Nelly Shezi and her entrepreneurial venture, Elegance Line Chemicals, seem to be set for the stars.
That is if Elizabeth Thabethe, the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, is on the money. Thabethe sang praises of Shezi at an international affair and in so doing joined the judges of the highly contested Africa SMME of the Year Award who recognised Shezi’s potential and declared her 2013 winner of the Best Industrial Sector category.
Speaking at an Investment and Trade Initiative (ITI) event in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in Kinshasa this week, Thabethe may have raised further the flag of Shezi’s company Elegance Line Chemicals. The firm which manufactures and distributes a variety of chemical products; including domestic and industrial commodity chemicals; lubricants, personal care products and water treatment solutions, has already began a bold foray across the SADC region. The 34 years old KwaZulu-Natal businesswoman, Shezi, was part of the DRC delegation led by Thabethe this week presumably to search for more fortunes within the SADC region. The DTI reported that Shezi also formed part of the DTI’s delegation to China last week and participated in the international exhibitions in Beijing and Shanghai. This could immensely benefit the company with a Durban-based chemicals-manufacturing facility.
A statement released by the DTI says Elegance Line Chemicals has also established branches in Johannesburg, Kokstad, Angola, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. “They are currently in the throes of opening branches in Mpumalanga, Botswana, and Zambia with the aim of eventually establishing presence in the whole of the SADC region. She is hoping her mission to the DRC will also bear fruits”.
In her praises Thabethe said “I am proud to announce that we have an award-winning businesswoman amongst us here tonight who really did this country proud by conquering Africa and won a prestigious award”.
Thabethe added that Shezi is a good ambassador for all entrepreneurs and an inspiration to all businesswomen in South Africa.
“We need more dedicated, hard-working and persevering entrepreneurs of the calibre of Shezi in South Africa who are prepared to put their shoulders on the wheel and work hard for the success of their businesses. Being crowned the best small enterprise in Africa is an impressive achievement that will inspire other entrepreneurs, particularly women in South Africa and the continent in general,” added Thabethe.
Shezi is reported to have been “humbled and honoured by Thabethe’s unexpected recognition”.
Shezi is quoted saying “I did not expect to win the award as the competition was extremely tough with all the thirty finalists having their sights firmly set on the top prize. But we are proud of this memorable achievement as it means that we are on the right track and in the right direction as a company. We are aspiring to graduate from the small enterprise to being one of the biggest companies in the continent”.