Thato Mokhothu, 35, has had to overcome plenty of hurdles to get where she is today. In 2000, her parents divorced and her mother fell into depression.
Mokhothu stopped her studies to look after her siblings. It was a taxing time but, ultimately, she came through on top. Driven by a “never-say-die” attitude, by the age of 24 she had found a job and bought her own house.
In 2012, she founded Refilwe Tshiamo Trading, a construction company based in Bloemfontein that specialises in ceilings and partitions. It was born out of Mokhothu’s desire to always be her own boss.
“It’s not easy being a woman in this industry. I often have to work twice as hard to prove myself, but I always relish the challenge,” she says.
In 2015, she spent a year being mentored in Israel as part of Investec’s Young Entrepreneurs programme, but she cites her most recent project, a student accommodation she helped build for the Central University of Technology, as one of her career highlights.
“It was a massive project but I met the deadline. I always try to break any misconception people might have about women in construction. My work speaks for itself.”
Find Mokhothu on Twitter: @Thato_mokhothu