Babalwa Gova, 31

Babalwa is a highly motivated and strong-willed individual who is passionate about women empowerment and leadership and shares this with everyone she interacts with. This has formed her core values, as she embodies this thoroughly.

She began her career with the goal of being an exemplary figure for any young woman who sees herself redefining the norms centred on professional spaces and women. This was the motivation that made her start her company, MaJali Chartered Accountants, in 2017 after working for the Auditor-General since 2012. The CA(SA) profession has allowed her to use the skills she has obtained to develop the community she grew up in through various projects that have contributed and fostered financial growth and economic development in the community. Through a partnership with a local radio station, she shares baby steps to financial freedom with the community with an aim to equip people with the financial literacy they need to better manage their household finances and make better financial decisions.

Through Nalithemba farming, a company she started with the aim of empowering the community to use farming to alleviate difficulties and often extreme financial strain, she contributes to developing the community by creating economic activity that allows them to participate in commercial farming.

She is CEO at MaJali Chartered Accountants and senior audit and technical manager at Kopax Chartered Accountants. Both firms are involved in the training of future CAs(SA) by providing SAICA articles. These roles have not only offering her with an opportunity to lead but also an opportunity to influence and shape the minds of future CAs(SA) through the training programme, and especially understanding the impact it has on a young mind to see a reflection of yourself in a position you admire and aspire to be in. To her, this has been by far her greatest success.

Over the past four years she has successfully spearheaded small and major audits in both the private and public sectors. She always focuses on making every moment a success and a learning opportunity, thereby enforcing the culture of learning for trainees in both these firms.

As an entrepreneur, Babalwa is passionate about helping others to grow sustainable business and contribute meaningfully to the economy. She hosts several programmes within her organisation, which gave birth to ‘SAY G (Share as you Grow) with MaJali’. This project serves as a free coaching platform for entrepreneurs and runs on the YouTube channel ‘SAY G with MaJali’. She interviews business owners who have survived their first 1 000 day in business in different industries, in different age groups and with varying years of experience to share the knowledge they have acquired through their entrepreneurial journey and the tools they have used to build successful businesses.

Her passion for impact has led her on a path of seeking to influence and shape young minds. Since 2019, she has been a part of the UKZN ASI programme, which is aimed at empowering CTA students through mentoring, tutoring and coaching. It has been a satisfying journey for her to have a direct impact in helping others manoeuvre what she considers to be the hardest year of the CA(SA) journey, CTA.

In this world, not a lot of people have the fortune to live their dreams, and Babalwa has had the privilege of not only having the space to dream but the opportunity to fulfil her dreams at a young age.

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