Boni Mchunu - I believe focus, attitude and discipline has brought me this far

Boni Mchunu - I believe focus, attitude and discipline has brought me this far
Boni Mchunu:General Manager at East Coast Radio

BONI MCHUNU was born and educated in Pietermaritzburg. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in marketing, a diploma in business management and diploma in project management. Recently, she attended the international executive leadership development programme at Wits and London Business schools.

Mchunu's first job was with ABSA and her responsibilities related to marketing the financial services of ABSA. This was followed by then working for another corporate giant, Unilever.

Of her time there, she says, "I believe it was some of the best marketing experience anyone can get, as I worked in different categories from home, personal care to foods. That's where my marketing game was enriched." During her stay at Unilever, she worked on brands such as Ponds, Sunsilk, Skip, Knorr, Rama and more.

Her most recent position before East Coast Radio (ECR), was being part of the executive team at Tourism KZN. The opportunity to work for the provincial tourism authority, she says was one of the highlights of her professional career. Notably, she got to travel to more than 72 countries around the world and in her own words, "The experience cemented the fact that South Africa is the best country in the world and solidified my pride in being proudly South African."

Mchunu says she worked well within the tourism trade, internationally, nationally and domestically. "At Tourism KZN, I was responsible for marketing and promoting KwaZulu-Natal as the best tourism destination, locally and abroad. I led provincial projects such as Tourism Indaba, provincial brand re-alignment, World Travel Market in London, SA Express route launch addressing air connectivity and more. Marketing and promoting the Province of KwaZulu-Natal included stakeholder management domestically and abroad, which translated into increased tourism growth for the province, as well as strategic brand management and destination positioning."

Now as General Manager at ECR, KZN's number 1 radio station, she says that she absolutely loves that East Coast Radio has so much influence in the lives of the people living in the province. "We use this station to make a difference in people's lives by influencing and connecting KZN to the world. We are proudly KZN and all KZN matters; whether funny, sad, social, or lifestyle, are all important to us."

Mchunu leads with inspiration and says that she endeavours every day to use her position to inspire and influence others to be great. She says her late Dad is her inspiration, "He did not have much, but he did so many things for me and my siblings. The most important thing he taught us was the importance of education and humility."

Despite the usual every day challenges at home, at work and in the community, the greatest challenge that she has faced has been seeing people judging her based on her gender and race. She does not let this get to her and her biggest career highlight is that she has made bold decisions to work for different industries. "The experience gained from all these industries has been enormous for me, but most importantly, the experience has taught me that business is business, regardless of the different industries."

However, Mchunu says that discipline is a bridge between her goals and achieving them, "In everything I do, I believe focus, attitude and discipline has brought me this far."

She adds, "I believe in simplicity, straight talk and sustainability in everything that I do. Sustainability refers to putting systems in place that will build companies that will compete for the future, with or without me."

Mchunu says, "One thing I would like to do in this lifetime, is to create a Boni Mchunu Foundation that will assist the underprivileged kids, especially from the township I grew up in, Imbali Township."

She is a firm believer in self-love before loving the next person. "I believe you can't love anyone else if you cannot love yourself. I believe that my health is my wealth. So, I try and go to gym at least three times a week, I run with my husband and I enjoy playing squash. I also believe that a healthy body equals a healthy mind and healthiness is about choosing a lifestyle."

She leaves us with this parting quote: "My past does not define my present. Nothing under the sun is impossible if you put your mind to it. Live. Respect. Explore, life is beautiful. Be true to yourself in everything that you do. Authenticity. There is only one Boni."

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