Dr Ndlukula and Mr Busisa Moyo plant a tree at Milton High School in Bulawayo
DR Divine Simbi-Ndhlukula, the founder and managing director of Securico Security Services, one of Zimbabwe’s largest security companies offering diversified security services and systems is a champion of women empowerment.
With over 4 000 employees, Securico became the first private security company to advocate for the inclusion of women as security guards in the country.
Today, the company employs 900 female security guards who are stationed in bigger spaces including banking halls across the country.
Founded in a kitchen in Harare in 1998, with only four employees, Securico became the first indigenous security company in Zimbabwe to offer asset/cash-in-transit services in 2002.
Dr Ndhlukula has won many local regional and international awards for business excellence. In 2012, she was recognised by Forbes Magazine as “One of the Most Successful Women in Africa.”
Dr Divine Simbi-Ndhlukula
However, her most prized award is seeing women economically empowered, a space she has a serious passion for having gotten women accepted in the security sector.
She pioneered the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) Women’s Desk initiatives like WECA, Woman Owned Brand, Mentorship in Practice, and Look Learn and Share.
Last month, Dr Ndhlukula, a former president of ZNCC, was inducted into the Business Excellence (BEX) Institute, the world’s only global business excellence membership body, Excellence Hall of Fame.
She also holds two Masters in Business Administration from Midlands State University and a PhD from the Women’s University.
Dr Ndlukula hands pocket money to a student at Eveline high school
Dr Ndhlukula runs Women Owned Business Trust (WOBT), which caters for the registration and uplifting of women’s businesses. She said the inclusion of women in a male-dominated environment was a challenge she dedicated herself to overcoming as clients were sceptical about having women guard their valuables.
“I make no apologies for being an activist for women. I grew up during a time when we were really back-footed in the 1970s and that is why I have taken it upon myself to ensure that I play a part in changing the narrative for women, through my circle of influence,” said Dr Ndhlukula.
“When we started, I had to literally beg clients to take female operatives. A lot of them were not keen as they felt women were not as capable as men and I had to plead with them to at least give them a chance.”
Dr Ndhlukula admitted that penetrating the industry was difficult as it was highly regarded as a masculine profession and women who ventured into such fields were required to work twice as hard. “When a few clients eventually saw the business case in the inclusion of women, the female operators had to work even harder to ensure that they delivered and made a good impression. They even ushered in an improved service delivery and we, as a company, have kept those high standards,” she said.
“It was because of that move that other industry players started to slowly recruit female security officers and it has become a common trend across the country and I am proud to have fought for that space.”