By Mzukona Mantshontsho
Ntokozo Ngcobo, also known as Isingqazu is an intuitive and creative young South African author, poet, actress, dancer, musician, motivational speaker and journalism graduate at Varsity College. She was born in the township of Umlazi P Section, KwaZulu-Natal.
Tell us about your early life to your role today
Ntokozo attended Warner Beach Primary School and her Secondary school at Kingsway High. She was a swimmer and tennis player. Ntokozo matriculated at Zwelibanzi High School where she was elected RCL President/head girl. She was involved in a student political movement (COSAS) where she was elected Secretary.
Being the second born of Monica Nonhlanhla Nxumalo and Zwelihle Paul Ngcobo, Ntokozo spent most of her entire childhood with her father Zwelihle Ngcobo, a former teacher; HOD at Isolemamba High School and choir master at Imizwilili which is an SABC1 choral music show, presenting and highlighting youth choirs. Ntokozo spent most of her childhood years being raised at Fakazi, a rural area situated in Illovo (KZN) where she and her sister Zinhle was raised by their father and late grandmother, who taught them how to use cow dung to smear onto rondavel floors, as well as farming methods.
What does your role mean to you?
Being a person of influence to society has helped me to honour my dreams as an independent business woman. This also means helping out other young girls to realize their full potential and constantly strive to leave a lasting legacy for the next generations to come.
What are the most critical resources for your successful leadership?
This often comes with understanding who my role models are; what secrets they possess/ed to be where they are today and constantly walking on their footpaths.
What can we expect from you going forward?
I am currently working on my second book edition which will be released in 2022, among other projects which are also on the pipeline.
What are your words of advice for young people, particularly women to start small businesses?
- Starting a small business is often a learn as you go process.
- Seek most advices from experts and veteran business owners.
- Don’t allow yourself to be burdened with excuses or fears of failing, as they will only slow you down from reaching your full potential.
- When you feel like giving up, remember why you started.
- You are only halfway done the moment you begin to take initiative.
What are your thoughts on Covid-19 in terms of small businesses?
The period has brought most of us to an economic fallout and lack of needed exposure in the book market. Most authors have suffered a great loss in book sales which has resulted to loss of income due to either postponed and cancelled events, workshops and readings. Hopefully the fourth industrial revolution will move us to a whole new level for the next 25 years.
What is the legacy that you would want to leave when you retire?
I strive to leave the kind of legacy that says ‘I will still be alive in a thousand years’’ I would like to be remembered by my good deeds and words to others; deeds and words which still make me a role model to many young South Africans.
My book ‘Amaloba the Traces’ for instance is my gift to the world, serving as a vehicle to leaving profound traces or a profound legacy for the next generations to come.
How does your business contribute to the community?
My goal is to promote the culture of reading, engaging the youth with books in and out of school until they grow to be independent readers and writers.
What have been your highs and lows of your working career?
The launch of my first edition ‘Amaloba the Traces’ was definitely one of my greatest highlights with the industry heavy weights in attendance, which also gave the day an exclusive feel. 2021 for me was a great start into the New Year, the year in which my first edition sold over 200 copies in just one day, however, every business reaches their low points and often when things don’t go accordingly, you may be encouraged to leave the industry. Rejection is simply one of the ugly beasts in the industry and the only way through is to just keep writing and perhaps find an agent for a better support system.
Often, the challenge that is faced by most authors is that when a book is published and launched, then comes the marketing part, which is a challenge one tackles almost from day-to-day.
When you not at work, what do you get up to, and where can people follow you or your business online?
I spend time mostly with family when I am not at work. I would simply invest time in my hobbies; either, cooking, baking, writing, listening to music, watching television, swimming, taking walks or just working on improving my professional and recreational skills.
Ntokozo Ngcobo, also known as Isingqazu is an intuitive and creative young South African author, writer, poet, actress, musician, motivational speaker and journalism graduate. One of her books she wrote is titled ‘Amaloba’ Traces. She also appeared in a tv drama series ‘Ifalakhe‘ playing as Queen Ibanathi.