Meet the South African woman who was went from abject poverty to owning multiple businesses.
Letty Ngobeni comes from a small village in South Africa’s Limpopo province. Like many other entrepreneurs, she came from a poor background where her parents struggled to pay her fees or feed her.
In spite of the challenges she faced growing up, Ngobeni did not allow them to define her. She managed her way through the challenges and graduated as a teacher and later became a serial entrepreneur. As a teacher, she specialized in Accounting, Business Economics, Economics and Organisational management, according to her LinkedIn profile.
Her teaching background provided her with an exceptional grounding from which to build and grow her own business. She first founded Integrico Trading (previously known as Nwa Nkomeni Trading). The company specializes in Construction and Building Maintenance, Cleaning services and Grass cutting or Garden maintenance.
Some of its clients include City Power, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, MTN, Broll, Redifine, City of Tshwane, Munaca Technologies, Merseta among others.
Ngobeni also ventured into the butchery and grocery sector through the launch of OBC Vosloorus, which has a presence in Midrand and Johannesburg. What is more, she also has a guesthouse called RNB Boutique Guesthouse.
“We are also adding a culinary school, which is called RNB culinary school, accredited by SETA,” she told Forbes Africa about her future plans. She hopes to open the school this year. Her culinary school does not only seek to train chefs but to employ them after training them.
At the peak of her entrepreneurship, Ngobeni was faced with COVID-19 and just like many businesses, she was not spared. However, due to the strategic management of her businesses, she survived the pandemic creditably well.
As if COVID-19 is not enough, rolling black outs in South Africa have affected her retail store. She sometimes runs her retail store on a generator and this has affected her profits.
Touching on her entrepreneurial journey, Ngobeni said the most important lesson she has learned so far is that one should not allow their background to define them and their destiny.
“I don’t believe in victims, only victors. Don’t grant poverty the authority to define your destiny. You were made for greatness,” she said. “There is no champion without a fight, the obstacles you face are the stepping stones that are guiding you to your great destiny.