There is a statement herein…
I believe my purpose is to inspire, connect and empower women and youth to live their purpose through social entrepreneurship. I have a passion for people, Africa, entrepreneurship and finding opportunities to create and add value.
Khethiwe Phakathi is a women who believes that fun is underrated. Even a telephonic chat with her allows one to taste why people say she is a ray of sunshine. How does such a personality flourish in the demanding space of entrepreneurship? I’m curious, to the point of wanting to interrogate this Purpose Entrepreneur, a term that Khethiwe “Makhethi” Phakathi started using, to describe herself, in January 2020.
Why do you call yourself a Purpose Entrepreneur?
I know why I was created and born; to speak life! I knew that, for sure, from the age of 19 years. What a joy! What a treasure!
All my business ventures are a vehicle for me to live out my purpose on this planet.
They all take different forms in each which speak life and produces an multiple outputs that come alive!
How do you know your businesses are purpose aligned?
I have been in business, full time, for nine years. When I started my first official business, it was just me, myself and I, fuelled by a passion to facilitate knowledge sharing. Ever since I started, I have been on a quest for continuous self-development and sharpening my skill. There is a saying by Abraham Lincoln that says: “If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I would spend the first four hours sharpening the axe”. My approach to mastering my professional work has been centered around this principle. My patience in introducing concept and the love of simplified examples made me a magnet for effective impactful learning methods.
My development, in the learning and program facilitation sector, is sustained by who I naturally am – a communicator.
Amongst the portfolio of businesses, I own, is a four-year-old business is a natural hair. Opening a salon targeting a niche market is not an easy task. Despite the challenges, it is fulfilling to see communities embrace natural hair care and service and products as part of self-identification. Since primary school, I have adored having an Afro. Till this day, I have carried by adoration for natural hair. One can say I have 34 years’ personal experience in the industry. My parents would force me to apply ethnic hair modification chemicals to straighten my hair, something we call ‘hair relaxer’. There were some occasions where I’ve had to give in to straightening my hair to make it easier for my parents to manage it, however since completing matric, I decided to cut my hair and since never looked back. Now, I loved how the natural hair bushiness looks on my head. No more blow dryer, tapping to relieve discomfort of the sculp and goodbye comb. ‘No pain, no gain, does not apply to me when it comes to my hair. My choice of natural hair appearance has landed me a lucrative niche business that create employment for our Afro specialists, who we train need to give our clients something we call #YourHairDucation whilst they have their hair attended to.
I’ve been a speaker for as long as I can remember. There are no stored memories of me being afraid of addressing a crowd. For many public speaking causes anxiety and some even suffer from Glossophobia which is a phobia of addressing crowds. I am one of the few lucky ones who don’t have to worry about overcoming such a challenge. At eleven years old, I landed by first MC opportunity at our inter-preschool graduation. Parents, children, teachers and close friends watched me own the stage as I worked the microphone.
How have you developed your natural ability to capture the attention of a large audience and how that has developed into yet another business.
After years of listening to feedback from delegates who have attended my presentations and workshops, I have concluded that they all share similar sentiments about my work. These are but, just a few statements I have receive.
“Khethiwe, you simplified that, so well, I finally understood the complexity of the subject matter.”
“You are so free, even when you are in a boardroom addressing corporate executives.”
“You genuine, no matter which company you are surrounded by. You are present, in the know.”
Two years ago, I began a coaching company. This new venture has a dedicated employee number one, who happens to be the only employee. That employee is non-other than, yours truly, me. The other two companies I own, have developed to function in my absence. I am a confidence coach. I help people know how to be ‘fully themselves’; anywhere, everywhere, anytime & all the time.
I’m spreading Life! Daily!
Why is Purpose such a big deal to you?
Many people are imprisoned by the notion that; knowing why you are hear is the hardest journey you will embark on. My purpose is to show them that the journey is not a matter of discovery, but one of acknowledgement of what you have already have, in your life all along. Purpose can be recognised through you answering two questions.
What do you enjoy doing?
What are you good at doing?
The answers to these simple questions are not limited what you have been conditioned about school, work, societal biases and pressure. The answer is embedded in you being simply you and being honest about it.
Purpose is freedom – that is why I am who I am.
What do you stand for?
Nine years of being in business, my answer to that question has always remained the same. I enjoy life. I am always discovering opportunities to be excited. When I was nineteen years old; I discovered by purpose which is to ‘speak life’. God placed me on earth to enlighten people I come to contact with. My God given talent is to show them how to flourish and enjoy their existence. I have been by the lead by the Almighty along the path that allows me to fulfil my purpose.
I advocate for happiness and purpose. I think fun is underrated. Fun is more, it is more than what we see on the outside, it is deep and it heals.
My everyday life.
Apart from your ‘gift of the gab’ what do you enjoy doing?
My all-time favourite thing to do, is meeting strangers.
Khethiwe Phakathi left corporate at the age of twenty-six. With all the development she had gained, she set out to plunge into the world of entrepreneurship. She is very vocal about creating employment opportunities throughout her portfolio of businesses she owns Her strength is embedded in her free, open and genuine persona. She is what you see. “When you trust the God’s mission with your life, you live fully.”