“There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish” – Michelle Obama
During the month of August, I will be sharing some incredible women of our Nation. Women who have inspired me online, through their social media platforms and I have got to know or am getting to know these beautiful women and each day. I am inspired by their courage, their boldness, their beauty, and their support and encouragement for women around them.
I look up to these women as friends, mothers, sisters, business women and great role models. And I cannot wait to share their magic with you.
Our first Amazing Woman is:
Nondumiso Gogela – owner and talent behind Imibongo kaMakhulu
Bio: My name is Nondumiso Gogela, I’m a mom to one on earth and a pair in heaven, a wife, a creative entrepreneur and founder of Imibongo Kamakhulu Dolls. Our brand is a children’s handmade goods business specializing in Black and Brown Heirloom Dolls. The name Imibongo Kamakhulu means grandmother’s praises in isiXhosa, named after my daughter, as the little person I want to inspire the most to live out her wildest dreams and the person I draw most of my inspiration from. I’m the first born of four and home is in East London, raised by a Teacher mom and Pastor dad. I studied Fashion Design at CPUT and did Art from primary to high school with a love for pencil drawing. I’m self taught in doll making and have always loved to create so having a handmade business was an inevitable choice, even if it did take over 3 years of slow preparation and overcoming my own fears to get there.
Fave colour: Sage green. And ochre.
Fave food: Avocado on toast with cheese – Yum. But a meal is pretty much anything my husband makes, he’s an exceptional cook, he knows that’s why I really married him.
Fave song and movie: Like a star by Corrine Bailey Rae and the animation movie, Inside Out.
Fave travel destination: I love little dorpies with hidden waterfalls and hiking trails or nice beaches, that’s a lot of places in South Africa so I don’t know.
Two things you have loved about lockdown: The bonding time I got to spend, guilt free with my family and the freedom to discover new creative outlets and self care habits.
Two things you have disliked about lockdown: Having to keep my daughter inside during lockdown especially because at age three, she just couldn’t understand why we can’t just go anywhere. I hated the fear that I felt, every doomsday movie I’ve ever watched was playing through my mind, every other day in those first few weeks.
Name 3 women who have empowered or influenced you: First my mother, she taught me about how to do a lot with a little, she’s the first problem solver I ever knew and that’s a big part of who I am and what I do. Secondly I can only name these women as a group, a community of women close to me who I’ve watched overcome so much and not be afraid try new things, set boundaries and not let the fear of failing hold them back; Mabea, Nwabisa and Robyn. From influencial people there is one other phenomenonal woman that I’ve been watching go after and live her dreams for years while sharing her journey and that’s Rina Kutama of Rich.factory, her determination and authenticity inspire me.
How and why did you start your business: Imibongo KaMakhulu Dolls started from my wanting to instill some core values for my daughter while modelling for her what it is to go for your dreams and be happy. Our dolls are aimed at increasing diversity and representation through play as I am passionate about finding creative ways of showing up for and shaping young minds to know their worth, to live and love fearlessly, beginning with themselves. I wanted dolls that she can play with that not only look like her but reflect the diversity we as South Africans live in, it’s an important message for every household, not just Black.
Thank you beautiful Nondumiso for sharing your loves, your valuable life lessons and your inspirational women with us. Our family adore your beautiful dolls and we cannot wait to watch you and your precious daughter change our world.
You can find the gorgeous Nondumiso online:
Phone: 064 292 3763