Light the fire and prepare the feast, Nomatu Consulting is 3 years old!
Updated: Oct 29, 2021
Our journey in pursuit of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging has taken us from pain to purpose. As we celebrate, we reflect on how we got here, the community who supported us and the renewed sense of commitment that drives us forward.
Our story is intertwined with that of our founder, Samkelo Blom, and it starts like this. Samkelo grew up in a township in the peaceful, lush landscape of the Eastern Cape. Every afternoon he crossed the railway line to join his friends: two white boys living on a farm. They were just children playing, but the stark cultural, household and environmental differences that existed on either side of these tracks made a lasting impression.
“Yes we were kids, swimming in dams and climbing up trees, but at dinner time they had different practices to what we had at home,” shares Samkelo.
Over time, the understanding of the shift required to integrate these realities began to dawn and the value of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging formed in Samkelo’s mind. It was in the crossing of a railway line that the seed of Nomatu was planted.
After graduating from the University of Cape Town (UCT), this seed took root. Samkelo joined UCT as a Student Liaison Officer where he identified and recruited talented African students to attend the university. This role, and the many that followed, grew from the same root – sharing knowledge, connecting people and building relationships, values that we as a company still hold today.
There is a searing contraction of pain when the realisation hits that you are not in the right place – that there is something more out there. To leave the womb and enter the world is a painful process.
Throughout his career journey, whether it be in Human Resources, Learning & Development or Transformation, Samkelo always felt there was a need for something different, for something more. An experience that Starbucks Coffee Company calls “The Third Place”.
The desire and yearning to be a catalyst for organisations/companies that want to create better employee experiences, is something that Samkelo has always been passionate about. From this fertile soil, Nomatu Consulting was born and took its first steps into the world of HR and Transformation.
Learning to crawl
During our first few months as a company, Samkelo sat at Century City’s Bootlegger café sending out email after email looking for leads.
“You know when a baby is going to be born people prepare, they buy clothing, nappies… for Nomatu there was no receiving blanket,” this is how Samkelo felt when his emails were met with silence.
However, despite the loneliness of the journey, the importance of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging in the workplace kept Nomatu moving forward.
And then, we found a place to call home.
In September 2018, Cebano Consultants offered Nomatu an office and a desk. We now had an address and the facilities to focus on headhunting African talent. Working among experienced Organisational Development Consultants was an empowering time for us where learning and growth could take place.
In December 2018, Coronation Fund Managers gave us the opportunity to headhunt exceptional black talent. And, after a few months, we placed the first Indian executive. On that day, Samkelo went home and told his wife that the vision of Nomatu had been validated.
Nomatu gained traction and started moving forward.
We took our first real steps by signing a contract with the SA Medical Research Council to work with their employees on DIB.
After that, it wasn’t long before we partnered with international company Kaleidoscope to extend our work outside South Africa.
Another project, very close to our hearts, was partnering with Cebano to deliver diversity and inclusion consulting and coaching services to the staff of Rustenburg Girl’s School.
Understanding this subject matter is sensitive and addressing Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging issues can be tough, we are overwhelmed by the positive response from clients wanting to journey beyond compliance to implement practices and encourage truly inclusive behaviours.
The road ahead
There are too many family members, friends, clients, mentors and collaborators who played a role in shaping Nomatu to thank them individually. To this growing community in our village, we say Enkosi Kakhulu! When you learn to walk you lose your balance and bump your toe but eventually it becomes as easy as breathing. Nomatu now knows how to walk and wants to run and jump. Ultimately, our vision to be catalysts for change is clear and directs us on our life path. We challenge our candidates and clients to have courageous, uncomfortable and necessary conversations as we coach them on Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging. There is a lot of work to be done in South Africa. What gives us hope is knowing that each day, we as a company wake up and plant a seed: facilitating processes that encourage communication and understanding to create safe and inclusive spaces within organisations. If you would like to work together on a tailored Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging solution, source exceptional, diverse talent or bridge the gap between who you are today and where you want to be, engage with us. At Nomatu Consulting, WE GET YOU (your aspirations, challenges and strengths) to ensure that you and your business get the best results.