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SAICA Top35-Under Thirty5 finalist, Ms Hlengiwe Ndlela.

Auditing lecturer and researcher, Ms Hlengiwe Ndlela (32), has been selected as a finalist in the SAICA Top35-Under Thirty5 competition.

Attached to the School of Accounting, Economics and Finance in the College of Law and Management Studies, Ndlela is among a group of outstanding chartered accountants in the competition who boast exceptional achievements and actively working towards bringing about positive change in their communities.

An executive member of the Advancement of Women Chartered Accountants (AWCA) in the KwaZulu-Natal region, her day job involves serving as Programme Manager for the Thuthuka Bursary Fund at UKZN and holding down a full-time position as a lecturer. However, she still finds time to mentor high school learners on a personal level, excel as a mother, and work on her PhD.

Ndlela has a strong passion for youth development through education and mentorship and serves as chairperson and CEO of “1Woman1Girl”, a mentorship programme for young school girls where she runs Grade 9 career day workshops for over 900 learners, and collects donations of sanitary towels for primary school girls in a drive to “keep the girl-child in school” in Inanda north of Durban.

For Ndlela, becoming a CA(SA) and an academic involved perseverance and putting in the hard work to reach her goals.

‘Being selected as one of the Top 35 in South Africa gives me a stamp of approval. It’s also a reminder for all kids anywhere in South Africa growing under dire circumstances that it does not matter where you come from or how you were raised, what matters is your determination, perseverance and desire for success,’ said Ndlela.

‘My secret formula to success is to not get comfortable (but), to keep developing, keep learning, always be engaged and most importantly, to keep a fair amount of challenges in my day-to-day tasks. Success is not an event at a point in time, but a continuous process of growth with milestones and/or learning achieved along the way,’ she added.

Judging in the competition is still taking place. The winner will be announced at an awards ceremony in Johannesburg on 3 October 2019.

Words: Lungile Ngubelanga
Photograph: Supplied