We chatted to Ndumiso Bhembe, founder of Takhiwo Project Advisors, about his journey with the NMCH Trust.
What’s your role at the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital Trust?
I come from an investment background and I play a financial role for the fundraising team at NMCH. I look after the cash flow of the project and I make sure that it’s fully funded all the time. My role is to support the fundraising team on the financing of this project.
Fundraising is such a difficult task but rewarding when done right; tell us more about how you offer support.
When we go out to ask for donations, companies want to know about the sustainability of the hospital from an operational and financial point of view. I bring the strategic financial aspect to the project.
How long have you been involved in the project?
I’ve been with the project for just over 18 months. I came in halfway through to what’s already been going on; the Trust had raised around R300 000 000, so I’ve seen the donor funding going up because of the hard work that goes behind raising money.
How’s the journey been since you started?
It’s been a rewarding experience and very different to what I used to do when I worked for banks. Nelson Mandela Children’s Trust is a fantastic project and concept in terms of what it will deliver to the country, especially children, at the paediatric level. We currently have one children’s hospital in South Africa and NMCH will also service the rest of the SADC region, where there is a big need for a hospital of this nature.
What makes you so passionate about working on a project like Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital Trust?
It’s the belief in the project, because it is just amazing to see what we’re building. This is not a normal hospital; it will be a referral hospital with high tertiary care level. You don’t find many children’s hospitals on this continent, and I’m excited to see what it will do for the children of the regions. The support from government has been phenomenal.