Introduce yourself, what you do and summary of successes 

I am Bongiwe Mbunge, a Partner at Mazars.

Bongiwe’s key focus is in Advisory, more specifically, Business Sustainability Strategy & Reporting. Bongiwe specializes in business strategies, value creation, focused unique value propositions through engagements of business with their key stakeholders. Business sustainability is presented to focus on the interconnectedness of Economic Efficiencies, Social Equity and Environmental Accountability. Bongiwe is a Registered Auditor and qualified Chartered Accountant (SA).

My passion is in the implementation of sustainable strategies, managing key stakeholder relationships, identifying and providing solutions to the business’ material issues to grow the business. I am the an accredited Optimize facilitator and has in-depth experience in conducting strategic sessions at Board level. 

I extended my passion of building capacity by being involved in outsourced training where she focusses on Governance Training to build competent and sustainable boards. 

Lastly, as Integration Officer, assists in driving Mazars’ growth strategy into the African continent, to sustainable grow the Mazars Group’s presence.

What is your SPICE4LIFE? That thing that gets you up in the mornings?

Positive change in small yet meaningful deposits! To know that what I do is not a part of my life rather an extension of who I am. 

I am blessed to have arrived at my purpose point at a time where our country, our businesses and communities need it. 

CELEBRATING WOMANHOOD

To me celebrating womanhood means

To fully embrace being a woman, to shine the light on what women master rather than getting stuck in the rhetoric of comparing ourselves to men.

It is to become fully acquainted with your identity, your passion and your hustle. To know that we have a responsibility to bring others up.

I believe we need to do this by

Silencing our natural biases, there is an incredible amount of self in everything that we apply ourselves to. Thinking beyond our immediate self-gain has become virtually unknown therefore we need to push against those silo principles for greater impact.

How important is it for women to lift each other up and what does that mean to you?

For Women’s Day, celebrating equality and access for women, what is the most important message you want to send out?

Now is the time to embrace discomfort. To be willing to be brave for the sake of the bigger picture. We are enough! The way we grow is to put ourselves out there, fear will always be a factor. We don’t stop because we are afraid, we press on because our purpose calls!

ON A PROFESSIONAL NOTE

I am …….and do…….in the ……industry 

I am Bongiwe Mbunge, a Registered Auditor, qualified Chartered Accountant in public practice. My role as a Partner within the consulting division is focused on Business Sustainability Strategy & Reporting. This is a role that has allowed me to come full circle as a professional. To engage with business leaders, assist them to grow their business on a solid foundation. To drive economic efficiency, not as a silo, but to further extend our responsibility as business leaders in the sphere of our social equity fiber within the context of South Africa. To become conscious that we have limited natural resources therefore we promote stewardship!

I oversee our Human Resources Advisory division too and we work quite closely in the Governance field.

My dream job, as a kid, was to become a school teacher because I come from 2 generations of school teachers, My gran and my mother. I loved it, I still do. 

I still want to go into academia later in my career.

I define success as follow…

To drive shareholder return while making impact to larger stakeholders.

Maintain strong values in all business dealings and be prepared to walk away from lucrative transactions that compromise sound professional ethics.

How hard is it to make it to the top?

The hardest aspect for me was to decide what I wanted to focus on, professionally. To figure out which role would bring out the best out of me, naturally. Once I had figured out where my passion was, it was easier to ask for the support I needed.

I find that in many businesses, there is an appetite to help, of equal importance is the contribution & work ethic of the employee.

How does one create a supportive environment at home to support your ultimate professional success?

This is so important, I believe in communication. To sell your dream frequently and to avail yourself to support your family for their ambitions too. It is a constant give and take.

Love makes it all easier.

What are the trade-offs that I will need to make? Is it all worth it? 

Understand the stage your family is at while your career is taking off. This will determine the speed that you can accelerate in, because leaving them behind is not an option. 

Speak to your spouse and get an arrangement that works for you.

In raising children, flexibility is number 1 on my list! It makes everything else flows. Family is often sacrificed for progression and that is the worse decision that one can take.

ON A PERSONAL NOTE

The best decision I have ever made was…

To marry Lungile Mbunge, he is the wind beneath my wings. The extent of my shine and sparkle is rooted in the generator that he is. A selfless human being, loving and supporting and a fun dad to our girls. 

It’s important to have consensus on good family values, everything flows from there.

The worst decision I have ever made was…

Allowing fear to limit the extent of my dreams. Playing it safe for too long, because I was afraid of failing.

My best ‘switch off’ strategy is… 

Music and my quiet devotional time

WHAT INSPIRES ME

The leadership qualities I most admire are…

A decisive yet well-mannered and humble individual

The woman that inspires me is emotionally intelligent because you harvest far greater than your see planted.

My life’s motto is… #DoSomething

A MESSAGE TO OTHER WOMEN

I think the most significant barrier to female leadership is…

To strive to be a man. To belittle your contribution because it looks and sounds different. There is a reason that you are where you are, it benefits no one to be present yet not contribute from the substance of who you are.

The biggest challenge for the generation of women behind me will be…

Not focusing enough on their personal development. To not sweat the finer details. We must be able to focus hard on who we are, understand our limitations with the intent of breaking those barriers. To master our strengths and contribute from a sense of substance, every time.

My top three tips for women are…

Be your authentic self

Be Brave

Definite happiness in your own words and be content

What do you think is the biggest issue today facing women of your age?

It’s so different for many of us, if I can single out 1 thing based on my interactions thus far. I would pin in down to – A persistent self-doubt! We can be far greater if we only believed in ourselves and our abilities.

LIVING A LEGACY

My personal message to the world is… Be kind to others!

Influenceis important to me because it achieves so much more. It reaches further and it lifts others higher. Be intentional!

I believe support/giving back to the community is important because it just makes sense! We need to rebuild the worn-out fiber, instill strong values through action and demonstrate kindness, Ubuntu, because our country lacks not money but we are poor in purpose.

If you were to visit my city /and or /country, I would personally recommend that you visit/see/do … 

An informal settlement, to see the impact of the business decisions we take. To come face to face with lack, and walk away, possibly never to look back, I doubt that.

https://www.mazars.co.za/Home/Our-expertise/Advisory-Services/Business-Sustainability-Services

https://www.linkedin.com/in/bongiwe-mbunge-91129690/

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