Cape Town – Founder and chief executive of Go-Girl Logistics, Siphokazi Matsha, is riding high, as she strives to empower women through her company.
She is young and yet bold enough to face all the challenges that come with trying to succeed in a male-dominated sector.
Her aim is to play a pivotal role in changing the lives of other women.
Matsha spoke to African Insider editor Betha Madhomu, and she revealed more about her vision.
Who is Siphokazi Matsha?
Matsha – I am the founder and chief executive of a logistics company, Go-Girl Logistics. I have a National Diploma in Stock Management and a BTech degree in Logistics. I also completed a Management Advanced Programme at the University of the Witwatersrand, as well as gained knowledge in Imports and Exports. Not only that, I went on to further my studies in Digital Marketing so that I could learn how to market my logistics company online.
Growing up, did you ever think you were going to establish a company of this nature?
Matsha – I grew up in the township where I used to see many people who had no opportunities, and from that point, my dream of becoming a changemaker began.
After obtaining my qualification in Logistics I worked in several logistics companies. What stood out for me was that there were just a lot of men in all these companies. A lot more man than women in all these companies.
It was even worse when it came to managerial positions – women were, and to some extent, in the present-day women are still not considered for top positions in the industry.
What inspired the establishment of Go Girl Logistics?
Matsha – My biggest motivation was to open spaces for women in the industry, making sure that, the narrative that says that women are incapable of leading this industry is slowly moved out of the sector.
Growing up in Mdantsane, East London, and being aware of the struggles that women faced daily, was what inspired me to work harder to create opportunities and change other people’s lives.
Why the name Go Girl Logistics?
The essence of the name came from a Xhosa phrase Hamba Ntombazana, which means to give women of any age a much-needed inspiration to go for their dreams and reach for the stars.
It doesn’t have to be in the logistics industry alone, women must develop the courage to lead and be in a space where they can also dominate in their respective industries.
What were some of the challenges you faced in trying to establish the company?
Matsha – Gaining trust and credibility was a big challenge. It still is, because there are a lot of role players who have been in the industry for many years. We try and overcome those challenges by giving excellent and quality service to our clients and partners. We’ve had to work extremely hard to prove that we understand the industry and the value chain we are trying to build. As women, we are forever proving a point that we are just as good as men.
How well would you say you’ve been accepted in the industry as a woman?
Matsha – It took quite a lot to be fully accepted in the industry and it was all because I was so driven to make a difference and open up the industry for women. Giving up was not an option. Right from the beginning, I made sure that I do not compromise on the quality of service. I made sure that all our clients were satisfied and eventually people started looking at me not just as a woman in the logistics industry but as a key player in the industry.
How big is the company? Apart from South Africa, where else are you operational?
Matsha – We currently have a team of 11 amazing personnel. We mainly operate in South Africa but we are also cementing ourselves in the rest of the SADC region where we do cross-border transportation of goods to countries like Lesotho.
So in a nutshell, how has the company changed women’s lives?
Matsha – In a typically male-dominated industry, we are a 100% black female-owned business with a proud mandate to empower women within our sector and we continue to build our successful company through the hiring and training of women. We conduct leadership programmes for women to thrive.
This has been our biggest mandate. Go Girl Logistics is there to give women a portal to actually thrive in the logistics industry.
Where does Siphokazi see herself in the next five years?
The future plan is to continue to expand and have a great reach across as far as business growth is concerned. We also are very keen on continuing to make an impact that is beyond business – where we can empower young women through training and employment.
Anything else that you might want to share about yourself and the company?
Oh, yes I have something to say to young women who want to find themselves in the logistics industry. They must be prepared to work hard and have the resilience to keep going. It’s not an easy journey, especially for a young woman but that must never scare them.