Episode 1: Highlights from interview with Zipho Sikhakhane
Born in a small township in KZN, Zipho Sikhane is a women of fierce determination. A person that seizes every opportunity turning challenges into successes and moving forward despite the odds. At the tender age of 5, Zipho Sikhane fondly relays the start of her first business venture. At age 18, Zipho’s funds her first trip overseas and purchases her first car through the proceeds of her shop which was based at the UCT Campus. Brazil, USA, Spain and Bulgaria are just some of the countries that Zipho Sikhane has worked in braving cultural, social and language barriers and making friends along the way.
Today Zipho Sikhane works with executives across huge organisations in South Africa, both in the private and public sectors. She is highly passionate about developing leaders and businesses. Zipho teaches and provides tools to executives on how to be more effective as leaders, developing company strategy, change management programmes, equipping companies on how to redesign the culture of the organisation. She also runs programmes to develop young entrepreneurs for start-up companies. When asked, this is what Zipho had to say.
Zipho’s mantra: Don’t self-select yourself out of the process, try!. Become what you want to be, you can come out of the other side being a winner. Zipho did not believe that she would be accepted into Stanford University however she had put herself out there and as a result she was not only accepted into the programme but had also received a full scholarship. Zipho’s mantra was ‘World, – I am available, I have arrived, I want a MBA and world please find a way to pay for it’.
Advise for those who are looking to do something different – put yourself out there and see what happens – you might get a no, but what happens if you get a yes. Take a chance and see what happens.
Advise for those who think they can’t make it – Everyone can be successful. Your circumstances should not determine where you can be or what you can be or where you can end up. Don’t be victims of your circumstances or background. The world is your oyster, take responsibility for what you want to achieve.
Start-up challenge: One can start anytime, anyplace! Start today! Find what you are passionate about and go for it.
Business lessons learnt – When we get to the other side of the challenge faced in business we tend to discount the past lessons learnt, don’t do that.
Lessons learnt from travelling and experiencing different cultures – ‘the world is our oyster, set your aspirations globally – have a global outlook in terms of how you live, what you want to be, your career. Step out of your comfort zone.
Attaining her goal:
Zipho attended one of the most impoverished school in KZN and attending University was her inspiration, Zipho’s goal was to make a name for herself. True to her determination Zipho not only went to various universities (including the prestigious Stanford University in the USA) she had also received the highly sought after Gallagher scholarship.
Quote Zipho lives by: ‘Fear eats the soul, don’t fear just do it”
You can contact Zipho via social media on (@ZiphoSikhakhane) through Instagram, facebook, linkedin, or twitter.