CUTTING into her family’s soapie-viewing time while consulting in her mother’s Zwide lounge finally paid off for Pumeza Tukani.
The owner of Bluworld Bookkeeping and Consulting Services was chosen as one of the Top 40 Under 40 representatives for 2014 though she is but 27. She employs two assistants and has more than 50 clients from Nelson Mandela Bay, ranging from hairdressers and tavern owners to construction companies and individuals who need help with their tax returns.
She works from the OR Tambo Community Centre in Zwide and hopes to expand her services to the rural parts of the Eastern Cape.
“I started freelancing in Zwide in 2010 by offering my bookkeeping and stock management services mostly to entertainment businesses, while consulting in my mother’s sitting room.
“I noticed a gap in the market since a lot of businesses experienced theft and needed help with their stock management, as well as with trading as formal businesses by becoming registered.
“They lacked information on how to get registered, be BEEE-compliant and submitting returns,” Tukani said.
While freelancing, Tukani started clinching bigger client deals, even presenting to one of the big Bay taxi associations. As her business was growing, she needed to become registered and in 2012 The Hope Factory, an enterprise development non-government organisation based in North End, was instrumental in mentoring Tukani to become a full-time bookkeeper and consultant.
“They really helped me a lot with managing the business. I knew how to do bookkeeping but not how to manage my staff and business and my mentors, Sherri Jeacocks and Tursuis Ruiters, helped me a lot,” Tukani said.
Tukani, who grew up in Zwide and matriculated at Kwezi Lomso Comprehensive High School, studied financial accounting at Damelin. In this time she also worked as a waitress and cash-out assistant on a part-time basis.
“I always loved accounting in school and had a very strict accounting teacher. It has brought me to where I am today. When I wake up in the morning, I know I have to market myself and think of my clients as my boss.”
It was a proud moment when she took her mother, Nosisana, with her to the glamorous Top 40 Under 40 event recently, where she was announced as one of the achievers for 2014 – the first graduate from The Hope Factory to be part of this prestigious group of Bay achievers. Last year the South African Youth Council (SAYC) in Nelson Mandela Bay also appointed her as its treasurer. – Cindy Preller