Nonceba Hlengani started Zuru Skincare, a skincare range uniquely formulated for African skin types. 

After battling problem skin throughout her teen years, Nonceba began to look into products that would address her skin concerns and give her healthy, radiant-looking skin. This led to a collaboration with a pharmaceutical company and the birth of her own skincare rage. Zuru, which means fine or beautiful in Swahili, has two main ranges – facial and baby products. 

Under the facial products, the main ingredients are moringa oil and liquid shea butter, while the baby range incorporates avocado oil and safflower oil as the main ingredients. 

The facial products are meant for acne, dark spots, pigmentation and are suited for everyday use. The baby range caters for babies from new-born to five years old, and promotes healthy skin, particularly for those with dry, sensitive and eczema-prone skin.

(c) Instagram 

Nonceba worked with CW Pharm in the creation of Zuru. Her father knew Charles Moolman, the founder of CW Pharm, who had close to 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. 

One of the biggest challenges they faced was getting funding to get her products to market. She remembers how when they had finished establishing the formulations for her products and finalising the designs of the bottles, there was no funding to start the manufacturing process. 

However, after weeks they finally found a manufacturing partner who believed in the products as much as she did and began. She says the experienced showed her that the road to success may not be easy, but one has to keep going forward. 

In the absence of funding from government, Nonceba learned to strategise with the resources she had at her disposal and began to apply for non-financial support that could assist in growing Zuru Skincare. 

She is inspired by the testimonials she receives from happy customers who have seen results and are impressed by how her products have repaired the damage and helped them to maintain a healthy, glowing skin. She says seeing the value her customers place on her products motivates her to keep growing her business. 

In the next five years, Nonceba would like to see Zuru being sold in all retail outlets and boutiques in South Africa, and for Zuru to be a household name in Africa. She is also looking into expanding the existing ranges as well as going into African hair care and body products.

According to Nonceba, it is the youth’s role to change Africa through their creative ideas – one business at a time. She is of the view that often the fear of failing keeps people in their comfort zones. She urges young people to start working on their business plans and then everything else will start making sense. 

Nonceba was inspired to enter TYI 100 after reading about previous winners. She was moved by the amazing work that young entrepreneurs are doing in South Africa and saw this as a platform to showcase what South Africa has to offer.