Dr Hajira Mashego, a South African business founder making fitness and exercise more accessible — Lionesses of Africa

Tell us a little about your team

Mr. Thembinkosi Skosana serves as the Fitness Junction operations and fitness manager. He is a qualified fitness trainer and personal trainer with prior experience as a fitness trainer in the police services, Planet Fitness, and at Swallows Football Club.

Mr. Francis Sinkonde serves as the sales manager. He is a qualified teacher and has 16 years’ experience in the gym sales environment.

Mr. Skosana and Mr. Sinkonde oversee 12 permanent employees and 4 commission-only employees. The employees serve as fitness instructors, sales consultants, club administrator, cleaners, and receptionists. The company is also serviced by 8 independent service providers (group fitness instructors) who invoice Fitness Junction based on a pre-determined hourly rate.

Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And do you come from an entrepreneurial background?

I was an employee firstly in the Health sector and later in the Sports and Recreation sector where I progressed until I reached Executive management. As I was progressing in my career I was also progressing academically until I obtained my PHD. After I obtained my PHD I decided to complete a one-year programme in Social Entrepreneurship at GIBS in order to learn how to monetize my knowledge and expertise. Upon completion of the program, I then resigned from government and used my pension contributions to set up Fitness Junction Westview.

What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?

The plan is to scale organically to establish a network of commercial gyms nationally. Three other divisions are also planned and are being worked on:

• The Fitness Junction franchise model is being finalized in order to start selling commercial franchises in 2022 
• The Fitness Junction corporate gym division is planned to service corporates that need to establish gyms for their staff 
members or appoint a management agent for their existing gyms, 
• The Fitness Junction home gym division is aimed to target high net worth individuals who would like to set up state of the art gyms in their homes

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