From cleaning the streets of Stellenbosch to business owner: Zhulfa Williams dares to make a difference.
Zhulfa Williams, born in 1984, matriculated at Cloetesville Senior Secondary School. She is the daughter of Ebrahim & Shameemah Dreyer. They are six girls and she is the 4th born. Married to Yazied (Eugene) Williams, they have two boys (12, 4) and a girl (8).
After matric, she started working in her father’s cleaning company. Here, she learned the meaning of being an entrepreneur and her father guided his children to become independent thinking individuals. He encouraged all his daughters to be part of his business. Zhulfa remembers working long hours in her father’s business, doing jobs most men did not want to do. She learned the ropes and five years ago became a business owner herself. Supported by her husband Yazied, they started their own business named YNZ Trading and Utilities – specializing in catering. Her father’s business is now 14 years in existence and her younger sister is currently assisting him.
Zhulfa and Yazied, grew up in Pine street. Yazied had a very challenging upbringing in a street where the odds are against everyone growing up in it. Alcoholism, crime, drugs and unemployment are some of the challenges those living in the street, battle with every day. A Street where many of the inhabitants live with no hope.
For Zhulfa, this became her reality. She could either move away, or stay and be the change she wants to see in this world, by helping those who cannot help themselves; the children of those caught up in their circumstances. She chose to stay. Today she takes care of the young ones always knocking on her door with hungry stomachs. She nurses those that gets hurt and see that they get proper care. She also takes care of the sick and elderly in her street.
One situation that stands out for Zhulfa is that, when she, one Christmas, decided to give everybody in her street, Christmas presents. She remembers the pure delight this simple act brought about and how faces lit up upon receiving their gifts. This left her very emotional and made a lasting impression on her. She cares deeply for her neighbourhood. To them she has become “mamma” as she also takes care, not only of their physical needs, but she tries to reach them by seeing that their mental states are also healthy by taking a genuine interest in their well being. The lessons her father taught her as she grew up, are firmly established within her. Zhulfa has an all inspiring respect for her father as she constantly talks about how well he has schooled his daughters. In fact, she cannot stop mentioning him throughout her conversation with me!
In her own words: “No matter where you live, you can rise above your situation.”
CWE: The saying: You rise; by lifting others is what this woman does effortlessly. You are definitely a woman of Strength and amazing Power! AN EXCEPTIONAL WOMAN. We salute you!