Graduate School of Business
and Leadership

Acquiring Academic Knowledge – A Recipe for Success for Durban Entrepreneur

Obtaining new knowledge and continuous professional development has been the recipe for business success for Durban entrepreneur Mr Chuma Ngombane who recently added UKZN’s Postgraduate Diploma in Leadership to his long list of academic and professional qualifications.

After gaining substantial experience in major Information Communication Technology (ICT) companies in South Africa and training in Australia, Ngombane established his first business, Khanyisa Technologies, a Level 1 BBBEE certified company that specialises in business ICT solutions.

Understanding that approximately 20% of small, medium and micro enterprises fail within the first year of operations, Ngombane managed to remain standing albeit a change in direction that was brought about by the negative impacts that the current global pandemic had on the economy.

Ngombane was successful in seamlessly branching into the business of Firearm training, enabled by the knowledge of change management gained through academic programmes such as the Postgraduate Diploma in Leadership offered by UKZN’s Graduate School of Business and Leadership (GSB&L). The programme enables business leaders to process knowledge; lead constructively in a complex and uncertain environment; engage in the critical self-reflection required for the development of personal mastery; create, organise and lead teams effectively and construct, propose and synthesise leadership tools for systemic change; examine and formulate appropriate responses to global challenges; and formulate, propose and evaluate strategy pertaining to organisational leadership. Hence, he was able to tap into his individual potential during the time of crisis and turn his passion for firearms into another business, KTECH Firearm Training, which facilitates group and individual training in the use of firearms for business or private use.

As an active business leader, and upon review of his previous approaches to business, he realised that technical expertise is not sufficient to run a business and thus embarked on continuous learning, especially in management and leadership. He said: ‘I believe that business leaders have to be well-informed and well-rounded in terms of knowledge because providing the vision and motivating teams to achieve the organisational goals is of paramount importance for any company. It also contributes to job creation.’

Ngombane’s academic and industry qualifications set him apart as he is able to operate in diverse business contexts, and these include a Bachelor of Technology in Management and a Specialist Project Management Certificate from the Durban University of Technology and a National Diploma in Electrical Engineering from Walter Sisulu University. He is a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer; is recognised by the Computing Technology Industry Association (CTIA) as a Systems Security and Network Engineer; and holds a Computer Engineering qualification (CompTIA A+) from the CTIA and SANS 10142 Electrical Installation Rules 1 and 2 from eThekwini TVET College. He is registered as a professional firearms instructor and assessor with the South African Professional Firearm Trainers Council and the South African Police Service. Ngombane is currently pursuing a full research Master of Commerce in Leadership Studies focusing on ICT through the GSB&L.

Ngombane was elected by his colleagues of the class of 2020-2021 as their representative. ‘Being in this leadership position enhanced my engagement skills through exposure to various processes and structures of Higher Education Institutions which I would not ordinarily engage with. Dealing with managers from various backgrounds contributed to my knowledge base and expanded my network of professionals and business associates,’ he commented.

Proud of his achievement he said: ‘It is an amazing feeling to achieve an academic qualification because it symbolises that I was consistent and committed to meeting the requirements. I feel empowered, especially during these interesting and challenging times we live in.’

Words: Hazel Langa

Photograph: Abhi Indarajan