My name is Norma Mngoma from South Africa, originally born in South Coast KZN. I am the founder and owner of Noma Mngoma Foundation, aimed at assisting and supporting underprivileged learners with school resources they need to excel. Children are always learning, even when schools are closed. There are so many activities that provide opportunities for growth. Some of the best learning happens in everyday moments. My dream is to see every child have all the basic support to achieve their goals in life, my foundation is here to empower them with knowledge, skills and academic tools. Collaborate with us: www.normamngoma.org
I believe, education can equip learners with a sense of purpose, and the competencies they need, to shape their own lives and contribute to the lives of others. We are facing unprecedented time and challenges. I am committed to helping learners in my community to develop, fulfill their potential and help them shape a shared future built on the well-being of their communities. My entrepreneurial mindset first emerged at a young age. I followed different grassroots fashion brands and they set the tone for the style that would ultimately be embodied by my own brand. I started developing a business mindset, and spent more and more time thinking about starting my own brand someday. Moving forward, I am a founder of the clothing fashion line called @suitablynorma my clothing line caters for all women, a high end suits. I like wearing suits and designing them from scratch is my favourite part because that’s where the creativity and thinking outside the box intersect, from taking measurements, choosing the right fabric and colour.
What were the biggest initial hurdles and how did you overcome them?
The biggest hurdle was access to basic education during my primary and college days. I didn’t have access to technology and nor had career guidance, it took me quite a long time to achieve my goal. Hence I opened my foundation so that the younger generation don’t face similar problems I faced. I am grateful for my journey, I am a computer engineer, and I make my own money at my own pace.
What books are you currently reading?
I’m currently reading a book called “The New Apartheid by Sizwe Mpofu Walsh. It's an interesting book about the current state of government laws, democracy and the issues we are currently facing.
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started?
One thing I wish I would have known was to adopt the habit of saving money.
What advice would you give to an upcoming youth or talents locally and internationally?
My advice to the youth, don't get sidelined by temporary situations and don’t put themselves under unnecessary pressure.