“Our people are hungry, live in fear, and are disempowered by the troubles of the country. I believe there will be a radical change in the political space which will spur forward a new way of doing things,” says Nomagugu Mbongwa, 33, the founder and director of Lushka, a leading adult toy shop.
She started an adult wellness company in 2017 to address and educate about sexual education and developed and created products to address adult wellness issues. Think Durex.
By combining education and the products she then created an income opportunity for 15 women to earn additional income by reselling the products. She has grown the business also on the retail market, with a presence in the likes of Medirite plus Luvland, Transpharm, Takealot, and Makro.
Effectively she has managed to scale up a business around an issue that people are shy to talk about but have problems with — and resolves those problems.
Nomagugu advocates sexual health and well-being to promote adult wellness as a noncontroversial topic. She has ensured the brand is clean and marketable in family-friendly spaces. Nomagugu creates opportunities for other young South Africans to learn how to run small businesses and earn a reasonable income.
I am a Chartered Accountant (yay to the bean counters) by profession, with a Bcom Acc undergrad completed at UJ and post-grad Accounting at Unisa. I have held diverse roles in external audit and forensic audit (Mazars), internal audit, and governance roles at SKX and South32. I also had a stint as an internal audit lecturer at TUT. In summary, I’m also an audit guru.
What stands out for me, which is a feel-good moment, is that I have managed to create a trusted brand that other women can earn a living from.
As a child, I would sell vegetables and fruits at the taxi ranks with my grandmother. It is during these days I would see my grandmother cajole prospects into buying more products. From this experience, I understood that nothing happens if there is no sale.
Failure is by no means a destination. Fail and fail often.
I personally believe we need a radical change in the manner of doing things. Our people are hungry, live in fear, and are disempowered by the troubles of the country. I believe there will be a radical change in the political space which will spur forward a new way of doing things. There will be great ease of the burdens we currently face. We would see a more nimble operating environment that seeks to redress a lot of the challenges we face.