Ms Shumani Nembudani – Senior Lecturer – Department of Accountancy – Faculty of Management, Commerce and Law.

Ms Shumani Nembudani is an Academic, Social Entrepreneur and a Qualified Chartered Accountant (CA). She is currently a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Accountancy in the Faculty of Management, Commerce and Law. Ms Nembudani lives by the words: ‘For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’ – Jeremiah 29:11.

She said this bible verse is what keeps her achieving more. Shumani continued to explain that this verse reminds her that, everyday there is a reason why she does what she does, which is ensuring that learners are given a concrete possibility of social and economic empowerment to equip them to become the best future leaders of the country. 

“I was in boarding school from a tender age of seven. As my mother was making her way to complete her Masters’ Degree at Stellenbosch University, I had to independently move from my comfort zone at our Shayandima home, to a place that was so foreign to me. My parents had found me a home, far away from home in Polokwane at Mitchell House Preparatory School.” This shows that this challenging moment did not stop the resilient and confident force of a young woman to flourish. She ascended the leadership ladder when she became both a school and boarding prefect. She was also entrepreneurial in nature and the systems the school had put in place enabled her to sell dried fruits during school holidays to the neighbourhood in Shayandima. 

She continued with the same spirit in high school. She identified an opportunity to make extra money as the pocket money her mother would send her monthly was never enough to buy all the essentials that were needed for a young girl not staying with her parents. “In my final year of high school, I decided that I want to be an entrepreneur and at that point, I figured that the best way to go about this journey was through the Chartered Accountancy route.” 

After Shumani completed her articles with Deloitte, she found herself asking ‘what next?’ 

She felt that there was more beyond the corporate world of finance and financial reporting. “The corporate world was not a good fit for me, I felt that I needed to do more, change lives, make a difference” 

At the end of 2015, after completing her training contract, Shumani registered her NPO, Dream in Colour Foundation, she was ready to spread her wings and change the world; one learner at a time. The primary goal for her was to bridge the gap between private schooling and public schooling education as well as to see young individuals who have lived in adverse conditions striving to be advocates for change, thereby sparking a generation of achievers, especially the young women. She knew that running the foundation would be as challenging in some respects as her training contract. It would require resilience and work ethic beyond nine-to-five week. It also meant no steady income and uncertain future; however, this did not deter her. As a resilient dreamer, Shumani took the chance anyway and in 2016 adopted 10 young girls under her wing within the Foundation from grades 10 – 11, who have completed their degrees and pursuing career opportunities and others completing in various disciplines (amongst others Medicine, Law, Actuary and Accounting Sciences). 

She believes that there is a need for more women in leadership positions and is delighted that the university is recognising women and their impact on the surrounding communities. “Women lead with kindness and compassion while being able to bring in an ability to be firm and we need more of that in our organisations.” 

Shumani could be ascending the corporate ladder in a sought-after profession but has decided to change young people’s lives in the Vhembe District of Limpopo Province. “In my role as a Senior Lecturer in the Accountancy Department of the University of Venda, I understand the impact that I can have on young black students in their journey to become qualified chartered accountants.” 

At the UNIVEN, Ms Nembudani is currently the Chairperson of Community of Practice for Community Engaged Scholarship, a member of the Community Engagement Committee in the Faculty of Management, Commerce and Law, Chairing the Community Engagement Committee in the Accountancy Department and is also working on various Community Engagement and Entrepreneurship projects within the Directorate of Community Engagement. She believes that CAs (SA) have the ability, capacity and responsibility to make South Africa a better place and that her top priority within her role, and through the CA profession, is to transform the standard ways of teaching and learning. Through her work within the CA space, she is able to infuse entrepreneurship in the classroom, encourage and motivate young minds to aspire to be engaged scholars. 

Shumani encourages her students to participate whenever there are opportunities to give back to the community and she usually takes between 5 and 15 students with her when she ventures into these Community Engagement activities for the University through the Accountancy Department. She believes that the students will learn by 

knowing the importance of impact and relevance, which is key within the Strategic Objectives(SOs) of the University of Venda. Shumani said she wants to ensure that what students get from this is how to rise by lifting others and she would wish the students to become multicultural community builders and aspire to be socially responsible citizens. 

The University of Venda is on a journey to reposition itself as an entrepreneurial service hub through creation of an entrepreneurial culture (SO:6) amongst its, students (SO:1-4), staff, and surrounding communities (SO:15). With that Ms Nembudani has cemented herself in projects led by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Corporate Services, Dr Robert Martin, the Director Community Engagement, Professor Vhonani Netshandama, the Director Institute for Rural Development, Professor Joseph Francis and the Director International Relations and Partnerships, Dr Olusegun Obadire. 

Currently in her free time, Ms Nembudani enjoys being a contributor to Nendila articles and tutoring Mathematics and Science to grade 12 learners on Saturdays through a UNIVEN-led, Bankseta-funded project: ‘Skills for the Future’. 

Issued by:
Department of Marketing, Branding & Communication
University of Venda
Tel: (015) 962 8525 /8710
Date: 30 August 2022 

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