Locally, the Portia M brand has become synonymous with affordable skincare. Its founder, Portia Mngomezulu, had humble beginnings in Phalaborwa, Limpopo, living with her maternal grandmother. “I come from a family of matriarchs who were self-employed and constantly teaching me that I could be my own boss and build something for myself,” she enthuses.
THE BIRTH OF AN ENTREPRENEUR
Portia will always call Limpopo home, even though she moved to Kriel in Mpumalanga to stay with her parents at the age of eight. As a teen, she would take the scraps of material left over from her seamstress mother’s creations and make decorative cushions to sell or plait people’s hair. “I started earning money quite early because I’m creative and good with my hands,” she explains.
“I’ve been intentional in how I shape Bathu and that has helped with our growth,” says founder of Bathu, Theo Baloyi
The eldest of three children, she studied towards an Information Technology diploma at the Tshwane University of Technology. “I loved technology and completed my diploma in 2002. At the time, I was convinced that I wanted to excel as a programmer. I also completed a certificate in Project Management through Unisa and did an internship at Siemens — where I worked for nine years,” she shares.
BUILDING THE DREAM
Her entrepreneurial spirit was ignited when she stumbled upon the remarkable benefits of Marula oil.