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DIRECTOR INTRODUCTION

NOBUHLE MAKWAKWA

Nobuhle

Tell us about yourself and what motivates you:

As a sociable individual, I love meeting new people and creating new networks. Personal growth and development are strong drivers in my life. I believe that a person should always grow and keep moving from one point to another in all aspects, financially, spiritually, emotionally as well as academically. In my spare time, I enjoy tennis and jogging.

Growing up in Nelspruit, I relocated to Johannesburg where I completed high school and university.

Tell us about your journey and what you havve experienced and learnt at AGORA:

The three-year BSc Construction Studies course presented at the University of Witwatersrand (WITS), incorporates both Quantity Surveying and Project Management. Students are therefore exposed to the theoretical aspects of both practices. During one’s Honours degree, you are required to select the field in which you would prefer to specialize in.
I have been fortunate to start my career with a small construction company. Quantity Surveying services for a construction company are vastly different than that of a consulting company.

Joining AGORA in October 2019, gave me great exposure to both Quantity Surveying and Project Management. Our directors proposed taking on a project management role within the company and I took on the challenge. Thanks to the background gained during my studies, I understand the requirements pertaining to both services. This was an opportunity to expand my knowledge and build my career. I find the project management side of my role enticing and enjoyable.

Another facet of my responsibilities involves the finishing phase and interiors of projects where other components also come into the mix, like imports, different timelines, and different suppliers. My role in these aspects is extremely versatile. During the 2,5 years at AGORA, our directors entrusted me with several large-scale and high-end projects each comprising of unique, intricate requirements. Being involved in all aspects of the project, from construction to interiors, one has a better perspective on the requirements to ensure successful completion and delivery.

What are the key resources that have helped you along the way?

From my early development in life, my parents have set the example and inspired my hunger for knowledge and growth.
Furthermore, the directors, our mentors, the time and trust they invest in our training and development have been invaluable. They have patience to teach us and help us develop our skills.

What are your personal and professional goals?

Firstly, to acquire my professional registration with the South African Council for the Project and Construction Management Profession (SACPCMP).

Secondly, to develop our service delivery and expand our client and project base in the African region. Therefore, we have to create more relationships with clients in Africa and step out into other sectors.

What has been your biggest challenge, and how did you overcome it?

I do not see challenges as an obstacle but approach it as a learning curve and growing opportunity. Starting out, taking on the project manager role, being the client representative and liaison on a large-scale project, was intimidating. As a young professional I was put in a position where I am directly involved in the management of the project, meeting with clients and project teams, and having to ensure that projects are run successfully on the clients’ behalf. Therefore, I quickly had to build the confidence needed, as well as learn to be assertive and address issues when necessary.

What are you most proud of in your career so far?

I have been exposed to opportunities where I have learnt a tremendous amount and significantly grown in a short period of time.
Being appointed as director, and having our directors entrust this responsibility onto me, is a great honour.

How important is company culture to you and what measures do you take to maintain your desired culture?

An open and accepting attitude towards constructive criticism, understanding your team members, their strengths, and their needs, adapting as well as inspiring growing as a unit is very important. It is vital to have a unified team

What are your values as a leader and how would you go about cultivating these values within the team?

Investing time in your team and enhancing individuals’ strengths are important values to incorporate into your approach. Acknowledgement and celebration of outstanding performance are vital.
“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.”

Benjamin Franklin