Think positive and win

Xolile Bhengu

Xolile Bhengu

Near-tragic circumstances of an illness in her family propelled one woman from being an employee into entrepreneurship.

Nombuso Radebe is the owner of Shapes for Women gym, the first black franchisee of the femaleonly gym.

"My mother Pumla, who is also my business partner, was very sick from bronchitis and pneumonia.

"The doctor advised her to join a gym to help speed up her recovery.

"We took the idea a step further and opened our own gym when we heard about the Shapes for Women franchise. I thought what better place to get a workout than at your own gym," she said.

The gym, which is located in Centurion, was launched in June last year and has been bringing Radebe welcome attention.

The 25-year-old former human resources assistant is certain that her gym will be a success, and is not threatened by established gyms such as a well-known one in Midrand.

Radebe said she had always wanted to help women in some way and the opening of the gym had helped her to fulfil that dream. "This is hopefully the first of many branches that I will own. It feels fantastic to be the first black owner of the franchise."

She said the gym, as with all the other franchises, lived by what they called three M's: no men, no mirrors, and no make-up.

"The women who come into our gym are treated as individuals and not as numbers, and we help them to formulate a workout that fits their goal of either weight loss, fitness, or just wanting to tone their bodies," said Radebe.