SME-Review Magazine is delighted to have Zamani Nkondo, CEO GMZ Financial Solutions , as our December cover story. Nkondo is a woman whose leadership extends beyond the boardroom, shaping not only her success but also the narrative of many other South African women in business. Beyond her role as a CEO, she stands as a symbol of inspiration, challenging the status quo and leading by example for aspiring businesswomen across the nation.

Born and bred in Giyani, Limpopo, Nkondo holds a BCom Accounting degree from University of Cape Town and a subsequent BCom Honours from the University of Kwazulu-Natal. She completed her articles with KPMG Johannesburg and has worked for a global mining company, Anglo American. She is now a registered Associate General Accountant with SIACA.

As the driving force behind GMZ Financial Solutions, a company she founded in 2009, Nkondo not only embodies the spirit of female entrepreneurship but also steers her company with strong determination and innovation in what was once predominantly a male-dominated sphere.

GMZ Financial Solutions goes beyond providing essential financial services to businesswomen and the Women In Business Network; it serves as a platform for empowerment.

GMZFS extends a unique opportunity for these businesswomen to gain exposure, confidence, and familiarity with a mini-corporate environment. In my journey, I’ve observed that many women not only grapple with the financial aspects of their businesses but also need a boost in confidence and skills in articulation.

It’s about navigating the corporate space without feeling intimidated by industry jargon.” She says that she reflects on her experiences and the challenges faced by businesswomen, especially those who are still finding their feet in the industry.

Ms. Nkondo acknowledges that she, too, had her share of challenges while navigating the world of entrepreneurship. Self-teaching became a crucial aspect of her journey, as she acquired the skills necessary to run a business successfully. Drawing from her background, she shares, ”My father owns a pharmacy company, and I was once the head of operations in his company. That experience became my training ground, where I honed essential leadership skills.” Nkondo’s journey reflects not only her resilience in overcoming challenges but also the invaluable lessons she gained from hands-on experience, shaping her into the dynamic leader she is today.

In our interview, the remarkable and fearless Nkondo underlines the significance of discussing her entrepreneurial venture, which she considers a crucial part of her learning journey.

I also run a baking business. I bake cakes for different events, she says with passionately and with confidence. “While there is a notion that baking is a simple task, it has its own complexities.Its not just mixing flour and other ingredients. Its a skill that takes patience and requires an understanding of your clients. For example, if you’re baking a birthday cake, you have to consider your clients cultural background, personality, and other nuances.

She further emphasizes that the process of running Oven Creations, a baking company she established in 2013, has played a pivotal role in shaping her into a successful business owner.

By: Mthokozisi Mthetwa

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