A Day in the Life of Mankoana Nhlebela

It is so fitting to end of Women’s Month by spending a day in the life of Mankoana Nhlebela. Her profile is amazing and I hope she inspires you as she does me. So who is Mankoana?

Mankoana was born and bred in Polokwane, Limpopo and currently resides in Johannesburg. She is a senior manager at a telecommunications company. 

She also founded UKARA, an online fashion store that provides simplistic, elegant and versatile ready-to-wear apparel for women. The brand was birthed from her passion for fashion, but more importantly, a keen interest in contributing to the sustainable advancement of the South African fashion landscape, into one that is predominantly characterised by local designs and production.  Mankoana also Co-Founded Motherly Love Baby Shower, a charity organisation that aims to empower under-privileged mothers-to-be.

Over and above all of this, Mankoana is also a Tammy Taylor Mrs SA finalist. She hopes that through this journey she will be able to inspire women to live their best lives and encourage women to reach for their dreams.

Her life motto is:

“If success is not on your own terms, if it feels good to the world but does not feel good in your heart, it is not success at all.”

“I strongly believe that we need to be comfortable with our individuality and strive to write out our own personal journeys to reflect the best versions of who we can become. At the same time, it is also key to acknowledge that all our paths are unique and therefore one’s life journey can never really supersede another’s.”

About how she believes styles plays a role in her daily life and career..

Mankoana says, “Style is my unspoken mode of communication. I share a piece of who I am through my style and use it as an opportunity to express my creativity especially through my fashion brand.”

So what’s it like to spend a day in this phenomenal woman’s life? Read on..


05:50- Alarm goes off and I snooze until 6 (I’m a serial snoozer so I set my alarm in advance to make provision).

06:00- I wake up, do a quick check for mails and messages, diary for the day and get ready for work.

07:30- Finalise the UKARA production plan for the day, before the team arrives.

08:00- Brief the team on the production schedule.

08:45-  Arrive at the office and go through all my emails.

09:00- I have my breakfast. I’m very big on breakfast so no matter what time I start my day it always starts with breakfast.

10:30- Meetings, meetings, meetings.

12:30- Lunchtime and brief catch up with my colleagues, I also use the time to follow-up and make calls to finalise plans for my cancer fundraising event, touch base with my team for production progress.

…..work continues

18:30 – 19:30 I hit the gym for an hour of boot camp class.

19:45– Arrive home and freshen up before dinner.

20:00- Family time – I catch up with my hubby and play with our little munchkin.

22:00- Check production progress and quality assurance of completed production. Follow on all Ukara requests including client enquiries and purchase requests.

23:00- Continue with all plans to get ready for my fundraising email whilst trying to get my baby girl to fall asleep as she refuses to sleep unless I do too

24:00- Planning for my event continues. Check final touches

01:00- Time to get some sleep. Spend some time in prayer and finally get some sleep





You can reach Mankoana on:

Instagram: @mankoana
Facebook: Mankoana Nhlebela
Facebook: Mankoana Nhlebela Tammy Taylor Mrs South Africa
Twitter: @mankoana.nhlebz

*images by Cathy Heaton Photography


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