This week, we draw our inspiration from Lebitso Ramphore from Rustenburg, North-West. Former Mrs South Africa entrant and part-time model, who has grown to be an entrepreneur passionate about empowering others. Read more below.
I am a mom, wife and enthusiastic dreamer, passionate about empowerment and cultivating an entrepreneurship culture in the society. I went to primary school in a small village called Tantanana and later moved to Phokeng in Rustenburg to finish my high school. I grew up under the guidance of my paternal grandparents who instilled a spirit of fearlessness and a strong sense of belief in me. My parents taught me unconditional love and authenticity.
My parents were hard workers who did everything in their might to provide for me while I was in Primary School. I later moved to stay with my Grandparents who provided for my school and extra-mural activities. I started to experience challenges of fitting in when I was a teenager. I used to model part-time and at the time the norm was to be as thin as possible. I remember going to the Dentist to have my upper and lower teeth tied just so that I could lose weight quickly to be within the centimeters required by modeling schools. The greatest thing that happened to me was my Mother advising me to feel comfortable and accept myself just the way I am. As a young girl and teenager, the most important things I received were love and teachings on the power of prayer.
I’m an entrepreneur at heart and that culture was instilled in me from a young age as my Father and Grandparents were Business Owners. I currently own Nuel Lifestyle Concepts which is an Event Planning and Decor Design Company, A consulting company called LDR Consulting and now recently I co-own a nail salon franchise called Tammy Taylor Nails.
I oversee the operations of the businesses at a higher level and responsible for generating new business opportunities for the businesses. I graduated with a Bcom specialising in Business Management And Entrepreneurship and my role in my businesses is centered around Business Development and Marketing.
During the years in my Corporate job, I experienced a lot of challenges as a young ambitious graduate. I love to be in an environment that challenges me as a person to learn and grow and I cannot handle stagnation very well. The number one challenge was the lack of development training as well as a career guidance and succession planning. As a graduate, I expected to have a mentor, career planning and development in my job, but that was not the case. I experienced a lot of negativity and “push her down” treatment coming from my seniors and lack of support, especially from female seniors. I was discussed in corridors for driving an expensive car and having great taste in clothes for a graduate. The 5 years I spent in that corporate job was very difficult and emotionally draining. I was also trying to “fit in” the culture of graduating and getting a proper job and earn a living to please my family, I had already quit one job six months into it before, so I was determined that I could make it work.
My late Father was an Entrepreneur at heart and I often had conversations with him about life and what I want to do. He passed on in 2010 and I didn’t have anyone anymore who I can relate with. As time passed and I started to heal I recalled the conversations we used to have about doing what you love in life. That gave me the courage to resign and pursue business on a full-time basis. My Father told me he actually wanted to be an Architect, but never pursued it. That story motivated me to rise to my true potential.
Family comes first to me and my marriage and birth of my three children top the list. I’m also so proud of the fact that I finally let go of the habit of trying to please other people. I entered Mrs South Africa pageant when my son was only 8 months old and reignited the fire inside me. I finally accepted myself for the wonderful God’s creation I am and live fearlessly and authentically me. I have established two new businesses since then and I’m excited about the future.
Factors to keep in mind
One cannot truly thrive in life until they have mastered themselves, believe in themselves and be connected with their gifts. Magic happens the minute you start loving yourself and knowing that you are enough. Cultivating a positive mindset in life has tremendous benefits. My husband also taught me the habit of staying focused on goals and in life generally.
I want to see myself changing the mindsets around the subject of Entrepreneurship and what it really means to run a profitable business and not just surviving. I’m passionate about SMME’s as I believe South Africa’s economic climate can shift tremendously if we focus and create viable platforms for small businesses to thrive in.
I’m also passionate about the issues surrounding Depression. I want to engage the youth and women on issues of self-confidence, self-love and being brave in life. Dealing with the issues that trigger depression in society automatically translates into productive and happy citizens.
I’m always on the look out for innovative ideas, I could venture into new businesses avenues in the future.
If there was anything you could do differently, what would it be?
I wouldn’t do anything differently because I believe everything that has happened in my life got me to where I am today.
I draw inspiration from different people (famous and non-famous), places and objects. I believe that everything in life is connected and that every encounter or experience is there to make us into what we are meant to be. I’m drawn to authentic people living their truth. Today I was inspired by jewelry designer (Jenna Clifford). On Sunday I was inspired by a Missionary who was giving a talk around practicing our vocations in life.
I’ve recently started an awareness movement called IN MY ELEMENT powered by Dove self-esteem tools. It’s about raising awareness around depression triggers and building self-esteem and confidence in the youth and women.
Words of wisdom
Take time to discover who you are and what makes your heart jump with joy. Imagination is a powerful tool, whatever your mind can think, it can be achieved and find ways to achieve it. I am where I am because I have learned to turn my strengths into opportunities and my weaknesses into delegates. Know what you are good at, it’s already within you, then fight for the realisation of your dreams. Don’t give in, be persistent, and lastly but not least, adopt an attitude of gratitude.
Facebook Page: Mrs Lebitso Ramphore
Thank you for sharing your inspiring story with our community, Lebitso. We are inspired by your strength and wish you all the best with all of your future endeavours.
If you would also like to see your inspirational story published in our blog, email it to: firstname.lastname@example.org