You realise there is something special about Lihle Mgaga moments after meeting her – there is a warmth and empathy she exudes, married to a strong determination and sense of purpose. Efficient, organised and superbly talented, Lihle is a digital strategist who launched her business, Khulani Digital, in 2017.
She is passionate about women’s issues, especially the empowerment of young women, and has worked with WDB over the past two years on honing their voice and creating a presence in the digital space.
Q: How did you first connect with WDB Investment Holdings?
A: My former employer introduced me to WDBIH CEO Faith Khanyile for a youth development project that I was working on. I guess you can’t connect with such an incredible woman and not be motivated to work on achieving your lifelong dreams!
Q: How has WDB helped you with your business?
A: Long before my business was launched, WDB contributed generously to a youth development project that I headed.
After launching my business, Khulani Digital, I received incredible support from WDB, from mentorship, to being early adopters and choosing to trust a start-up as a supplier and, very recently, identifying needs in my business and offering assistance on demand.
Q: What are the challenges facing young entrepreneurs out there?
I believe South Africa has a shortage of mentors and facilities that are truly dedicated to equipping youth entrepreneurs. As a result, the majority of us young people rely on international resources that are not always relevant to South African markets.
Access to markets is a big one. It’s not enough to cheer on the side-lines – the private and public sector need to more efficiently help and support high-performing small businesses in this regard.
Q: What are your dreams for the future?
A: For Khulani Digital, my dream is to build a sustainable organisation that helps empower, equip and grow small businesses through marketing solutions and training.
When it comes to my personal goals, I would like to further my studies and at least get my MBA before I turn 30 and continue to impact lives wherever I have the capacity.
Q: Who inspires you?
A: I am inspired by my faith, the idea that I can speak the things that aren’t as though they are. It reminds me that the onus is on me; I have the responsibility to work towards my goals and to believe that I can achieve them.
Q: What motivates you?
A: I am motivated by anyone who challenges the norm and refuses to let society dictate what they should amount to. It could be anyone, from a black woman who was told that she could never build a successful business in the middle of Johannesburg to a differently-abled young man who was led to believe that he could never make friends.
I love it when people awaken to their true potential!
Q: Your message to other young women
A: There has never been a better time to be a woman and you will never be younger. Fetch your dreams, fail if you have to, but fail forward and keep moving. Your dream is yours to achieve.
Q: Anything you’d like to say to WDB?
A: It’s very seldom that organisations say they will do something and do exactly that. In the time that I have worked with WDBIH, I have seen promises kept and communities impacted. I have never seen a company so committed to keeping their promises. May the Lord grant you the grace to continue and thank you so much for the opportunities and the constant support. You have made my journey a whole lot easier.
YouTube Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4kNoTuUivI