Sandiswa Qayi – Striving to Conserve, Renew and Reuse!

Sandiswa Qayi has more than 5 years executive and business management experience, and more than 10 years project management experience. Her experience includes working in the municipal economic development agency (Aspire) as Project Manager, and Executive Manager of Abenzi Woodhouse – a skills development and furniture manufacturing centre. In 2015 as Executive Manager of Abenzi Woodhouse she won a scholarship and was selected as one of the 26 SA companies to participate in the “International Leadership Development” programme that went to Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston to study systems engineering, design & manufacturing. In her current position as AET executive manager she led the company together with her partners to win multi awards and continues to develop and execute strategy for the international positioning of AET AFRICA.

Please tell us the story of how AET Africa came into existence and how it has impacted your life.

AET AFRICA was formed by a trio who identified a need to reuse, conserve and renew existing products in the market and bring customised solutions to African problems. AET has changed my life by reigniting my passion for learning, travel, economic development and skills development. Through my work I travelled the world, and explored and identified new opportunities and strategic partnerships. I’m learning every day and growing.

If you had a theme song, what would it be?

I’m still standing by Elton John

What is the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?

Becoming an entrepreneur & facing my fears of not having a guaranteed salary

If Mars was liveable, would you accept a one way ticket there?

Nope! I love the Earth and everything God created and gave us to enjoy.

If you were given one thousand acres of land what would you do with it?

Property development with all eco features such as water and energy efficient buildings, food gardens for its residents, recycled everything possible and eco-friendly gardens with food, flower beds and play park for kids with natural landscape design that blends with the environment

Are you more of a hunter or a gatherer? 

A hunter. I make things happen, I don’t sit and wait

How many pairs of shoes do you own?

I would rather not say but more than 20

If we came to your house for dinner, what would you prepare for us?

As a hunter I love meat, hahaha …. any dish will have meat, fish and veggies

How would people communicate in a perfect world?

Good listeners with good understanding, not listen to respond but listen to understand. This requires love and patience but in our fast paced world this is a challenge

When you have 30 minutes of free time – how do you pass it?

I love reading & the beach; my ideal free time includes reading, just staring at the beautiful beach whether I sit, drive or walk, and spending time with my daughter

If you woke up to 300 unread emails, how would you prioritise which ones to answer?

The ones that brings business; responding to queries or doing crisis management

Where do you go and what do you do to find peace and recharge?

Take me to the beach any day I feel drained, if I can’t I read my favourite novel and disappear in the story

If you could write one new law that everybody had to obey, what would it be?

Free education and that people must read a book every week

What, if anything, have you ever re-gifted?

Baby feeding seat, she never used it

What is the most interesting thing you have seen or read this week?

Book by Dale Carnegie “How to Win Friends and Influence People

What skill or craft  would you like to master?

Listening skills, I’m not really patient person

What would you say are some small steps that people can take to improve their relationship to the environment?

Understanding that God created everything we see and he has a purpose for the earth. If we understand his purpose and connect with it then we will appreciate the environment. Taking time to connect with the environment and appreciate it as gift from GOD to mankind.


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