Pivoting on her healing hands


After seeing the world working on a cruise ship as a skincare therapist, Nokuzola "Zola" Maqubela, was ready to start her own business. The Eastern Cape woman has not allowed the setbacks of life and of business to keep her away from her first love – somatology.

She says even obtaining a different qualification from her first love could not keep her from her path. She speaks to editor, Kamogelo Seekoei, about the up and down of running a business, worrying about meeting targets and the support she gets from family and friends.


Ignited Woman (IW): Please share your journey into the skincare industry.

Nokuzola Maqubela (NM): It all started one afternoon watching TV and on one of the kiddies shows they hosted an interview with someone from the skincare industry. I was glued to the TV and saw this skincare therapist doing a facial to this other lady. I immediately I fell in love with it. Fast forward to years later I travelled to Joburg for the first time with my mother who registered me at an academy specialising in health and skincare. That’s where I did my National Diploma and my international exams. The international qualification would qualify me to go and work overseas.


IW: Tell us about the opportunities that this industry has presented to you.

After gaining experience from working for a well-known health and beauty spas and salons I decided to apply to work in the cruise ships through an agency and my application was successful. I worked on the cruise ship for eight months, it wasn’t easy, but I had the best time of my life. Sometimes I had to pinch myself to see if was truly alive (crazy nhe ). Personally I transformed and my personality blossomed. The cherry on top was seeing different countries and earning money. Traveling brought the best in me.


IW: How long have you been in business?

I have been in this industry for more than 10 years now and I have been with Magic Hands by Zola for four years now - on and off.


IW: Most people say this industry is already saturated; how do you set yourself apart to access the market?

I would say it’s simply the love of what I do – this what other people call passion. I believe that my clients see that passion in me for my business and for them. This effortless passion has been the result of doing something that you are gifted in.


IW: What has been the highlight of your business?

Being my own boss and being hands-on in something that I love and believe in. The support from friends and family is also something that I appreciate, having a friend who will assist in buying products they know I need but the business cannot afford, those are the highlights.


IW: And please share with us your worst lowlight?

I haven't really experienced low moments with Magic Hands by Zola. What I have are general ups and downs like being nervous about whether I will meet my targets and be able to pay rent.


IW: Have you experienced any setbacks?

Now, this is the low part of this journey. When I returned from working on the cruise ship, I lost half of the money that I had made. I lost my money and my loving partner in a car accident. I don’t know who took it, but I know for sure someone took it and that was end of it and I was left with only R20 in my name that time. I had to move on as damaged as I was and start looking for a job now in the country. It was after this incident that I enrolled for my diploma.


IW: Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

I see myself owning two home based Spas in in the Eastern Cape and the other one in Joburg. I want Magic Hands by Zola to grow to be a Wellness Therapy Spa that can provides the services that can deal with a person physically and spiritually.


IW: What can you tell women who feel stuck in life and need inspiration?

Inside each one of us there’s strength and power to unlock the best version of ourselves. So every now and then we have to go back to the drawing board of who we are to remind ourselves so that we don't seek or expect validation from outside.


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Editor's note

If there is a lesson to be taken from theCovid-19 pandemic is that nothing is certain. And when you think you are ready for the unknown it takes you completely by shock.

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