Founder & Executive Chairperson at Strategic African Women in Leadership (SAWIL)
Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer at HD AFRIKA
Some people have such a presence and aura to them that you almost feel intimidated. You ask yourself questions and wonder if you're worthy of their time. You read about them and the more you learn, the more you are awestricken. Basically, you're mesmerized by them.
Ladies and gentlemen, I beg you to spend time reading and learning about our next feature, Seipati Mokhuoa, you'll feel the same we felt as we were discovering this accomplished and polished woman. You'll want to take a plane to South Africa to meet her in person.
Seipati has had a diverse career before founding two successful companies. She's been a model, spent time in media and had a long career in the Financial Services industry.
Alright Seipati, the floor is yours!
Please provide us with your name(s)
Where are you from? Tell us about you (background info)?
I was born and bred in a small village in Free State, South Africa. I’m the second-born (middle child) of three daughters, from two very loving parents. My father was an avid entrepreneur, and I most definitely take after him. I don't know what it was about me that made my late dad choose me as the son he never had.
I grew up herding cattle, farming, fixing cars; he even taught me how to make and lay bricks at the tender age of six. I actually helped my dad build our home from foundation to finish. An A student who was good at anything I put my mind to, I pretty much excelled in both academics and extramural activities from the beginning of school until graduation.
Looking back now, I realise how these formation years shaped the person I am today. I fully recognise myself as an A-type personality and have had to learn to accept that about myself. However, growing up an overachiever has its challenges; as an adult, you're constantly competing with the younger version of yourself, which, in some cases, can lead to disappointments when you don't achieve according to that “little girl's” expectations.
I must admit, though, that 36 years later, with all the ups and downs, we've done a pretty good job. My career spans from professional modelling, a stint in media, a long successful career in the Financial Services industry, and now purely concentrated on Leadership and Entrepreneurship Development, focusing on the African Continent.
Why are you starting this business?
I currently run two successful businesses; Strategic African Women In Leadership (SAWIL) and HD Afrika.
When I started SAWIL in 2014, the objective was to address the inequalities in Corporate South Africa through leadership development, training, executive coaching, mentoring and networking. Seven years later, we now operate in Africa and the Diaspora.
HD Afrika is a legacy project where I combined all the small projects I was busy with while working my nine-to-five. We are known and trusted for our esteemed efforts to connect Africans from Cape to Cairo, Morocco to Madagascar, through our ecosystem of entrepreneurs, investors, traders, customers and the various digital platforms.
Please provide us with some information about your business. (description, business model, etc.)
Within HD Afrika, we have HD Innovation Hub (which includes HD Freelancers). We have built an ecosystem that aims to be the largest startup ecosystem in the continent where an African entrepreneur can log into the platform and find any assistance or information they may need. The platform aims to centralise data and access to resources: funding, incubation, accelerator programs and mentorship for our startups. Essentially, we about to be a one-stop-shop for startups in Africa.
With strong ecosystem partners from Africa, Europe and the US, we are well-positioned to stop the brain drain that Africa has been experiencing over the years. Why go to "Silicon Valley" when we can bring it to you? We enable startups to thrive in their environment while solving their own country/town/city's challenges through entrepreneurship.
Still, within HD Afrika, we also have HD Media, specialising in digital innovations in the marketing and advertising space, from strategy to execution. And finally, we have HD Flight Rentals, responsible for flight rentals for Repatriation Purposes, Cargo Services, Private Hire/Use, Transportation of VIPs, Celebrities and Dignitaries.
What stage are you in right now?
We are at advanced stages in SAWIL and confidently doing well within the various umbrellas of HD Afrika.
What are you looking for at this stage for your business?
Customers, customers and more customers. Especially for HD iHUB, a strong userbase is essential for its success. We have launched various platforms that will only succeed if the people they are intended for use them.
What do you want us to remember about you? Where can we find you (social media)?
Ah, that's easy! Please remember me for empowering the African woman, reminding her of her power, resilience and tenacity, and showing her the importance of collaboration. We've been made one another's unnecessary competition for centuries; it is time that we unite and build and profile our continent as a collective.
I want the youth of this continent to remember me for teaching them how to fish and coaching them to teach others how to fish.
When my race is done, I want my name among those who will be counted when we say: "Indeed, we have built the Africa that we want".