Property development entrepreneur Lynette Ntuli has big ideas on industry transformation and innovation. But when it comes to home, she prefers to keep things simple
WHERE WERE YOU BORN?
I was born and raised in Umlazi, a township just south of Durban.
WHERE DO YOU STAY NOW?
I live in the leafier suburbs of Durban. I enjoy its older and spacious homes with their high ceilings. I also love the fact that I am never more than five to 10 minutes away from the many eateries and shops.
WHAT DO YOU DO?
I am the CEO of Innate Investment Solutions, a property development and infrastructure asset management company I founded in 2009. Simply put, we create and deliver solutions and strategies for property owners and investors, developers, commercial and retail clients, corporate real estate managers and the public sector.
WHAT HAS LIFE TAUGHT YOU?
Never stop discovering, learning, moving and reinventing yourself, and make the best of the cards you are dealt. Also, you cannot panic and think at the same time!
WHAT IS IT LIKE FOR A YOUNG FEMALE ENTREPRENEUR IN YOUR MALE-DOMINATED INDUSTRY?
Exciting, empowering and taxing. Many boardrooms are only really starting to warm to the idea of our existence in 2017. As a young, black, female entrepreneur in a fairly untransformed industry, it’s important to progress and do well in the sector, transform the spaces we find ourselves in, and innovate to create services and products that are responsive to changing demographics, consumers and their needs.
HOW HAVE OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUNG, BLACK SOUTH AFRICANS CHANGED SINCE DEMOCRACY?
The shift has been significantly positive in terms of legislation, policy, supportive frameworks and education. But this has not necessarily translated to access, implementation and the control of resources and means in most instances. It’s reflected in, for example, the high levels of unemployment and low rate of transformation.
WHERE OR WHAT IS THE PLACE YOU CALL HOME? IS IT A PHYSICAL SPACE OR A SENSE?
It’s the physical spaces I retreat to. It’s a comfortable, relaxed and safe space, a place where I can press play, pause, create and rest as interchangeably as I need to. There’s often no place I would rather be than home.
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD?
Nothing is ever promised but I do hope the future is filled with impact, results, expansion into new territories, new spaces to design, occupy and own, and continued learning.
ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE WORLD YOU WANT TO LIVE?
In the next few years to 2020, I’d like to live in an economically progressive, vibrant, socially and culturally diverse African or Far East city.
Credit: Photograph: Siphiwe Mhlambi, Text: Debbie Loots