“Not knowing how to do something is no excuse for having not done it.” — Makhumuzi Mthethwa

Nomathemba Magagula


Mining & Manufacturing

Organisation / Company

Barloworld Equipment


Empowering Africans by building infrastructure for better transport, food and water solutions is what inspires Nomathemba Magagula, 31. She’s the operations manager of Barloworld Equipment’s KwaZulu-Natal branch, which supplies construction and mining equipment. The dealership is responsible for maintaining the machinery it sells, and she’s learnt that transparency and pursuing mutual goals with communities helps their clients deliver faster services — which improves infrastructure faster. Like many women, she was underpaid in previous jobs, a situation that she remedied by changing companies and exploring different supply chains in her industry. She’s inspired by her grandfather, who built centres for disabled people in Mpumalanga. He always asked, “If not you, then who?” — a motto that helps her focus. There are probably not that many construction industry workers who also publish poetry books. Nomathemba has self-published a collection called A Nguni Scribe, which examines the origins, contributions and healings of Africans. She’s also building an online platform for creatives, which enables a better flow of African products across the African diaspora.


Bachelor of Science (Metallurgical & Materials Engineering), Wits University


Stabilising the service team of the Barloworld Equipment KwaZulu-Natal branch over the past few months, since joining the region. It’s a work in progress. The dealer is responsible for servicing machines that are used in municipalities, departments and construction sites throughout the province. The quicker my team is able to resolve machine-related issues, the faster our customers can deliver on their various services and improve infrastructure. I learnt that we can deliver solutions to communities better if we collaborate with transparency and pursue mutual goals.


Yes, leaders like Mbali Tshitenge, executive of customer fulfilment at Barloworld Equipment. She has the ability to enter a business unit, unravel what’s happening, challenge the structures and bring lasting improvements that impact nations across southern Africa. That’s inspiring!