Inspiring story of humble beginnings, from South Africa to the world;
The best stories are that of hope, like Mfundisi Mncube’s. Coming from a humble background, Mfundisi began his career from the very bottom as a clerk, and rose up the corporate ladder to emerge a global leader in International Trade, Risk, and Compliance. Today, he is responsible for 45 countries as the Risk and Trade Compliance Director for ZTE Middle East and Africa. Additionally, he is a businessman with interests in commercial goat and cattle farming, property development, investment and energy.
A popular community leader and youth mentor, he tells us, “My story is inspirational especially to young people back home in Africa with limited opportunities. I want to use my story to inspire the next generation of young corporate professionals who will also venture into farming to help improve food security and eradicate poverty in Africa. I am a son of the soil who is also at home in the corporate world. I am a corporate executive, farmer, sportsman and a family man who is able to handle all these responsibilities with equal ease.”
Mfundisi holds a Bachelor of Business Studies Honours Degree in Logistics and Supply Chain Management from Bournemouth University in England, plus various certifications in Legal, Transport, International Trade and Shipping. Currently based in Dubai, he draws from over 20 years of work experience in Asia, Middle East and Africa. Before joining ZTE, a global telecommunications company, he was in the Oil & Gas field working for Weatherford USA in Houston, Texas, as the Region Trade Compliance Manager for Middle East and Africa.
“I have always been interested in leading people, traveling, and learning different cultures. I have a huge appetite for knowledge and personal development, and over the years, I have consistently invested in myself for improvement.”
Mfundisi is an exceptionally quick learner and team player who is good at adapting, situation handling, and building professional relationships. “I believe in team work whereby everyone understands their role. Over pushing oneself and the team is good, but the targets must be reasonable and within achievable time frames. Restructuring and making some roles redundant are some of the most difficult decisions that I have had to make in my career. It’s not easy letting go of some people and losing professional relationships that have been built over time,” he reflects.
Passionate about whatever he does, Mfundisi believes in building sustainable businesses as well as the human capital side of any business. “I am passionate about empowering and uplifting people around me. I believe that we rise by lifting others. I come from an underprivileged area and I want to go back and make a difference by giving back to the communities that raised me. This also speaks to the vision of my church which is ‘transforming families, communities, cities and nations’.”
In keeping with this vision, Mfundisi provided clean water for 150 households in Africa this year. In 2018, he was honored by his community for contributions made through football, which saw him being involved in raising funds for charity, uplifting youth by giving them hope through sports, etc. A powerful orator, he lectures part time at renowned colleges in Johannesburg, South Africa, and has been responsible for office startups in Angola, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa and Ghana.
On the professional front, being able to travel all over the world, speaking across the globe, surviving in the corporate world for decades, and yet make time for family, has been one of Mfundisi’s biggest achievements. The year 2022 also saw him receive the prestigious Global Lex-Falcon Award for impactfully contributing to the Legal industry.
If that’s not enough, he’s also a commercial cattle farmer! Inspired by his late father, Mfundisi and his wife started ‘Mlisana Brahmans’ which is a brand of grey/white Brahman cows that they produce. With a herd of about 200 high quality cows, their Vision 2030 is to have 2000 cows which will enable them to fulfill the demand for meat in international markets across Europe and Middle East.
Mfundisi is a thorough advocate of work-life balance, which he feels is achievable with time management and prioritization. “My support system is my family and a trusted small circle of friends who I turn to for advice. I am a married man who likes spending time with his wife and children. I am also a sportsman who likes gym, watching, and playing football. I even have a professional mentor/coach who advises and guides me. Communication is key with people around you,” says the self motivated Mfundisi Mncube, who is inspiring the next generation by breaking barriers.