When you meet Vumile Msweli, it doesn’t take long to realise that you’re in the presence of a leader—someone with vision and irresistible energy. She is a force in the business world, from being an executive in multinational corporations to her current role as CEO of Hesed Consulting. Her story is a compelling testimony to the power of ambition, grit, and a whole lot of education.
Harnessing Education as the Gateway to the World
Vumile recalls her formative years with a sense of pride and earnestness, crediting education as her foundational stone. “My career journey began in banking from the contact center and quickly accelerated to an executive role,” she says. “Education has been, for me, the key to the world.”
And when she talks about education, she is not speaking lightly. With degrees from two South African universities, an MBA from the University of London, certificates from the University of New York and Harvard, and an ongoing Doctorate in Applied Leadership from Switzerland’s Monarch University, her educational background is nothing short of impressive.
“Education allowed me to work in incredible places like Singapore, Germany, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, and South Africa,” she explains, emphasising the value of the global exposure she gained.
A Catalyst for Change: From Corporate to Coaching
It was during her corporate career, however, that Vumile began to feel a sense of frustration. “I was a young executive facing challenges and wanted a coach who looked like me and understood my struggles,” she says. The unavailability of such a figure was her catalyst for becoming a transformational career coach.
“Someone who not only empathised but understood what it was like to be an African female pursuing excellence while climbing the corporate ladder,” she adds.
Now, she offers that very service through Hesed Consulting. “It keeps me busy, but I truly believe in work-life fluidity,” she says, emphasising the symbiotic relationship between her work and personal life. “Hesed Consulting is the channel that enables me to fulfill my life’s calling; to help people have successful and fulfilling careers.”
Shattering Ceilings and Climbing Cliffs
One of the most noteworthy aspects of Vumile’s story is her dedication to breaking societal and professional biases—especially those faced by women in the corporate world. “To break these biases is for it to be normal to have a board or the African or European Union presidents be predominantly female,” she states. Her firm’s board consists entirely of African women from around the globe, creating opportunities and platforms for others to succeed.
She doesn’t stop at career coaching. Vumile is a strong advocate for women-led SMEs. “Creating a culture of leaving the door open in every room you enter makes it easier for other women to come in after you,” she explains, encouraging others to actively use services and products from women-led businesses.
Building Bridges and Overcoming Challenges
Vumile’s work transcends borders, but she acknowledges the complexities of doing business across African nations. “The biggest misconception is that Africa is the same; we may have the same hue, but are far from homogenous,” she says. Vumile often immerses herself in the culture of each new place she ventures into, seeking local expertise to understand the value systems and to build relationships.
Discussing her personal relationship with Nigerians and the wider Nigeria-South Africa relationship, she expresses genuine love and admiration for Nigeria. “Nigeria is filled with African excellence, ambitious, hardworking people who strive to embody the African dream,” she states, highlighting the potential for both nations to step into true leadership roles on the continent.
Vumile Msweli is much more than her titles. She’s a dedicated coach, a global leader, a passionate advocate for women, and above all, a lifelong learner. “I invest in my team, take time to cultivate relationships with my family and friends, and get very comfortable on my knees, seeking God for His Will for my life,” she says.
With her wisdom, empathy, and indomitable spirit, Vumile Msweli will undoubtedly continue to shatter glass ceilings, empower others, and redefine what success can look like for African women on a global stage.
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