Director Woman Fastrack Edition 2

LONDY & SPHUME: Your dreams are still valid

She Who Can

She Who Can co-founders Londy & Sphume are separated by one thing only – age. Londy was close friends with Sphume’s aunt and Sphume was always drawn to her as a wise older sister.  When Londy started hosting women’s events, Sphume was always there to support her. Young as she was, her level of thinking was very mature, and she had a desire to learn and grow and mould herself into the best version of herself.  After many coffee dates, they realised how similar their life experiences were even though they were born ten years apart and that they both had a deep desire to empower women. Overtime and naturally, they founded She Who Can – a platform for women to connect like they connected during their coffee dates.

Full names: Londiwe MaShuku Ngidi & Sphumelele Nontuthuko Dlamini
Age: 36 & 25 respectively
Organisation: She Who Can Events
Operating since: 2018
Based in: KwaZulu Natal in Pietermaritzburg and Durban
Instagram: @shewhocanevents


LONDIWE LONDY NGIDI

If I were asked to describe myself in just three words, I would say authentic, perfectionist and passionate about women empowerment. I don’t know if that counts as a word, nonetheless I love seeing women blossom into the best version of themselves.

My name is Londy MaShuku Ngidi; I am a 36-year old God-fearing mother of two beautiful girls. My husband and I decided to name our first daughter “Nkazimulo” which means “The Glory of God” and our 2nd daughter Zibusiso which means, “an abundance of blessings.”  That is honestly the best way to describe how our life has been thus far.  Everything we are and everything we have has been through the grace and glory of God, and nothing short of an abundance of blessings.  My husband is a Pastor and we have been married for just over 10 years.

I am a Communication Officer by day and the co-founder of a women’s organisation called, “She Who Can” by night. Our core mandate is to “Celebrate ordinary women doing extra-ordinary things.” My deep passion for women empowerment started in my early days at tertiary at the age of 21, where I would gather my commune mates and host a women’s events where we would empower, encourage and enlighten each other about different issues concerning us. I soon begun to take my women’s gatherings a lot more seriously after getting married in 2010 and had the opportunity to host more women’s event at our home as well as in the church.  It gave me such a great fulfillment to see women walking out with their heads held up high and understanding who and what they stand for. 

I can proudly boast over ten years’ experience in the Public Relations arena, but nothing is more fulfilling then accepting my God-given purpose which is to help women realise who they are and become the best version of themselves.  That is who and what I stand for.  I am guided by the words of Maya Angelou which are, “A Woman in harmony with her spirit is like a river flowing. She goes where she will without pretense and arrives at her destination prepared to be herself and only herself.”

SIPHUMELELE SPHUME DLAMINI

Born Nontuthuko Siphumelele Dlamini in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu Natal. Sphume attended school at Pietermaritzburg Girls’ High School and matriculated in 2013. Sphume has always had two passions, people (more specifically, women) and Accounting. Her love for people showed in high school where she was selected to serve as a peer counsellor in her matric year.

After high school, she was approached by a company in Pietermaritzburg that offered her to do her SAICA (South African Institute of Chartered Accountants) articles in correspondence with her studies.  Excited at the challenge, Sphume enrolled with UNISA and served her SAICA articles that she completed in four years along with her degree in Bachelor of Accounting Sciences in Financial Accounting.

Sphume was always bothered by the urge to continue working with women (like she did in high school) to help motivate, encourage and inspire them to dream big, throw caution to the wind and chase their dreams. Sphume always felt that this was her calling and having neglected it to focus on her studies and completing her training to become a Chartered Accountant caused her much heartache.

After having had to remind herself of the poem Our Deepest Fear, she decided to take her own advice. And, having known Londiwe Ngidi her whole life and knowing that she shared the exact same passion, they began the “She Who Can” journey.

THE “SHE” IN SHE WHO CAN

“She Who Can is a women’s organisation that seeks to help women realise their full potential and live purpose driven lives. The “She” in “She Who Can” is a force! She is an ordinary woman that you could easily pay no attention if you saw her in the street, but everything about her ordinary self is, in reality, extraordinary. She turns little diamonds stones into exceptional pieces. She works hard and is passionate about all she does. She truly believes that God sent her here to make a difference and she uses every opportunity to do so. AND her efforts show, in her relationships, in her family and in her career! She is remarkably blessed.

Our desire is to encourage, motivate and inspire our women to chase their dreams by partaking in dialogues with other ordinary women, doing extra-ordinary things.  We are all about creating safe spaces for women to come together and have refreshing dialogues about issues that concern them.  We want to educate, encourage and inspire our women one story at a time.”

THE SHE WHO CAN EXPERIENCE

“Attending a “She Who Can” event will leave you inspired. We are intentional about inviting Guest speakers who are relatable and real, and who have worked hard to turn their lives around. We believe that hearing real stories drives inspiration.

Our women’s experiences differ according to where each woman is in their life.  Many women have said they have left our women’s events feeling refreshed, encouraged and re-assured that their dreams are valid.  Other women have expressed how sentimental the events are for them as they feel part of a bigger family of women that are celebrating and building each other up, and its space where they feel seen and heard.  For us, we hope every women who walks out of a “She Who Can Event” can be courageous enough to boldly go in the direction of their dreams.”

WORKING DYNAMIC

The pair have built a solid friendship, something some would call rather strange. They share that the strength of their partnership lies in that very age gap. “We balance each other out – I am able to relate to women in my age group and younger and Londy is able relate to women in her age group and older,” Sphume explains. For Londy, the old vs modern-day balance is what really makes the duo work. “Sometimes I feel stuck in the Stone Age when it comes to pop culture. Like I always say, Sphume helps me stay current.” Being able to tap into their differing, but wide perspectives and combine communication styles is a bonus.

A recent move up north has also proved to be a test of their professional bond. “I am currently based in Johannesburg, trying to build my career and establish a clear path for myself, whilst Londy is based in Pietermaritzburg where she is currently settled with her family. Finding a clear balance can be challenging at times because our lives require different things from us based on our different stages of life,” Sphume shares.

OUR ULTIMATE FRUITION

She Who Can inspires us to be the best version of ourselves and to do more to grow the brand, because we understand the positive impact it has on the women we connect with.  Planning events can be a rollercoaster, but it’s heart-warming to see our women taking the bold steps they need, to start or continue on their paths to achieving their dreams. We are inspired to see our women genuinely connecting with each other and collaborating because it reminds us that our dream of creating a community of women who celebrate each other is slowly becoming a reality. We are definitely still learning and growing, with only one pursuit, to become the best “She Who Can” organisation we can possibly be for our women.”

MY HEART, TO HERS

“Londi is beautiful in every way, and she has a heart of gold,” Sphume says about her co-founder. “I always say she would buy every She Who Can woman a Range Rover if she could! She really is the visionary of She Who can – she understands what women need and I think that’s why I have always been drawn to her. Her passion for all things women empowerment is the backbone of She Who Can.”

Londy also had only great things to say about her admirer turned partner. “Sphume is the financial wizard and the most rational of the two of us.  She is very mature for her age and is very directed in her thinking.  I love that even though I am a dreamer, she can bring me back to earth. She definitely thinks out of the box and has a way of seeing the She Who Can Brand beyond the unimaginable.”        

NAVIGATING LOCKDOWN

“The pandemic came, messed us up, and messed up our plans a bit as well.  It forced us to adjust in ways we never imagined we would ever need to. We have however continued our mission through Instagram LIVE.  We also had plans to get our She Who Can Scholars up and running but that has all had to come to a halt.  Honestly we are not entirely happy with the time the pandemic has taken away from us and derailed our plans. Nevertheless, it has also given us an opportunity to step back, look inwards and see where and how we want to grow as a brand. We are grateful for the chance to start afresh and continue to inspire our women one story at a time.”

WHAT WOMEN NEED

“Our South African women need more platforms that can help transform their mindsets. The mind is such a powerful tool in influencing the women we choose to become. We believe that shifting the mindsets of our women, levelling up their way of thinking and helping them see themselves as powerful, influential women, can go a long way in reaffirming their self-worth and capabilities.”

LITTLE OLD ME

Londy is very clear that she is a far cry from who she was as a teenager. “That version of me would be surprised at what I do. I suffered from imposter syndrome all my teenage years. I always believed that someone else could do it better than me.  Even though I would receive awards for doing something particular really well, I always thought it was sheer luck. I never believed I was enough and had achieved what I had through my hard work until much later in life when I began my journey of self-discovery. My mindset changed and I began to unlearn many things. I am slowly becoming my wildest dream!” Little old Sphume would be just as shocked that her grown up self is working on an organisation she started with her aunt’s bestie. “My teenage self would be like which Londi? The one you want to be like when you grow up?”

INVITE: THE BEST VERSION OF YOURSELF IS WITH YOU

“We are excited to host a She Who Can Catch-up on the 4th of September in Pietermaritzburg where our theme is The best version of yourself is with you. We are looking forward to a bright and beautiful yet cosy event for our women, to catch up after almost a year and a half and remind our She Who Can women that their dreams are still valid! Please follow our page for further details – @shewhocanevents on Instagram.

LOVE, LONDY & SPHUME

From Sphume: “Give yourself the best chance to succeed. Study while you can, try businesses while you can, push yourself, work hard and try not to complicate your life unnecessarily. And lastly, PRAY and believe in God!”

From Londy: “Love yourself! Be true and authentic to who you are. Own who you are! Do not compare yourself to anyone else but yourself. Never Give up! The Vision is for the appointed time and won’t prove false. Dream! Your dreams are valid. You Got this! So go for it. If God is for us, who can be against us?”

About Author

Director Woman Fastrack is a monthly, in-depth publication that profiles African business and career women. The feature articles are designed to inspire, impact and inform readers interested in starting their own business or pursuing a particular career field.