Where is home?
I was born and bred in Mabopane township, in the North of Pretoria. I’m the third of four siblings and grew up in a vibrant and energetic home.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
A lawyer. I was intrigued by what they did. And, since I could argue anything and reason my way out of any situation, I was labelled the lawyer at home.
What did you study?
The chief executive officer of Water Intrique Services (WIS) Group is passionate about water conservation and entrepreneurship in Africa.
A Bachelor of Commerce in Financial Accounting at the University of Cape Town. I wanted to study something that would challenge me. My late father also influenced my decision. He was an accountant and entrepreneur and always told me that if I studied finance, I would always be relevant in any sector of the economy - and that I should always focus on relevance.
When and why did you establish WiS Group?
Living and working in other African countries, such as Malawi, Congo-Brazzaville and Nigeria, I came to appreciate how scarce water is. Economic disparities, climate change, increasing demand and ageing infrastructure make water a very expensive and scarce resource. After extensive research, WIS was established in 2012 to invest in innovative technologies to manage and secure water.
What are the biggest lessons you have learnt from entrepreneurship?
Creating something takes time, and creating a globally relevant brand also takes resources, passion, patience and love. I have learnt to give of myself, to be decisive, to be innovative, to be radical, to be humble but never to lose focus on the goal. It is very rewarding to see a vision that was only on paper come to life.
What are the greatest challenges we face when it comes to water conservation?
A lack of user education. If we truly understood how scarce water is, we would all treat it differently. We need to teach our children to conserve and respect water. That is our goal as WIS - to make the users understand so they can invest in alternative and innovative ways to secure and conserve this precious resource.
What project are you most proud of?
Deploying packaged waste-water treatment plants in rural clinics. We not only improve people’s lives with dignified sanitation solutions but we also have an economic impact by employing community members.
Some say in the future we will fight wars for water. Are you optimistic or more of a pessimist?
By 2030, water demand will outweigh supply by 17%. In simple terms, there will not be enough water for all of us. Cape Town is a perfect example; the demand has surpassed supply. We are very optimistic about the future because companies like WIS exist to solve these challenges. Our focus is on making sure that we innovate to conserve the resource, to improve the infrastructure, to reuse and recycle water before it goes to a waste-water treatment plant, and to educate users.
How does the ordinary person conserve water?
There are basic principles that you can implement in your home, including: harvesting rain water for irrigation; investing in grey water recycling systems for the shower, laundry and basin water; using grey water for flushing toilets; and having an alternative water source by drilling a borehole.
How do you stay motivated?
I am a creative at heart, I get pleasure from trying out new things and exploring my environment. My goals keep me motivated and I engage with people and things that keep my energy frequency positive. I operate from a very positive atmosphere
What excites you?
My passion is to build something that will outlive me. To live out my full purpose on earth and have an impact on the lives of Africans, both economically and socially, to improve livelihoods.