say, that you have to endure the same suffering they did, and second, dont believe the harder you work, the more you will be rewarded. Sunday Times