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Ziyanda Mncono

Ziyanda Mncono, 30, had to quit her Law degree studies at Walter Sisulu University (WSU) to go to Johannesburg to look for a job, after her single mother was diagnosed with cancer. In Johannesburg, she worked as a waitress and took part in theatre performances. One day she was spotted by African Bank managers who loved her service and invited her for an interview.

Mncono worked her way up from a temporary position as a sales consultant to an employee relations officer, doing CCMA representation for African Bank. She received a bursary from the bank to study Business Management, graduated in 2013, and received various internal company awards during her employment at the bank. In 2015, Mncono moved to DSV as a human resource business partner. She enrolled at the University of the Witwatersrand for a Bachelor in Psychology degree.

But disaster struck again in 2017 when alleged hospital negligence caused her two-year-old daughter Abiola to sustain a brain injury. The formerly healthy toddler could no longer talk, walk, sit, eat or breathe on her own. Mncono lost her job in the process, forcing her to sell her car to pay her daughter’s hospital bills. She refused to put Abiola in a home and, instead, familiarised herself with cerebral palsy and took care of her herself.

She has since registered her own travel agency and enrolled at WSU again to finish her law degree. She has started a drama club and cultural society at the university. Her plans for the drama club are to tour South African communities and bring back the love for theatre.

You can find her on LinkedIn here.

Nominated in category: Resilience

Photo: Supplied