Zanele Nkosi from Masslift unpacks her new frame of mind

Since joining the Masslift Africa team, Zanele’s aspirations and her opinion of financial careers have both changed.

Zanele Nkosi is the financial manager of Masslift Africa, the sole distributor of Mitsubishi forklifts in Southern Africa. She is the second-in-command of Thembi Mazibuko, the CFO at Masslift, and they form a close-knit team.

“Thembi is a great mentor,” comments Zanele. “I think the most valuable lesson that I’ve learned from her,is the importance of accountability. If you commit an error, you need to communicate it and step up to the plate. She told me that it is vital to be accountable and to take ownership of mistakes. I have also learned the importance of teamwork and that everyone’s contribution is important.”

Zanele has been the financial manager at Masslift since September 2021, and is responsible for financial reports, payments and the management of the creditors and debtors’ departments.

The empowering climate at Masslift has even changed her future goals, according to Zanele. “To be honest, before I joined Masslift, and before I was under the leadership of Thembi, I told myself that I am definitely not venturing into a finance-related position after my articles,” states Zanele.

“The main reason why I was reluctant to be in a financial position after my articles was because I felt that the finance environment at that time was not challenging and different. I felt that every month you basically do the same thing over and over. So, the plan was for me to head into a strategy position. But when I joined Masslift that totally changed, and I honestly think what changed my initial feelings towards a finance position was how Thembi manages the team.”

Zanele says that Thembi gives her the platform to take initiative. “Thembi helps you to understand the bigger picture: we are not only reporting on the numbers, but we are directly responsible for ensuring that the company is successful. With her I get hands-on experience. One example is, that she gave me the opportunity to do the budget write-up that was submitted to the board. It demonstrated to me that she trusts my expertise.

“I had mentioned before that one of my key strengths is that I enjoy report writing. It showed me that she pays attention to her team and to our conversations on my likes and dislikes. She managed to change my aspirations, and I would like to become a CFO one day.”

What initially attracted her to the world of finance, was a teacher’s motivation. Zanele showed a natural aptitude for mathematics and accounting and her accounting teacher was the one who spotted her potential.

“The teacher told me about various financial positions, and she advised me to become a chartered accountant. I was in grade 10 at the time and had no idea what a CA’s job entailed, but I then started researching.”

Her teacher’s motivation and her research were the impetus that she needed and Zanele then focused on the pursuit of an accounting degree and career.

Working at Masslift
Zanele enjoys being part of a team at Masslift. “If you are uncertain about something, there is always someone who will assist you. No question is foolish, and it is not a space where I’m always supposed to have the answers. I enjoy that it is an environment where learning is actively encouraged.”

At Masslift, she has learnt that hard work pays off and that the extra mile does count; that communication is key in the workplace, and that one should always manage expectations.

Her other interests
Zanele is passionate about interior design and home-improvement projects. “The world of finance can be quite challenging and stressful, and I have found that the creativity of DIY projects has meditative effects and acts as an instant mood booster.”

Her passion for design has led her to open a small business called Zee Home on Instagram. “It is still a work in progress as I’m currently trying to figure out how I can streamline it to my other projects. My business only sells diffusers at the moment, but the long-term goal is to sell other homeware items such as scatter cushions, vases and candles. My goal is to create luxurious products at a reasonable price and give people products that bring a sense of style and personality into their homes.”

She is also a book lover and enjoys both fiction and non-fiction and is a member of a book club. “I don’t even own a television as there is not enough time for reading, watching shows and designing,” she says.