Stories From The Ground: Balungile Hadebe

Stories From The Ground: Balungile Hadebe

07 Mar 2024


The DO MORE FOUNDATION’S (DMF) Township Economy Programme has been a project of shared passion with one of the foundation’s key investors - Pepkor Speciality – providing strides to help young women to thrive in their communities, as breadwinners and as strong and capable entrepreneurs. The purpose of this programme is to empower selected women every year to become sustainable business owners who have the practical skills and acumen to operate successful businesses and generate a consistent income. These women operate businesses from various sectors and all walks of life including catering, beauty salons, and event designing just to name a few. Balungile Hadebe, is one of those women.

Balungile is a businesswoman who resides in Hammarsdale, KZN. She is a single mother to two children, a 10 year old daughter and an older son who is 15 years old. For as long as she remembers, Balungile had always had the ambition to own and run her own business – and be her own boss. The seed was planted by the time she spent working as a masseuse and body massagist at uShaka Marine World in Durban. Through her experience and confidence she accumulated from being in the industry, Balungile found the courage to set up an informal business of selling perfumes and swim wear to build capital for the start of her new venture. After some time, in 2018 “Beah Foot and Body Massage” was born!

As the sole shareholder, Balungile is proud of her enterprise, and very much enjoys what she does. The business has provided financial independence and support for her family, who would otherwise be in a very different situation and live under trying circumstances. No new venture comes without its challenges of course and as a Township Economy candidate in Hammarsdale, we managed to catch up with Balungile, to provide feedback on her experiences as well as what she looks forward to in the future:

1) Having been chosen for The Township Economy Programme, what has changed since you have joined the program?

There are a lot of things that have changed since I have joined this program. I like my life now and that I know who I am. I have found myself after a long time. I am living the life that I want and not that the one that others wanted or expected from me. I'm living the life that I want and I have fulfilled a life-long dream.

2) What have you learnt thus far from challenges you’ve faced and the successes that have come from it?

Now I know what business is (because I was initially running the business just because I wanted more money and extra income) now I know that I should save money and do things professionally. And if I say no to certain things and people, I should mean it. My business is growing so well since I have learnt to put my foot down and draw the line with circumstances in the sense that I don't do free massage for my friends and family. I don’t give anyone personal to me, special treatment. Whatever I do, the success and prosperity of my business comes first. I do not compromise who I am.

Balungile would further like to “up her game” by mastering additional skills in the Beauty Industry that will allow for diversification of services she can offer her clients. With consistent mentorship and business support through the programme, she aims to expand her business, secure her own premises, and create employment for local women in Hammarsdale.

As a proud business owner to a growing business, Balungile is confident and has shown great potential for her business to grow and thrive.