Mdantsane businesswoman Thembela Dlokweni is going from strength to strength, having recently purchased her second Engen station in the area.
The self-described “Do-It-Yourself woman” has a stro ng background in the business world.
“My life has always been about business because I worked in the school holidays as a cashier in our family’s shop and I think that is where my flair for business began,” she said.
After completing her B.Admin (Industrial Psychology), post-graduate honours and MBA, Dlokweni spent ten years working for Telkom before joining SITA as a project manager.
At the same time, she was also running her own children’s store called Adorable Kidz while also assisting her husband with his construction business’ finances.
“I had to face harsh reality when after three years of operating we decided to close Adorable Kidz as it was not profitable,” Dlokweni said.
“I learnt some very constructive lessons and vowed never to repeat the mistakes that I made, which is why I urge all women who might not have succeed in the past to always pick themselves up and continue trying.”
After the closure of her store, Dlokweni went on to purchase her first Engen store, the Engen Mdantsane Retail Centre, in April 2014.
Being able to own her own business, she said, has helped bring balance to her life.
“With good planning, I was now able to be a wife, cook at home, run my business and still watch school activities for my children,” she said.
Of course, her success took a lot of hard work and Dlokweni faced her own share of difficulties.
“Being a woman with no experience in the petroleum franchise industry was scary.
“Engen however supported me, offering training courses that taught me everything I needed to know about running a successful service station, and their support has been ongoing.”
In 2019, Dlokweni purchased her second Engen station, Engen Vincent Park Motors in East London.
The confident businesswoman said women should remember to recognise their own uniqueness.
“Women are born nurturers and we need to be comfortable in our own skin and embrace who we are and not seek to imitate men,” she said.
“Nurturing comes naturally to us and this applies to the way that I run my businesses.
“I am happy with who I am and see myself as a woman of faith and integrity: a wife, a mother and a businesswoman who is honest and true to herself.
“As women, we are born with an inner strength that we should not be afraid to use to change situations, so be conscious and intentional in offering a hand to those in need or are about to fall.”