On the 12th of the penultimate month of what has been an eventful year, multi-passionate and purpose-driven social entrepreneur Mbali Mahlangu will host a fabulous group of ‘Boss Girls’ for the 6th annual Boss Girl Meet Up. The brunch is a year-end event designed to help attending women reflect on the year that was, and set themselves up to dominate the year that is to come.
Contrary to what you might assume, being the ultimate boss girl may very well have nothing to do with owning a business and everything to do with the hunger to simply be better than you were yesterday, and are today. Mbali tells us, “The ultimate boss girl is a woman who might not be the best version of herself presently, but knows she can do more, better. She believes she can have the life of her dreams. Sometimes I’ll hear women say I’m not a boss yet, I don’t have a business, and my response is always that it isn’t about that, it’s about that initial spark inside that tells you can be a boss girl and one day run your own thing. The ultimate boss girl is a woman who is hungry to be a better version of herself, wants to do better, understands that it is possible. This brunch is not something you attend and suddenly everything changes, it is simply a starting point. It’s little by little, daily habits, small steps today that make big steps overtime. It’s discovering helpful points and strategies, taking those and using them to do better.”
Reflecting on her journey in conversation with type4girl, Mbali shares that she is blown away by how long she’s been hosting the Meet Up. “The dream started out as something I was doing for myself. I remember I invited two of my friends and a mentee of mine over; we sat in my living room and did the presentation and workshop ourselves. We all walked away feeling refreshed and it was a phenomenal year the next year, I knew it was something I definitely wanted to do continuously.”
Since hosting that first humble sit-down, she has grown in leaps and bounds. “The Mbali from six years ago isn’t who I am now. I’m highly committed to growth and personal development so every year is about me continuously refining who I am, what I do and how I do it. I’ve also realised that when you do better, desire to know more and actively learn more, it pushes you to be a better person,” she says.
Mbali admits that when she initially started out, there was a certain level of naivety, but time and experience have been invaluable teachers for her. “Over the years I’ve learnt and improved. My dreams are bigger now and the things I cried about then don’t make me cry anymore.”
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Tell us a little about who Mbali is and what you do?
“I don’t usually open with this but I am from a royal family, I’m a Princess and a big part of that sees me serving as a community leader and working to develop the community. My most recent passion project has to do with me partnering with the youth of my community to get them active and part of local gyms. We’re raising funds to acquire relevant equipment to enable them to be active. I am an entrepreneur, I founded Isiba Le Africa to help women start and grow their own businesses. I also have a membership club for women who aspire to or are already in business, we connect, create and collaborate. I have an online store through which I sell a daily planner called Crowned to Conquer which comes out at the end of November. I have an events company as well. I coordinate events within Isiba Le Africa and for the general public. I’m currently in the process of starting a food truck based in a small village where I’m from, KwaNdebele. I want to use it to show people that R10 can be R100, R100 a R1000 and so on. I’m a speaker, I focus on topics on personal development and entrepreneurship and finally I am a vlogger.”
You do a lot, how do you find harmony?
“It sounds like a lot, but it’s not, it’s who I am and it’s what I do naturally. Plus I don’t it all at once. There are times when I’m more of an entrepreneur than I am a Princess for instance. And times when I am a Princess more than I am a YouTuber. It’s really just a case of making time and understanding what needs to be done when.”
Taking into consideration your accomplishments thus far, would you say you saw yourself coming?
“To a certain extent I’ve always known I wanted to do something big. 13 year-old me was confused. I wanted to be a doctor then I wanted to be an actress, it was something new everyday. But when I was much older, I learnt that I’m multi-faceted and I am multi-passionate. The things I wanted to do when I was 13 were all about me, me being great and me being seen. You know, when you go through certain things as a child you feel you need to vindicate yourself somehow. But over the years I started to think differently and today, at 28, I perceive things differently from 21 year-old me. It has become less about just me and more about me and the next person, my community, my country, Africa, and so on.”
What would the title of your autobiography be?
“On Purpose, By Purpose.”