Three women just what country needs

Lumka Funani is an expert on executive recruitment and retention and she's is on a mission to save South Africa.

Lumka Funani is an expert on executive recruitment and retention and she's is on a mission to save South Africa.

Funani is a renowned opinion-maker in the human resource field and heads Lumka & Associates, which specialises in the placement of top black executives.

Armed with a wealth of experience she has accumulated over the past 15 years since starting her business, Funani has placed more than 100000 executives.

She recently filled nearly 200 positions when industry players thought all was dead and buried.

Interestingly, her recruitment business did not come by mistake.

A qualified nurse, Funani was a matron at Lesedi private hospital in Diepkloof, Soweto, when she decided to "do something" about an issue that was on everyone's lips at the time.

"People had this belief that there were no black executives good enough to lead organisations.

"I did not believe this, so I started the company to find the top black executives and have not looked back.

"Since then I have placed black executives all over South Africa and they have done extremely well.

"I can say that no other company, from those already in the business when we started to those established at the same time, have placed black executives the way we have done," she says.

Funani has placed black executives in big companies such as the Land Bank, World Bank, Nedcor, the Mining Qualifications Authority, Robben Island, the National Intelligence Agency and Mafube Publishers.

As a South African company, Funani says competing with international recruitment firms has not been easy. She points out that quality work, quick turnaround times and providing support to her executives is what has set her apart from her competitors, earning her the status of being one of the country's leading black executives head-hunters.

After single-handedly running her company for years, Funani decided to team up with two other black women whose expertise in business solutions have made them a force to be reckoned with.

Now these three resultsdriven women want to help the government with service delivery.

"We want to take South Africa by storm. Our aim is to monitor service delivery, work closely with various departments and give them support, just like we do with our executives after placing them. We maintain contact and have follow-up meetings to make sure that they have all the support they need," she says.

But why does Funani and her partners think they can take on the government?

"We are tired of these service delivery complaints and want to do something about it," she says. "Obviously we won't bite more than we can chew. I also believe that I'm a risk taker and that's exactly what one should be because you'll never know what you can do until you try."

She says their intention is to find a balance between a person's ability and his-her potential and close the gap.

"Firstly we have to acknowledge that nobody is perfect. We need to help close this existing gap to have a fully fledged manager. If we can understand the importance of working together, of training and monitoring performance, we will not fail to make good managers," she says.

While Funani believes that as a woman she has to triple her efforts in order to be heard and acknowledged compared with her male counterparts. Focus and faith in her abilities are what keeps her going.

With experience from her highly specialised and competitive industry, coupled with her passion for success, helping out a few managers in government may just be what the country needs.