Nonkululeko Khumalo Lambert: Triple threat in the industry

By Dineo Phoshoko

Nonkululeko Khumalo Lambert is a PIRB licensed plumber, assessor, and solar system installer.

Not only is Lambert a qualified female plumber, but she also owns her own plumbing company. In 2016, she established Silverware Plumbing Projects, which does geyser maintenance, geyser replacements, blocked drains, burst pipes, and all other plumbing-related matters.

Nonku 001Nonkululeko Khumalo Lambert is making big moves in the plumbing industry and is the proud owner of Silverware Plumbing Projects.
Image credit: Nkuli Lambert

What is your role as the owner of Silverware Plumbing Projects?

My duties include running the company, dealing with customers, booking staff on various jobs, and inspecting sites to ensure there are no mistakes. I pride myself on excellent service to my clients.

Why the plumbing industry?

While at college doing theory, I became more interested in plumbing practices. I then attended St. Anthony’s Education Centre where I completed the basic plumbing course.

“Don’t let others limit you and do what you are passionate about.”

Why did you decide to start your own plumbing company?

After working for various companies, I decided to branch out on my own and become self-employed. It has always been a dream of mine to train others and to be self-employed, so I figured there is no time like the present.

Please describe your initial interactions with male colleagues and clients initially?

I received mixed reactions: some were sceptical while others were supportive and encouraged me.

Were there other women in the industry when you started?

I haven’t really met any other female plumbers in person, but I have heard and read of more females entering this industry.

What are some of the misconceptions about the industry?

Most girls are told that plumbing is a male job because plumbers work with septic tanks and other things that are perceived as disgusting. Many people tend to think plumbing is for illiterate people and that a living cannot be made from being a plumber. Basically, there are misconceptions about who can be a plumber and the job description of a plumber.

“Most girls are told that plumbing is a male job because plumbers work with septic tanks and other things that are perceived as disgusting.”

What can be changed in the industry and how can that be done?

What I would do is educate and train people. Plumbing companies could also go to schools and have expos and explain different occupations so that students will be more aware of different career paths they can take. The youth of today are all being told that to make money they should take up a white-collar job, which is untrue, and is partly some of the reasons for the misconceptions about the industry.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

The adventure of it; it’s not monotonous and I enjoy learning new things. I love the challenges and the way I get to apply recent knowledge to new situations.

What are your biggest achievements in the industry?

The peaks of my career so far are owning my own company, being self-employed, and helping others achieve their dreams and potential.

When you experienced challenges during your career, what kept you going?

My faith in God and my family who have been my rock through the difficult times.

As the owner of a plumbing business, what unique skills do you think you bring to the industry as a woman?

I always go the extra mile for my clients and I strive to give the best professional and reliable service.

What would you like to achieve within the industry?

My vision for the future is for my business to grow and branch into other sectors.

Any advice for others aspiring to work in this industry?

Perseverance is key. Don’t let others limit you and do what you are passionate about. Challenges make the industry all the more fun.

Click below to read the August 2017 issue of Plumbing Africa

PA Aug2017


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