Meet the woman who now owns the petrol station where she started as a cashier.

The 36-year-old Khumbu Shelembe from Mtwalume on the South Coast of KwaZulu-Natal is a remarkable story.

Khumbu completed a National Diploma in Marketing Management from Mangosuthu University in 2004.

Three years later she started working as a cashier at Mobeni service station.

At the station she earned her first promotion after only six months and joined the book-keeping and supply chain department.In 2011 she completed the Caltex Retailer Courses and the previous owner of the Mobeni service station unveiled an opportunity for her to buy a 30% share in the business and she grabbed it with both hands.

Later that year, another opportunity arose for her to own the station outright. This is when she applied for- and received special funding from Astron Energy, the company that owns the Caltex license, to gain complete control of the business.

The proud filling station owner is passionate about the fuel industry and has put a lot of hard work into her journey.

“It’s like living a dream” Shelembe says.

“When I think of the way I grew up, I never thoughtthat one day I would be blessed like this.”

“A fuel station is like any other business in that it requires hard work and a positive attitude. You have to consider others and not only think about your own pocket. It’s not about money, all that counts is the love for the business, being focused, and facing what you need to accomplish,” she said.

Reflecting on her journey, Khumbu tells of her appreciation for those who helped her along the way. “The people I worked with are very good people. They helped me step by step and now I employ other people and I’m happy because I can employ those who are struggling” she says.

She has 13 people working at her service station.

“I have to be strong and makeAfrica proud of me.”