Meet Tumi Hlongwane, Founder and CEO of Mohau Capital (PTY) Ltd, 32

Three years Tumi Hlongwane took one of the most courageous leaps of her life and established her own company. Mohau Capital is an advisory company that offers valuations, raises capital and performs due diligence to various market sectors. Tumi describes herself a dreamer and a believer, adding that to her, nothing is impossible.

It was this brave attitude that helped her as she set up Mohau Capital. “You don’t realise how easy it is when you have a boss behind you, directing you from the side-lines with an infrastructure and an established brand to lean on,” she reflects.

Building a corporate finance business on her own was a different matter entirely, yet Tumi found her position as advisor to her clients, bidding for major transactions, many of which received coverage in the media, extremely fulfilling. She admits that it took courage – she was out of her comfort zone and pushing herself on a daily basis in order to build a track record for Mohau Capital. Track records, she says, are critical in this business. 

Tumi defies the typical stereotype which many people apply to CAs – that of deskbound people happy to spend their lives in a corporate, office environment. She loves the outdoors, meeting people and working from inspiring spaces. Recently she even had to purchase a pair of gumboots to visit one of her clients in agriculture. Swapping her suit and high heels for this sensible footwear, she says ruefully, was an exciting change for her.

Always encouraged by a challenge, Mohau Capital has worked on some difficult projects – for example, helping to raise capital for a client in agriculture at the height of South Africa’s recent drought. “We packaged the opportunity to founders in a way that demonstrated sustainability and a strong business case in the midst of a tough economic climate,” Tumi reports.

More expansion is in the pipeline for the business as Mohau Capital is starting to get mandates in other parts of Africa.

Tumi is also involved in a number of corporate social investment (CSI) initiatives; including Friends of Diyatalawa, a community upliftment project in the Free State, where a computer centre has been built to help the community of Diyatalawa to become computer literate. She also volunteers as a trustee for LoveLife, a national youth upliftment programme.

In addition, Tumi serves on the boards of both Mintek and LoveLife, and is a fellow of the African Leadership Initiative, a fellowship focused on value based leadership principles that is associated with the Aspen Institute.

It’s no surprise that Tumi welcomes challenge in her personal life too, and as such she is an avid runner, having completed four international marathons, and is aiming to complete her fifth marathon this year. 

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