Home Top 35 Profiles 2018 Top 35-under-35 Finalist: Xoliswa Hlongwane

2018 Top 35-under-35 Finalist: Xoliswa Hlongwane

Name: Xoliswa Hlongwane (33)

Region: Eastern Region

Job Title: Chief Financial Officer

Years in this position: 6 months

Company Name: uShaka Marine World

Entry Category: Corporate

Xoliswa is the CFO at uShaka Marine World. She has worked extensively in the public sector and has gained accolades which saw her being awarded the 2017 KZN Regional Business Women Award for the Women in Government Category.

Her passion for fashion and the South African textile industry has motivated her to start her own fashion house. XO Collection has inhouse brands and offers cut, make and trim (CMT) services to designers as well as clothing retailers. One of the in-house brands is Xecutive business wear, which is business wear for the modern and stylish women in the workplace and business world who appreciate elegance and comfort in their dress sense. XO Collection employs 10 employees including part-time employees. Their goal is to work closely with well-established as well as emerging designers in an effort to support their commercialisation through mass production. They also encourage clothing entrepreneurs to move away from importing ready to wear garments and make locally in order to contribute to the restoration and growth of the South African textile industry.

They are also launching a skills development aspect to their business to impart the invaluable skills gained by their staff members over the years to unemployed people in their area. Their programme will see an average person learning all the skills required to work in a CMT environment while being eligible for placement within their CMT or other CMTs. Xoliswa has self-funded XO Collection and managed to acquire all required business assets and keep the business afloat until there is sufficient trading history to take the business to the next level of growth.

Xoliswa is also passionate about social issues, with women and youth empowerment at the top of her priority list. She availed herself and does a lot of work with the Nation-building Department of SAICA, which involves making visits to communities and organisations in order to motivate the learners and youth generally as well as regarding a career as a CA(SA).