Full name: Phindile Yende   

Age:38 years old.

Likes: Travel, Reading and Meditation

Dislikes: Dishonesty, Complainers, Negative energy and Individuals who don’t know when to stop talking.

Status: Social Entrepreneur, Published Author, YALI Mandela Washington Alumni, Ambassador-Albertina Sisulu Woman of Fortitude.

I am a proud mom to two amazing boys. A daughter to incredible parents and a sister to wonderful siblings. I have been happily divorced for two years. I have a passion for woman empowerment and up-skilling the youth. I am a social entrepreneur in the healthcare industry. Running a company called Ruo and Rui Medical, proudly named after my sons as it is a legacy, I am building for them. I also run a foundation called the Phindile Yende Foundation that focuses on empowering young woman and girls in the continent, currently running a woman empowerment project in south eastern Africa, Malawi. I am also a published author, of a book called “Yet, You Married Him” which has reached National Bestselling status.                                                                                                                                             

A toxic marriage almost destroyed me. I suffered from depression. I was a physically present mother but yet absent. I didn’t see anything positive in life because of the toxic situation I was in. I lost myself within the marriage, I let go of my dreams, I lost the ambitious woman I have always been in my life. I found myself in a deep dark hole in which I didn’t know how to get myself out of. However, through the love of God and the amazing support structure I have been blessed with, I started remembering who I was. I made a decision to step out of the toxic marriage and focus on my children and me.

In that I let go of all the material things and I cut out the noise that came with the stigma of being divorced. I learnt the hardship and beauty of starting life afresh. And I say hardship because it wasn’t easy financially and emotionally but it built my character so much in that I learnt the importance of faith, persistence and hard work to realize your dreams and that is the beauty of it all because all these are now embedded in me.

Perhaps not, I don’t know. What I know for sure is that I was naive about a lot of things in life. I became too comfortable and complacent when I got married. I grew up being a young girl with big dreams, but the moment I got married, it was no longer about my dreams but his dreams. Something that I know better not to do in my next marriage. Going through a divorce and being divorced showed me how tough I am.  I conquered so many challenges that could have defeated me, I grew spiritually, mentally and emotionally. I became the driven young girl I was and brought so many of my dreams to fruition within a short space of time because I was now in a good space, mentally and emotionally having stepped out from a toxic marriage.

Cut out the cacophony! Focus on yourself and those who are dependent on you and love you. Fill your cup first and when it overflows give of yourself. When your cup is full, you become a better mother, partner, daughter, sister and friend. You become so pleasant that all wonderful things get drawn to you. Every challenge is there to build you into becoming the best version of yourself, look at it with a positive mindset and ask yourself, what is this meant to teach me.

For me women empowerment means pulling as you climb. It means sharing your knowledge and expertise. It means sharing opportunities. It means supporting each other’s dreams. It means being each other’s cheerleaders. It means paving the way forward for those coming from behind. It means seeing the pie big enough for all of us and not closing anyone out. 

I started my medical supplies business part time in 2012, but because I was not fully vested in it. It didn’t work out. In 2017, I registered the business again and I left my job in the pharmaceutical industry after 10 years of work experience to pursue the medical supplies on a full-time basis. I honed my skills at the University of Atlanta in business entrepreneurship. Upon my return I then expanded my business in manufacturing, project management and business consultation within the healthcare industry.   

I am a daughter raised by a man who has always worked for himself. A man who still successfully runs a taxi business and in cattle farming. I believe I just took after him. I saw the freedom he had in doing what he wanted whenever he wanted and became successful in it in his own way. I also do not like being confined because I  have a mind that works overtime and needs to explore, therefore running my own business allows me that freedom and opens up ample opportunities that with hard work and persistence I am able to grasp them and achieve goals that I set for myself. 

An achievement that I never forget about and still talk about to this day because I believe it opened up my mind to how I can achieve anything I set my mind to, is when I was chosen as Deputy Head Girl in High School. In days where Model c schools were still predominantly white and most leadership positions would go to white learners.  The recent achievements are when I was chosen as a Mandela Washington Fellow in 2018 where I was chosen as one of the 700 young African leaders in the continent to be part of the fellowship. In 2018 as well, in the centenary year of Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu I was chosen as one of the 100 women in the country that would carry the spirit of Mama Albertina Sisulu by then Minister of Energy and Chairperson of the IMC. In 2019 I then published my book Yet, You Married Him, which was a huge accomplishment that at one point I thought I would never reach. At this present moment I am celebrating being chosen to be part of the University Of Maryland in the USA 2020-2021 Cohort on their Quest Program, a program that will add great value to my business.

A new book. The Phindile Yende foundation serving in more countries within the continent and Ruo and Rui medical trading outside borders.

I want to leave my footprints in the hearts of those I crossed paths with. A legacy that it should always be about how you can first serve humanity and then money will follow. I want to leave a legacy of buildings on busy highways but within those buildings there is good and honest work ethic.  A legacy of being powerful yet gentle and authentic.  

Facebook: Phindile Yende

Instagram: phindile_yende

Twitter: “PhindileYende

Business website:www.rrmedical.co.za and www.phindileyende.co.za

Name of the Photographer and other credits: Keletso Raletebele @KRPRODUCTIONS

By Naomi M

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