Motswako Office Solutions proves that people living with disabilities can become business owners and contribute to growing South Africa’s economic growth.

Entrepreneur and business owner used her experience in the corporative environment and mental strength to conquer her disability and not just be an asset to individuals wanting to climb the corporate ladder by having a person living with a disability on their team.

Sebenzile Matsebula is the CEO of Motswako Office Solutions, a leading brand of document solutions in Africa. Driven by her passion and ambition for life, Matsebula is a force to be reckoned with in the corporate world. To date, the company has employed one hundred and thirty one people.

Motswako offers a range of services and is responsible for maintaining clients’ equipment by supplying necessary consumables and providing back-up support to the extent that they physically locate technicians to clients who have large scale businesses. In addition, they arrange in-house finance for businesses in need by providing them with Mostwako’s financial partners, who customise financial packages to suit the client’s every need.

“The company is doing well with a number of reputable clients such: as Discovery Holdings, Eskom, AON and ASPEN, as well as government departments.

At the tender age of ten months Matsebula was diagnosed with Poliomyelitis, known as polio or infantile paralysis. Growing up, her parents gave her lots of love and advised her to use her mental strength to conquer challenging situations. “My parents inspired me to live a full life from when I was young. I attended a mainstream multi-racial school in the 60’s and had to compete with non-disabled children from an early age. At school I was teased until my father advised me how to counteract it. He told me to use my intellect and not my physical strength. So I worked hard and got top positions at school,” said Matsebula.

Matsebula mentions that entrepreneurship was not part of her original plan. She was happy working as a Director in the Presidency up until she was hunted by some business men who wanted her to join them in order to upgrade their BEE scorecard. “When they landed me on their team they scored high as they had a black woman with a disability and paid me one salary for 3 different scores. That is how I ended up in the entrepreneur space. I then took up the mantle of entrepreneurship and ran with it,” said Matsebula.

Motswako did not succeed without its challenges, however, Matsebula strongly believed that all business had their challenges when starting out, and notes that for entrepreneurs with a disability these challenges are multiplied and are much greater than those of non-disabled entrepreneurs.

Matsebula laments that “access to capital was a big challenge for me and physical access to venues was no exception. Unfortunately many meeting venues still remain inaccessible to wheelchair users and lack of support from government.” She adds that the South African government has amazing policies that act to support people with disabilities in business. However in reality these are just words on paper because their implementation is lacking.”

Apart from business, Matsebula serves as a board member for companies and committees commissioned by government Ministers. She also does a lot of philanthropist work supporting NGOs of people living with disabilities and mentoring young women with disabilities in development initiatives.

Matsebula believes that disabled entrepreneurs can rise to become great in what they do if they stay focused.  She advises entrepreneurs to “be passionate about your business. When offered an opportunity ensure that you deliver to the best of your ability with no short cuts,”Matsebula said.


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