Full name: Thando Lamula-Shirinda
Likes: Comfortable life, self-sustainability, wealth, good health and education (being informed).
Dislikes: Poverty, instability, non-accountability
Please tell us about yourself.
I am an individual who is driven by success. I believe that I have outstanding, professional, social and
academic accolades. I am a mother to the liveliest 3-year-old girl- Nkateko Shirinda and a wife, friend
and partner to Languta Shirinda. I am also a daughter to the most amazing parents Adele and John
Lamula. I sadly lost my father in March 2019; he played a vital role in my life and I shall forever cherish
him and my mom.
Professionally, I am an International Tax Specialist and currently I am in the employ of one of the most
reputable financial institutions in South Africa as a Trust and Fiduciary Manager taking care of
international and local investments. I have previously been employed by entities such as PwC, SARS
(Large Business Centre) and Sanlam (Private Wealth).
I am a Ministerial appointee Council Member of the South West Gauteng TVET College. In that Council, I
serve as a Deputy Chairperson and a Chairperson of the Planning and Governance Committee.
Due to my passion for education and to empower the underprivileged, I have founded an Education
Foundation and I am a member of Board of Trustees at the Sui-Generis Foundation Trust.
My professional membership includes being a Master Tax Practitioner endorsed by the South African
Institute of Tax Practitioners (SAIT), I am also a member of the Fiduciary Institute of Southern Africa
(FISA). I also hold a membership through the Progressive Professionals Forum (PPF).
I am academically exposed as I hold four degrees. The list of degrees which I have includes a Master of
Commerce (Taxation), a Postgraduate Diploma in Law (Taxation), a Postgraduate Diploma in Law
(Compliance and Corporate Governance) and a Bachelor of Commerce (Law).
Due to my social and philanthropic background I was crowned Mrs Africa 2020 by Africa Pageants in
November 2020 and I am thus the reigning queen Mrs Africa 2020.
Please share with us an experience that almost destroyed you, an experience that almost cost you
your life, however you decided to go out there and Fetch Your Life
In my early twenties I was involved a romantic relationship which was very toxic and abusive. Due to
lack of exposure, I was of the view that the abuse was normal because I would hear my mates talking
about how their partners hit them. However, given the type of background which I have, something
inside of me kept on saying “this is not normal”. To give perspective, I come from a very warm and
loving home. Throughout my life, I have never seen my late father abuse or ill-treat my mother. I had
nevertheless placed myself in a physically and emotionally abusive relationship. It came to a point where
my then abusive boyfriend squeezed my jaw and my teeth retainer fell off, (I had braces as a teenager
and the retainer was implanted). At that time, I used to spend a lot of time with my late aunt (maternal),
she and I were very close. She noticed that something was wrong and managed to get me to talk about
the abuse. Initially, I was reluctant to say anything as I was very scared of my abusive ex-boyfriend. My
aunt threatened to tell my parents about her suspicions if I did not tell her what was happening in my
life, I therefore had to talk. Although it was not easy to talk, I eventually did, and I am truly grateful that I
had someone like my aunt. Upon telling her she got me professional help. Because I refused to lay
charges (which I regret today), we developed a plan to ensure that my abusive ex-boyfriend does not get
hold of me. At that time, I was supposed to pursue my undergraduate studies at through the University
of Free State, but I then relocated to Johannesburg and enrolled at Midrand Graduate Institute. I was
very fortunate that all I had to do was to talk and I got help. A lot of women stay in toxic relationships
for one reason or the other.
How has this experience impacted your life?
That experience made me cherish my life and strive for the best and always put myself first. I learnt
early in life that I should never settle for less and I should set standards and boundaries
Do you think that had it not been for this experience you would have become the person you are?
I have always been a driven person; I believe that that experience was a toxic set back which gave me
perspective of how I should be treated by anyone.
What advise do you have for someone that has been through the same experience?
The advice which I would give some that has been though a similar ordeal as mine is that that person
should get professional help and not protect an abuser. Over the years and out of societal exposure, I
have noticed that many women stay in toxic relationships due to issues like having children from that
relationship, financial dependence, personal insecurities etc. The list of examples is lengthy but what I
realised is that one of the solutions for such is independence. By independence, I refer to being able to
self-sustain irrespective of one’s circumstances. I am advocate of independence and total equality for
What does women Empowerment mean to you?
Being able to self-sustain and contribute towards the society and economy actively. If a woman is able
to self-sustain, she can take care of her external environment.
Tell us about your business history.
Apart from being a professional, I have founded my company Sui-Generis Group in 2012. This company
is a parent company (holding company) of Sui-Generis Transportation and Sui-Generis Consulting. In
2019 the Sui-Generis Foundation Trust was registered as an NPO wing of the Sui-Generis Group. The Sui
Generis Foundation provide education enrichment to the under privileged. It sources and offers
bursaries, scholarships, career guidance and offers grade 12 learners with tertiary application
What inspired you to start your business/NPO
In 2011 my employment contract was uncertain, I therefore registered a transportation company and
while in the process of hoping for employment or even buying a business vehicle, I worked as a driver
for my parents. My business was therefore influenced or inspired by job insecurities.
My NGO was inspired by being troubled lack of higher education in society.
What are some of your achievements?
Holding M. Com (Tax) degree, being appointed as a Council Member by the Minister of Higher Education
and being crowned Mrs Africa 2020
What should we expect from you in 2021?
I work on 5-year plans 2021 is a silent year for me. I will just be learning a new skill and improving on the
skills I have. I would also be spending more time with family and spoiling my mom.
What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind?
I would like to contribute positively to society. It is my dream to see women educating themselves and
being able to self-sustain with or without their male counterparts. I believe in an equal society and my
moto in life is “a learning nation is a winning nation”.
Facebook: General-Thando Lamula
Business website: www.sui-generis.co.za
Full name: Thando Lamula-Shirinda