How long has Icebolethu been operating? Please describe the services Icebolethu Group offers.
Icebolethu Group has been in business since 2009. The company was founded by Nomfundo Mcoyi who is also the GCEO of the organisation. Icebolethu Group currently has over 100 branches in and around KwaZuluNatal and has recently opened a head office and a customer service centre in Kempton Park, Gauteng. The company also has 26 operational mortuaries in KwaZulu-Natal. The organisation has a branch based in the UK focused on global repatriation for the SADC region. The group is composed of funerals and burials, catering, tombstones, memorials and parks, security, academy, properties and investments and foundation.
What is the meaning of Icebolethu?
The name was inspired by my grandfather’s name, Bakhaliphicebo. Cebo, meaning ‘plan’, is the common thread. In the context of Icebolethu, we reflect on our plan to serve the community.
How does Icebolethu “Arise and Rebuild”?
The brand has been intentional in creating platforms, such as the Icebolethu Foundation, which is committed to meet societal needs. This has allowed the brand to build a community in which we are able to rise through the integration of skills, sharing of resources, and strategic partnerships.
In the company, how do you support people “to be the heroes we want to see”?
A. Icebolethu Group recognises the importance of instilling confidence in its employees. This year we announced the launch of the Icebolethu Learnership Programme; an opportunity providing various learning opportunities to help its staff meet their personal and professional goals. We also have various skills recognition programmes aimed for staff development. Also, part of the Icebolethu Foundation is the Rhoda Girls, which is a mentorship programme for a period of five years and is an opportunity to give young girls between the ages of 15 to 21 confidence and positive self-image. The programme comprises 50 young girls which Icebolethu Foundation provides school fees and tertiary funds for.
What has it meant for your clients that you have gone cashless?
It simply means that our clients no longer have to stand in long queues in branches to make payments. Icebolethu Group has availed digital payment options for the payment of premiums, sign-ups and any other related payments. We have added a number of payment options that our clients can use to pay for their policies and all these methods are of ease and convenience.
Please tell us about your most memorable achievements.
There have been many! But I would say having the honour of burying some of the most prominent members of society, such as His Royal Highness; King Zwelithini. We were also one of the few black-owned parlours that managed to maintain operation standards during the height of Covid-19 mortality rate, and perhaps the biggest one yet; Icebolethu Funerals UK- expanding our business across international borders.
How did you overcome adversity?
By always remembering that we have a calling greater than us. Being entrusted to bring some level of relief to a grieving family, no matter how small, is a gift we take seriously. That is what keeps us going.
What are your CSI projects?
We have many CSI projects running under Icebolethu Foundation, such as the House Handover Project, Rhoda Girls Leadership Programme for young African women, our Back To School Campaign for underprivileged students, Gogo’Fit Initiative for old age women, and the Richmond Garden Project, just to name a few.
What plans do you have for the coming year?
Growth! Without revealing too much I will mention that we are officially in Gauteng now and have great plans to expand in that direction and beyond.
Do you have a message for people out there, struggling to survive?
A. Remember to stay positive and believe in yourself.
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