In honour of Mother’s Day in May we spoke to four entrepreneurial friends, asking them how their mothers influenced their careers, what values they instilled and (the all important question) their favourite meal cooked by mom.
“The resilience and passion in my mom keeps me going and pushes me to do what I love and to follow my passion. I watched my mom sacrifice a lot but she never lost the focus of living her passion and making her dreams come true. I was growing up when my mom started university as an adult. It was not easy but she juggled it very well.
The best advice she gave me was: ‘Be kind to others’.
My favourite dish from my mom? Yoh!That’s a very difficult question. My mom is the best cook in the world. She makes amazing, delicious soul food. Dumpling and any stew of your choice! Plus biscuits for dessert!
Every time I hear a Brooke Benton song, I think of my mother. While I was growing-up she would play his music while ironing or cooking, on the weekend…”
Charlotte Nomonde Maja, Executive Producer, Blue Moon Corporate Communications
She trained as a dental nurse but has since gone on to have four careers! At the age of 55 she returned to work after 18 years and worked in the local library. She was then forcibly retired from the library service at 65 but was then offered a position at the local vet. She worked there for a further eight years and retired only when she could no longer drive. Overlapping this began her fourth career – an actress! She regularly attends castings and has appeared in international television commercials as a featured extra (including one with Twiggy for Marks and Spencers).
Every job she has taken on she has embraced and done all she could to find out latest developments in that field. Her natural curiosity has influenced me and inspired me to take the same approach with every project I take on.
My mom’s best advice? ‘Love many, trust few, always paddle your own canoe!’
I love eating her Roquefort soup and when I hear Georgie Girl by The Seekers I always think of her.”
Heather Taylor-Waldron, Owner of The Divas Audio Visual Production Company
“In 2011 I was studying Public Management & Governance at the University of Johannesburg. But I didn’t like the course, so I dropped out and went home. Little did I know that my mother and grandparents were plotting to take me to an agricultural college in a small Town called Middle Drift. Today, I am an agricultural graduate all thanks to my mom! Often my mom advises me on what she thinks will be best for my future and for that of her grandchild, my daughter!
My mom has always encouraged me to make mistakes and to learn from them. Giving up is never an option when she’s around.
Her best advice that has carried me through my whole life is to ‘Never change who you are, to suit other people’s needs.’
She’s the best financial advisor, her recent advice is that ‘When you work, you HAVE to save for rainy days, ALWAYS!’ as a result, I don’t have accounts because of her.
My heart skips a beat when she makes barbeque grilled chicken with pumpkin. Her favourite quote is from Philippians 4 vs 13: ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’”
Themba Ndlangisa, Junior Project Manager, Matoyana Business Solutions
“My mom is the most precious person in my life – my rock, my foundation, strength and inspiration. While I was growing up, she was a business woman in the township. She thrived during a time when business was largely dominated by men She only retired last year in her early seventies.
I saw how hard and smartly my mom worked. She didn’t let an opportunity pass her by. But what was most inspirational was how she conducted business. She was always respectful of others, she was very brave and she empowered and uplifted others as well. One of the most important values she instilled in me is: ‘Respect Money’.
Her two favourite idioms are: ‘A stitch in time saves nine’ and ‘Agteros kom ook in die kraal’ – this is her response to me when I complain about my business growing slowly.’
I love the way my mom cooks Uphuthu and Umfino (pap and spinach).”
Nokwazi Mzobe, Founder of Matoyana Business Solutions
About: Matoyana Business Solutions
Matoyana Business Solutions is a boutique business consulting company located in Johannesburg, South Africa. It is targeted at start-ups, small and medium enterprises across Africa.
Contact: Nokwazi Mzobe