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Nthabiseng Makgabo on navigating the property world

Nthabiseng’s female lineage is full of remarkable women and it’s from them she gathered insight into property

By IOL Reporter | June 21, 2021 | Category

Nthabiseng Makgabo on navigating the property world

Picture: Nthabiseng Makgabo, Instagram

Written by Vivian Warby.

Nthabiseng Makgabo bought her first property before she turned 25.

Her property journey is full of things she learnt along the way - some mistakes she made and other actions she took that were wins on acquiring bricks and mortar and she shares all of this in our podcast.

She says, long before she started studying property, and long before she got a job as an asset manager, she received good grounding in bricks and mortar from her two grans and her mom.

Nthabiseng, who is also chair of the SA Institute of Black Property Professionals’ Youth Professionals unit, says she watched one of her grans – the late Salome Makgabo, who lived in a village in Dikebu just outside the North West – build her house by her own sweat and tears.

“It took her forever to build the house. She would save a little then buy some bricks, then save a little and buy some other material. It was an arduous process. And sometimes the things she had bought got stolen. But she was determined.

I remember one year she went to get the bricks she had been storing to start building a section and they just crumbled – she had been sold inferior material. But she just picked herself up and started again.”

The family lived in a partially built home for a long time, but “Mama” finally built her new home - many years later – which included an inside toilet, unheard of in the village at the time.

After completing grade 1 in the village school, Nthabiseng moved to live with her other gran – Maria “Babes” Mabusela – who lived in a township in Garankuwa.

“When I was younger I preferred the township. We had running water and also there was plumbing so we had toilets. In the village, there was none of that, and I was afraid of the long drops in the village.

“... The house was full of my older cousins and in the townships everyone was within a five kilometre radius. However when I grew up I began to appreciate the land and space of the village, and will one day build one of my homes there.”

When her mom, Malebo Makgabo, sold her home Nthabiseng wanted to contribute to her mom’s life and so the pair’s property journey began.

“While my studies taught me the value of land as a physical asset it was my two grans and my mom who showed me what was possible with property if you have determination and a dream.”

Nthabiseng has great advice on how to navigate the property world from which we – young and old – can all learn.