Keneilwe Ndlovu is a Website Content Coordinator from leading retailer group, Clicks. She has a background in journalism, and worked as a news reader early in her career. She transitioned from radio to marketing when she joined City of Johannesburg. Keneilwe shares with us on why a hybrid work model fosters efficiency and opportunities for relationship building. Learn more about her on this segment of Women In Marketing.
Thanks for taking the time to participate in our ‘Women In Marketing’ feature. Where were you born, and what childhood memories stand out for you?
Thank you for featuring me on this platform. I was born and bred in a place called Hammanskraal, North of Pretoria. Memories that stand out for me are playing with my brother and reading – I loved reading books when I was young.
Describe your high school and college years. You were the coolest one, right?
No! I wasn’t the cool one – Just the loudest one with my laughter and very quiet. High School was stressful in the sense that my high schoolmates seemed to know where they were heading and it was a scary time. I was ecstatic when I finished high school. College on the other hand was a walk in the park. I knew what I wanted and that was radio at the time. Funny enough – I ended up in marketing. 🙂
What’s your favourite meal that you wouldn’t share with anyone?
It definitely has to be Pap, spinach and mango atchar!
What would be your plans for a sudden $10 million windfall if you were to receive it tomorrow?
Start a business that focuses on SEO and websites and invest the rest in a lucrative business.
Can you share an interesting fact or hidden talent not found on your LinkedIn profile? Previous Women in Marketing candidate Anastasia Hamel says that she can breathe fire!
My hidden talent is my voice! Not a lot of people that I work with know that I was a news reader for local radio in my early career years.
Career and Work
How do you typically start your day, and are you #TeamCoffee, #TeamTea, or both?
I start my day with a fire-deep house music selection, to get my groove on and a cup of rooibos tea.
What inspired you to pursue a career in marketing? Didn’t the “I want to become a doctor” bug bite you?
To be quite honest, marketing found me. I wanted to be a radio jockey hence, I studied Journalism. Then, I got an opportunity to intern at the City of Johannesburg as a web and social media intern. That’s how I got into marketing.
You have an SEO Certificate from Simplilearn (You Go Girl!!). Considering the rise of online educational platforms like Simplilearn, Coursera and Google Skillshop, how do you foresee the future of tertiary-based education?
I doubt they will affect the future of tertiary-based education. Online educational platforms just add to the skills that you already have. They can never replace tertiary institutions.
Many industries had to create systems overnight that would enable their respective workforces to work from home due to the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic. What’s your perspective on remote and hybrid work, and how have you dealt with its challenges? Do you have a preference?
My preference is hybrid. It gives you the best of both worlds in the sense that you get an opportunity to create relationships at work and have the ability to work from home if you need to. Working in the office strengthens the relationships you have with your colleagues and helps you understand the type of people you are working with. Whereas, with remote role is the opposite.
AI is the hot topic of the day, most specifically, generative AI tools like ChatGPT and Google Bard. How do you address the challenges you face in your day-to-day responsibilities? Are there tools you’d like to plug us with?
My plug is CSS Tutorial: https://www.w3schools.com/css/ for those who would like to dabble in code and who did not study IT like me. This is my plug for you! 🙂
According to the WEF, the pandemic caused a 4.2% reduction in women’s employment compared to 3% of men (from 2019 to 2020). How can organisations better support women and mothers, especially in light of the pandemic’s impact on women in the workplace?
Women should be allowed flexibility in the workplace. The flexibility to fetch kids from school and work from home, if something arises at home. When going through a combination of symptoms women get about a week or two before their period. It would be considerate if organisations could have leave days for when women are going through their monthly cycles.
How can organisations ensure equal opportunities for women to advance into executive positions?
Equal opportunities equate to giving women opportunities to study further and give them a chance to lead. This would be through providing women with roles in executive positions.
2023 and Beyond
How have you been since the start of the pandemic, and have there been any significant personal or professional moments from then until now?
The pandemic had a huge toll on me as I was working from home and the work environment did not help. I am in a better space now; I have grown in my career – I have the most amazing colleagues in the whole wide world who believe in my skill sets and my can-do attitude. From now on – I believe I will grow in both aspects, professionally and personally.
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your younger self?
Speak up, stand your ground and be confident in yourself. 😀
What are your personal or professional goals and aspirations for the future? We hope to see you on Forbes’ Most Influential CMOs list. No pressure!
Hahaha! I would love,love,love to get into human behaviour more and data. My goal is to be a Marketing Analyst.
Who are some of your sheroes?
Lelo Klass, my line manager and a lady who works for Colgate Palmolive, Katlego.
What are you currently reading, and how do you consume your content?
I am not much of a reader, I prefer podcasts. Anything that I read is online content and its mostly web and SEO trends content. I prefer.
What are you currently streaming that you’d recommend?
I am not streaming anything at the moment. However, I would like to recommend a documentary, Seaspiracy.
You wake up one day, and before you know it, you are nearing retirement. What would you like your professional legacy to be? Furthermore, what do your colleagues and superiors admire about you the most?
My work ethic and the CAN-DO attitude!
We are always looking for amazing Women In Marketing to profile. Who would you like us to get in touch with?
I would like you to get in touch with Portia Motsepe, she’s currently an Acting Deputy Director of Corporate Marketing at the City of Johannesburg.
Share a unique message for young professionals in the marketing industry.
Stay true to yourself. Work smart and be patient with your journey in marketing and you will get to your desired destination in your career.
Thank you for your time, Keneilwe. We hope this interview will inspire future leaders and other Women in Marketing. How can people follow you and your company on social media?
Thank you so much for the interview! Super grateful for participating in Women in Marketing.
Wishing you all the best with this platform – hope it grows bigger and bigger. 🙂