Nhlanhla Dlamini

Nhlanhla Dlamini

Current title
Founder and Managing Director, Maneli Foods

Course at Wits Business School
Postgraduate Diploma in Management, 2005

A defining moment in my career
In February 2015, one month after getting married and two months after my best performance review at McKinsey & Company, I decided to end my career as a management consultant to pursue my lifelong passion of being a social entrepreneur. 

This was not an easy decision for several reasons: I was less than a year from becoming the first home-grown black associate partner in South Africa; I was building strong relationships with senior executives in crucial sectors of the economy; and – most worryingly – I had very little experience as an entrepreneur.

Despite the warning signs, I took the plunge and started Maneli Foods with the vision of building Africa’s largest export-focused agribusiness as a conduit for economic growth and job creation. While still a young company, Maneli Foods has grown in leaps and bounds. 

The company employs 150 people (mostly black youths) and sells a variety of food products locally and internationally. Entrepreneurship is a challenging career path, but I am constantly energised by my social impact and the economic potential of Africa’s industrial sector. I am glad that I took the risk of living out my passion and purpose through my work.

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