Ongama Mtimka, PhD Candidate (2014-2017)
Ongama is a strategist and entrepreneur with over 12 years’ experience in marketing communications, executive support, and small business development services. He is the founder and chief executive of Lawula Group, and is completing his PhD, researching effective ways for small business representation in the construction sector.
His business interests include communications and publishing company, Truesight Communications with a flagship Magazine, Hluma, a guide to business opportunities in the Eastern Cape, a business registration company, Bizcafe, and a company providing business plans, feasibility studies and business development services, Lawula Investments.
Ongama is a qualified Business Coach and Mentor through SEDA and the International Labour Organisation. He has completed the internationally acclaimed Emptretec entrepreneurship development programme run by UNCTAD, and a competency certificate in Strategic management from Rhodes University Business School. He holds a Bachelor of Arts (Journalism) from Rhodes and Masters in South African Politics and Political Economy from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.
Prior to venturing into business fulltime, Ongama worked in marketing, investment promotion, and executive support at Coega, Public Relations, events management and media relations at Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, and as an External Relations Manager at the internationally renowned Ubuntu Education Fund, responsible for fundraising and major donor management. He has taught economics and business economics at high school level and Journalism and Political studies at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.
Having worked in a retail and farming family business since he was 14, Ongama has always been involved in one form of business or another since the start of his formal working career at Coega Development Corporation about 10 years ago. He started in network marketing, selling health products and share-investment schemes. In 2010, following a business trip to India, Ongama and his wife started an 11-seat outbound call centre. The business failed and provided valuable business lessons for the two.
Ongama chairs the Boards of Directors of Isidima Development Council and Bophelo Impilo Development Centre.