“I believe I can become a pioneer of this industry.” Lifa Mafu
When Wonderful Mafu, business owner of Mafu’s Funeral Home hands over the reins to her 27-year-old daughter, Lifa in a few years, she wants to be sure that the company’s future is in good hands.
Wonderful is therefore appreciative of the Seriti-sponsored Women in Mining programme, which Lifa is attending since its launch in May this year.
For the past six years, Lifa has been learning the ropes from her mother and worked in all the different departments of the business, which was founded in 2004.
It is now, however, time for the business’ future owner to sharpen her skills by attending the training provided by Collective Value Creation (CVC).
The Women in Mining programme was designed and is being managed by CVC on behalf of Seriti and comprises comprehensive training as well as one-on-one mentoring for each of the 20 female beneficiaries.
Wybrand Ganzevoort, Managing Director of CVC explains that the business support works around the systematic development of the company and the core capabilities of the entrepreneur take place within this context.
Each of the entrepreneurs is being assisted by various specialists in their areas, and the majority of the mentors and business specialists on the programme are also female.
Speaking on her business’ challenges, Wonderful says that “in the beginning, my biggest challenge was starting the business in an area where people do not know who I am and therefore would label the business “a fly by night”.
Unfortunately, that challenge still exists to some extent, especially in the quest to expand our business into new markets.
Our traditional market is saturated with grant recipients, which have become an uncertain market; hence our urgent need for exploring other markets.”
Lifa is excited to learn more about financial management and digital marketing, as she believes establishing a digital framework for the business is necessary to equip Mafu’s Funeral Home for the future.
For now, she is tapping into her mother’s wealth of knowledge and appreciates her guidance, especially the focus on quality service and attention to detail.
Once Lifa is taking over the hot seat, Wonderful endeavours to continue to still play a vital role by supporting her successor in the business.
On the benefits of the programme, she comments that “she hopes the Women in Mining training initiative will open up more opportunities to allow women to diversify their business involvement in the mining sector.”
Asked what she has gained so far from attending the programme, Lifa says she has gotten to know herself better and that she learnt not to neglect herself while running a business.
“It has also opened my eyes to the different aspects of business, such as opening up a sales pipeline.”
Asheka Lee, People & HR Practitioner and one of Lifa’s mentors, agrees. “Since Lifa started the programme, she is clearer about the vision that she wants for her life.
Her confidence has grown tremendously, and I look forward to the initiatives she plans to implement to help grow the business.”
This formidable mother-daughter team provides a vital service in moving grave sites on behalf of mining companies when needed but also serves the public in providing all services related to the final send-off of loved ones.
The company operates from eMalahleni and Phola Ogies.
They are also developing the business further in the Vhembe district in areas like Makhado, Vleifontein, Muananzhele and many areas in the Venda region.
Currently, operations include three fully operational offices and four satellite offices.
To relax from the business pressure, this young entrepreneur enjoys playing with her dogs and watching movies.
On thanking the programme sponsors, Lifa says, “I am grateful to Seriti and all members steering this initiative. I hope this initiative can be filtered down to the younger generation and upcoming business owners.”
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