Pontsho Manzi is is the founding editor and publisher of Fabulous Woman magazine and author of arguably the first South African black female created and owned annual inspirational diary for women called Diary for Fabulous You. Pontsho is passionate about women empowerment, youth development and leadership and started non-profit initiatives like Fabulous Girls Foundation and FabWoman Awards. “I realised that no awards exist that recognise the ethical values embodied in my campaign for women upliftment and empowerment, and women unity,” she explains and so she launched the Fabulous Woman Awards in 2013 to recognise and celebrate the foundational principles of ethical womanhood. These were the first awards in South Africa to recognise both girls and women in an effort to engender the spirit of sisterhood and cross generational bonding for all women of South Africa. As accomplished business owner, author, speaker, image consultant and coach, Pontsho embodies what the Fabulous Women Awards stand for.
She is the executive chairman and CEO of Botlhokwa Group; a holding company for three subsidiary companies called Recrutrain, FabImage and Bonisa Media. Recrutrain is an HR consulting and training company started in 2004 to deliver innovative staffing and training solutions to both private and public sector organisations in South Africa and the SADC region. The next addition to her business grew from identifying a need for image consulting as candidates kept asking for advice on self-image and image management. Pontsho qualified as an image consultant with The Image Academy of South Africa (A Member of the Institute for Colour and Image Consultants for Men and Women in California, USA) in 2006 before launching FabImage in 2007. This independent company offers image consulting services to companies and individuals in South Africa and the SADC region.
She has delivered talks in companies such as GIBS Business School, MTN, Multichoice, HPCSA, Old Mutual, SASRIA, Kumalo Green, Sasol, MAN, Transnet, Department of Labour, Vodacom, CellC etc. In 2011 she created and launched an annual inspirational diary for women called Dairy for Fabulous You through her newly formed publishing company called Bonisa Media. While working on the sequel to the diary, the feedback she received from women was overwhelmingly in support of a more frequent interaction or publication with the women to inspire women. And so Fabulous Woman Magazine was launched in 2012. The magazine links back to Pontsho’s original goal – to encourage dialogue amongst women and strive for a cause that is very close to her heart: women empowerment, women’s unity and the forging of an authentic sisterhood that encompasses beautiful clothes, confidence, self-esteem and mutual empowerment without competition or envy.
Pontsho has been awarded the 2014 DTI South African Premier Business Award, Young Entrepreneur Award and Play Your Part Award as well as the 2014 Women for Africa Awards: International Media Woman Category. In 2011, she was the Winner of Anne Dreyer Rising Star Award and in 2012 she was nominated as one of the South African Most Influential Women and the Shoprite Woman of the year Award 2012 -Heroine Category. She has been featured on media shows like SABC 3, ETV, CNBC Africa, Good Morning Africa, SAfm, Radio 2000, Kaya FM and in publications local and abroad. She sits on the board of VK Foundation and Young Women in Business Forum.
Please tell us a little more about yourself and your journey thus far.
Pontsho is the Executive Chairperson and CEO of BoAm Group; a holding company for 4 subsidiary companies called Recrutrain, FabImage, Orassi and Bonisa Media. A human Resource Degree Graduate, Pontsho is a qualified HR practitioner by training, an author, a nationally and internationally recognised professional business and inspirational speaker, facilitator, coach and image consultant. She is the founding editor and publisher of Fabulous Woman magazine and author of arguably the first South African black female created and owned annual inspirational diary for women called Diary for Fabulous You.
She is the author of Sisterhood Charter an inspirational book calling on women to unite in advancing the course of women in their spheres of influence. More recently, Pontsho has created a colouring book called Fabulous Woman Colouring Book whose aim is to promote reflection and meditation amongst women through the therapeutic hobby of colouring.
Please tell us a little more about how your company came about.
Pontsho formed Recrutrain, an HR consulting and training company in 2004 to deliver innovative staffing and training solutions to both private and public-sector organisations in South Africa and the SADC region. It was during her formative years in recruiting and training that she saw a need to link her business with image consulting as most of her candidates consulted her for advice on self-image and image management. The feedback from workshops propelled her to delve into the image consulting business and later qualified as an image consultant with The Image Academy of South Africa (A Member of the Institute for Colour and Image Consultants for Men and Women in California, USA) in 2006.
With her business acumen, Pontsho launched FabImage in 2007 as a separate company to offer image consulting services to companies and individuals in South Africa and the SADC region. As part of the image consulting business, she identified a need to work with women and build their self-esteem through empowering workshops on image management. Bonisa Media was formed to manage Botlhokwa Group’s media interests and publishing. The Fabulous Woman Awards that were founded in 2012 as an extension of Fabulous Woman magazine’s work with women.
You are busy with some very interesting initiatives. Please tell us a little more about that.
It is quite a few businesses, but they link with each other to create a compelling value proposition. Image, fashion, inspirational stationery, wellness and development programmes together result in an emotionally stable and impeccably turned out woman who understand their purpose and are comfortable in who they are.
What is it that you are passionate about?
Women empowerment and the promotion of ethical womanhood which will give our girl children positive role models.
What is your personal motto?
Love and laughter always.
Who or What has been the biggest influence in your life and why?
Seeing the pain that women and young girls go through in the world. My mother raised me to roll up my sleeves and solve the problems that I see instead of waiting for someone else to do it.
What advice would you give a woman wanting to follow her dreams?
Put all your effort in pursuing your dream and remember that integrity always wins the day in business.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Do not be intimidated by lack of funds to pursue your dreams. Most of the greatest exploits for mankind were achieved without money.
Your favourite daily affirmation:
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Your favourite quote:
There are no shortcuts to anything worth having.
Which book are you reading now?
My Story – Jo Malone.
Which book can you read over and over again?
Unedited – Jane Raphaely.
What are your top 3 business tips?
- Choose the people you work with wisely.
- Protect your dream in all your dealings and be unapologetic about it.
- Always act with integrity. Success might be slower, but it will be everlasting.
What would you say is the secret to your success?
Hard work, consistency and tenacity. I spend most of my time pursuing business opportunities that line up with my life’s purpose.
One general piece of advice you would like to share:
Always communicate purposefully. Resist the urge to bribe anyone or sell your soul to get ahead. It never lasts and the damage to your reputation will outlive the perceived financial gain.