Nelisiwe Zangana Pomegranite

Meet Nelisiwe

By Sarah

One thing that continues to surprise me about running a business is how difficult it can be to find the right people to join the team. You need someone with the right skillset, and ideally the right sector experience. But you also need someone with a work ethic and career vision (even short-term) that matches your organisation. And, on top of that, particularly when you have a small (amazing) team, you need someone whose personality and values will gel with the unique alchemy of personalities already on the payroll.

And you need to try and decipher all this from a few emails and video call conversations.

So – it is with joy, excitement and more than a pocketful of gratitude that I’d like to introduce you to our wonderful new social media strategist, Nelisiwe. Or Neli, as she likes to be called.

Having worked as the head of marketing for a non-profit previously, Neli is well-versed in the third-sector landscape. She writes like a dream, and thinks about things deeply. She roller skates.

We’re thrilled to have her on the team and loved meeting her in person on our recent co-working day (it turns out she’s of medium height – always something we bet on these days, after Anja shocked us a year and a half ago).

Neli in a nutshell

Curiosity-driven creator, empathetic strategist, writer, mom and lifelong learner. Red and Yellow Creative School of Business graduate. Avid reader, Enneagram type 5 always seeking new knowledge and perspectives. Passionate about self-directed education and women’s empowerment. Fueled by daydreaming, nature walks, creating YouTube videos, skating and running.

We asked her a few more questions so you could get to know her – and received the best answer we’ve ever got to a question we ask every new Pomegranite. You’ll see what I mean…

Can you describe your experience of Pomegranite thus far in three words?

Growth-orientated, engaging and supportive.

When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

When I was little, my dream was to become a radio show host. Even though my interests have shifted towards online media over the years, I have never lost my passion for radio and broadcasting. I am still just as excited about the power of the airwaves to connect people through meaningful conversations.

We published a blog recently about making real, meaningful connections on social media. Do you think the way organisations do this successfully is changing? If so, how?

Yes, the way organisations make real, meaningful connections on social media is definitely changing. The rise of new social media platforms and changing user behavior are driving many of these changes. Platforms like TikTok, Clubhouse and Instagram Reels, amongst others, are providing new opportunities for organisations to connect with their target audiences in new and creative ways.

Additionally, consumers are becoming more discerning about the brands they engage with and the type of content they consume, which means that organisations must be more intentional and strategic in their approach to social media engagement. This includes creating more personalised and authentic content, actively participating in online communities, and being more responsive and engaging with their followers.

Organisations that are making real connections on social media are those that are nimble, adaptable and always willing to experiment and evolve their approach.

Tell us one surprising thing about you.

Inspired by the story of Sonja Kruse, also known as the Ubuntu Girl, who hitchhiked across South Africa for a year relying on the kindness of strangers, I embarked on a similar journey by hitchhiking across the country for six months in my early 20s. My goal was to experience the same level of trust and kindness as Sonja, to connect with people from different cultures, and to challenge existing stereotypes about life in South Africa, especially for a woman. The journey was a unique and transformative experience that taught me the importance of kindness, empathy, and human connection. To this day, I still have my journals from that time as a reminder of the lessons I learned.

Do you have more questions all of a sudden? So do we! A skills share on this adventure has been requested.

In the meantime, we’re really enjoying getting to know Neli and look forward to the exciting writing that is sure to come out of our social media engine in the coming months!

Nelisiwe Zangana Pomegranite