Londiwe Nzama is a remarkable woman who has defied the odds to realise her dreams; her inspiring journey serving as a beacon of hope and empowerment, especially so as South Africa celebrates Women's Month.
A childhood in the village of Maphumulo near Stanger in KwaZulu-Natal was filled with love, but also presented its own set of challenges for Londiwe as access to resources in rural areas are limited. Despite this, she never allowed these obstacles to hinder her progress, persevering by drawing strength from the support of her paternal grandparents, who raised her.
After matriculating from Roseville Secondary in uMzinto, Londiwe joined Engen Hibberdene Convenience Centre on the KZN South Coast as a cashier in 2008. Working tirelessly, often juggling day and night shifts, instilled a strong work ethic and resilience in her.
As the then youngest employee at Engen Hibberdene, having to learn the intricacies of formal employment and how to navigate her way up the ranks, Londiwe found in site owners Wynand and Heleen Bezuidenhout the inspiration and guidance she needed.
In 2014, Londiwe's commitment paid off with her promotion into a back-office role exposing her to various on-the-job training interventions and administrative responsibilities.
Reflects Londiwe: “The mentorship and training provided by Wynand and Heleen enabled me to gain a deeper understanding of the complexities of the business, which led to substantial personal growth and an appreciation of the value of my contributions to the company.”
Impressed by Londiwe's potential, Wynand and Heleen continued to invest in her development. Two years later, Londiwe started and completed a Higher Certificate in Accounting Sciences through UNISA, broadening her skill set and paving the way for new opportunities on the management team.
Comments Wynand: "It's been extremely rewarding to see Londiwe's growth from temporary employee to a management position. Londiwe has consistently exceeded our expectations and we firmly believe that she has the potential to excel even further and take on the challenges of general management.”
Not one to stand still, Londiwe is currently pursuing a BCom Accounting Sciences degree, demonstrating her fierce determination to reach for the stars.
“I am constantly pushing my boundaries and taking advantage of opportunities for self-improvement and empowerment through the various initiatives on offer from Engen Hibberdene,” continues Londiwe.
Women's Month holds a special place in Londiwe's heart as she believes that it is a crucial time to recognize and celebrate the invaluable contributions of women as leaders and change-makers in the predominantly male-dominated petroleum industry.
“Women's Month is a reminder that the doors of opportunity are open to all women, affirming that there are no limits to what we can achieve if we believe in our purpose,” she adds.
To stay motivated, Londiwe maintains an attitude of gratitude and is guided by her strong Christian faith.
“I also believe in the power of maintaining a positive mindset which feeds into my personal philosophy of honouring those around me and acknowledging people who have supported me along my journey”.
For Engen, Women’s Month is poignant time to acknowledge the talent and determination of talented women such as Londiwe.
Her story is a testament to the power of perseverance, determination, and unwavering self-belief. It also serves as a reminder that with dedication and hard work women can overcome any obstacles and achieve their dreams, making a significant impact in their chosen fields.
As a company, Engen champions nine UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including SDG 5 – Gender Equality, which aims to end gender inequality through actions that eliminate discrimination that curtail women’s rights in both the private and public spheres.
Engen is keenly aware that equality is everybody’s business, and that it owes it to its employees, customers, and broader society to make every effort to drive positive change.
Engen salutes all the women of South Africa.
Article Courtesy of Engen - Strategic Communication & Branding Department