Transformation:In LEAPs and bounds

by: Kealeboga Mokolobate

How LEAP and Norcros SA are transforming South Africa…One youth at a time 

Hailing from a dusty township riddled with crime and poverty, Nkosana Sigudla, is a symbol of South African courage and an ambassador of hope.

Even though introverted by nature, the 22-year-old from Nelspruit has shown that with the right guidance, anyone can become a success story.

Today, Nkosana is the owner of Sigudla’s Projects, which provides tiling and painting services – this after he graduated from the Norcros SA Tiling Academy.

“My home in Tembisa is surrounded by struggle and yet, I see hope and dreams when I speak to young people every day,” he said.

Nkosana was among the top five tilers at the Academy selected for the LEAP- Norcros SA Enterprise Development (ED) Programme.

Norcros SA manufactures and supplies innovative quality products to the construction industry, focusing on tiles, tile adhesives, bathroomware, taps, accessories and construction chemicals.

The initiative at Norcros SA has proven to be a massive success that has resonated in the lives of the graduates.

The winning tilers were handpicked by Norcros SA to join this life changing programme and are well on their way to growing their businesses.

Nkosana was not able to go to university to pursue his dream career, Engineering, but he has now built and paved a new path for himself.

“’Where there is no path, create one’ – this is often what entrepreneurs live by,” he said.

Through Sigudla’s Projects, he has been able to rebuild his dreams and has renewed hope that he will be able to provide for his mother and siblings.

He wants Sigudla’s Projects to inspire young South Africans who feel paralysed by their circumstances in the townships of this country.

Albie Storm, Human Resources Executive said: “Norcros South Africa is dedicated to developing eco-friendly and sustainable processes, caring for the health and development of our employees and being involved in a social investment programme to give back to the community. Enterprise Development is an important part of that commitment and we are proud to be part of this initiative.”

Their Enterprise and Supplier Development Programme has allowed Nkosana to register his own business with BBEE certification, have access to an experienced business coach and mentor, purchase new equipment and receive 24/7 business assistance.

Nkosana has expressed his appreciation of programmes such as these, as he would not have been able to do this alone. This Enterprise Development Programme was run in partnership with industry experts Lean Enterprise Acceleration Programmes (LEAP).

“I thank Norcros and LEAP for the support that they gave me, I am now on my way to realising my dreams,” he said.

Nkosana is holding onto his dream to one day be an engineer.  One of the services his business renders is electrical work and plumbing, which has a relation to some engineering aspects. He is also optimistic for the future and believes that one day his entrepreneurial pursuits could assist to fund his studies.

ma-Sigudla, Nkosana’s mother, tearing up proudly said, “Son, you have done the family proud. You’re a blessing and an example to your whole family and the community. I see only good things in the future for you.”

Nkosana believes he still has a long way in his entrepreneurial journey. His advice to other entrepreneurs is simply, “Never give up!”