Durban University of Technology’s (DUT)’s Department of Advancement and Alumni Relations recently hosted the first session of its Business Networking Sessions on Microsoft Teams.
The business networking webinars form part of our Alumni engagement activities. The purpose of these webinars is to create an engaged and supportive Alumni network. An engaged network that allows the university and its Alumni to benefit from the skills and experiences of former students,” said Nishie Govender: DUT’s Fundraising and Alumni Relations Manager.
The webinar was conducted by DUT Public Relations Management Alumna Mfundo Shozi. Shozi was born and raised in Umlazi by a single mother due to the passing of his father when he was eight years old. Growing up, his dream was to become a professional soccer player, however his dream was cut short as he was accidentally knocked over by his aunt at the age of 19, which resulted him into losing his right leg and dropping out of university.
“I started my company, UvoLwethu Communications at the age of 20, with just R1135.50. I published my book Dream Catcher when I was 22. In 2014, I completed my Diploma in Public Relations with distinctions, then in 2015 I completed my Degree in PR,” said Shozi.
Shozi advised that if you wish to open a company, you needed to first have a vision and share that vision with your team. He added by saying that one should know their target market in terms of their age group, their location, the problem that they have, their main point, as well as finding researching about their goals and desires.
“One should ask themselves these four questions: what are we currently doing? How can we make it better? How can we be ahead? How can I work on my business, not in it (systems and processes)? It is important to continuously evaluate your business and have a plan to move you from where you are to where you want to be,” he said
Explaining how he keeps himself motivated and how he deals with challenges, Shozi said, “I have mentors and business coaches. Every single month I meet up with them for coaching sessions and evaluate my business goals. To be honest, running a business is challenging, I always remind myself why I started. With all the trials and tribulations that comes with being an entrepreneur, I always focus on where I want to be, and I look at everything as a lesson because you learn through failure and challenges. When you start a business, you have to be psychologically prepared for the struggles and have emotional intelligence.”
Shozi emphasized the importance of identifying the type of employee you are looking for, what role you want them to fill in the business, thereafter, you must find out if they form part of the vision for the company through their personalities. He further emphasized the importance of branding and mentioned that one must first understand their industry and be consistent with colours, and one should never compromise on quality.
Zwakele Ngubane, Director at Advancement and Alumni Relations department, gave a vote of thanks. “We want to see more people like you Shozi engaging with the university and inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs and leaders in this country, because we need ethical leaders who are going to take us forward as a country,” said Ngubane.
The Durban University of Technology
The Durban University of Technology is a university in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. It was formed in 2002 following the merger of Technikon Natal and ML Sultan Technikon and it was initially known as the Durban Institute of Technology. It has five campuses in Durban, and two in Pietermaritzburg.