From aspiring teacher to a qualified Tax practitioner and CEO
By Lerato Mashile
This young, strong and independent 26-year-old from Durban has become the CEO of Muna Accounting and Tax Services.
Growing up, Ziningi Mazibuko always wanted to be a teacher as she admired the work ethic of her 2 late sisters who were also teachers. That swiftly changed when she got to high school and discovered her love for Accounting. “Even though I didn’t know what it takes to be an Accountant, I just told myself that this is the career I knew I wanted.”
It was at the Guaranteed Trust Work Readiness program where she envisioned herself in 5 years wanting to be a tax practitioner. “I look back as I was holding my certificate as a qualified SAICA Tax Practitioner and the affiliate member of the Centre of Tax Excellence. I thought that if I can set such goals for myself then I can be more than a tax practitioner and that inspired me to start my own company”.
Muna Accounting and Tax Services is a young startup that is 100% women-owned. What started as a conversation with a friend regarding company registrations and company names turned out to be just the seed needed to grow this dream. Ziningi tells of a personal story behind the name of the company. “Muna is one of my clan names which was fondly used by my late father and those who knew him, as a sign of respect.”
One of the biggest lessons she learnt when she transitioned from being an employee to being an employer was that “We are all different. When you are in a workspace you apply professional work etiquette. The key to making your working environment healthy is being able to work together, professionally and ethically.”
Since Muna Accounting and Tax Services Company is a young start-up, Ziningi, alongside her employees, are driven and ambitious in establishing their name as well as making their business a household name within their profession. “We also seek to establish a long term and professional relationship with all our current and prospective clients.”
With the unemployment rate hitting a staggering 29.1 per cent in the 3rd Quarter of 2019. According to Stats SA, one of her long-term goals is to help curb unemployment. “We wish to create employment opportunities for young professionals who also aspire to be qualified professional accountants or tax practitioners. In order for us to achieve that, it is important for us to create a working environment that is aligned with our goals.”
While the profession of accounting and finance is deemed a male-dominated industry, Ziningi was fortunate enough to have worked in accounting practices that are owned by women which is where her inspiration draws from. Seeing the hard work, they put in as well as the challenges they face in a male-dominated industry in order to be successful proves that as young women, we should never limit ourselves.”
When asked if she has ever caught herself being ungrateful, she states that “As a person who wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth, I have always been grateful for everything I have and everything my family has done for me. In terms of my career goals, getting to where I am right now and reaching my goal like an extreme sport because there are so many challenges that I faced. I have no room to be ungrateful.”
As an avid reader, Ziningi credits the book, Eye Bags and Dimples by Bonnie Mbuli as the book that changed her life. “Her story really touched my heart and reading that book was a rollercoaster ride of mixed emotions. I was very inspired especially looking at where she comes from, the things she has been through, and where she is now taught me that giving up is never an option. I see Bonnie as a very strong black woman even though we never know the reasons why things happen to us. The simple understanding that things happen at their own pace is the beauty of it.”
In a world that is constantly looking for mentors and people to look up to, Ziningi says that the person that makes her better at what she does is herself. “I am always looking for ways to constantly improve myself in terms of my career goals and life in general. It has never been about winning a race but finishing it. Perseverance is important because sometimes you go through situations that make you want to quit. I have taught myself that whether I run, walk or crawl, the aim is to get to the finish line. This goes for setting my goals from start to finish no matter how long it takes me.”
As the epitome of hard work and perseverance, Ziningi says that she wants to be remembered as someone who touches every person, she crosses paths with. “I want people to say they aspire to be better versions of themselves because our uniqueness is what makes us who we are.”