For Women’s Month, we are profiling inspiring women who are making a difference in Africa. We’re bringing you innovators, creatives, entrepreneurs and influencers whose stories of success will inspire you all through August.
30-year-old Portia Masimula went from dreaming of running her own company to mentoring young girls on the merits of being their own boss in three short years, as the CEO and Co-Founder of Karisani IT Solutions. She’s been profiled by Forbes Woman Africa and listed as a young independent business leader and game changer on The Young Independent’s Mzansi 100. She is currently a judge on Inspiring Fifty, a show recognizing women in technology and innovation.
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
Check my emails, then it’s off to business meetings.
What’s your power outfit?
An elegant suit with stilettos.
What’s one thing that is always in your handbag?
My phone and laptop
What was your first ever job?
Junior business analyst.
When you were a little girl you wanted to be…
A business woman. As I child I used to cut pictures of successful business women and paste them on my vision board without knowing that I was planting the seed.
Tell us about your current job and how you got there?
I am the Co-Founder and CEO of Karisani IT, I am responsible for leading the development and execution of the company’s short term and long term strategies with the view to creating shareholder value.
Highlight of your career so far?
Being able to allocate a few IT interns and give them immense exposure in the ICT space. It makes my heart happy; we are not only focusing on building a profitable company but also on giving others an opportunity to grow and advance their careers in the ICT space.
What does it mean to be a woman in this industry?
The industry is gradually changing; more women are boldly tapping in. However, we still have a long way to go. We need a revolutionary approach where the private sector and government create a conducive, enabling environment for women in tech and female entrepreneurs.
Who were your role models growing up?
Carol Bouwer, Basestane Khumalo, Khanyi Ndlomo and Ophrah Winfrey.
What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your career?
Women are always undermined by male counterparts and in most cases, it makes us risk-averse. That needs to change. Women have so much potential to unlock our economy if they are given opportunities.
Best piece of advice you’ve received from another woman?
Women must learn the culture of sharing and supporting each other instead of competing with each other and always be the best version of yourself because that’s what sets you apart!