Mpilo Publishing: Simthandile Mhlambiso

Simthandila Mhlambiso is a very simple yet focused and bold girl. She prefers hearty home-cooked meals instead of a takeaway or eating at a restaurant,  her afro, and braids compared to a weave/extensions, she'd rather stay at home reading a good book and/or praying instead of a night out. A picnic instead of a trip to Paris, regardless of the fact that she's been there before. Her focus and boldness is evident in the work she does, whether serving at church or her business. "I give my all regardless of limitations because I am purpose-driven in all I do. On a lazy day though, I can curl myself up on a couch/ bed with home-made popcorn, ice-cold glass of Oros, and a positive purpose-driven movie 😂. My likes and passions are writing, reading, cooking, and exercise."

This simple girl is a femtrepreneur who runs her own publishing service called Mpilo publishing. Helping women turn their transcripts into actual, physical books. 

I asked her how she established Mpilo Publishing, she replied:

"I was not working or studying at the time. I felt like I had reached a dead-end. I had built a relationship with God and did what I knew was best: I knelt and brought myself before God and prayed. As soon as I was done, ideas started flowing into my mind. I wrote down everything. That was in 2016. 2 years later, I was back where I was: unemployed and not studying, again. I was living with my mother at the time and most probably had about R300 left in my bank account. I was driven by the Spirit of the Lord to actually register the company through CIPC. At first attempt, I lost the money deposited. The Spirit led me to try again, and it worked. From then on, I started writing and publishing my own books, thereafter assisting other aspiring authors. I have researched, self-taught myself, and applied everything I needed to know, to this day. There's always more to learn.

I asked her what challenges she's faced as a female entrepreneur, she replied:

"I wouldn't say it's a gender-based challenge, but funding the business has been a challenge. I make do with what I have, do what I can, for as long as I'm pushing. I'm still hopeful for funding."

Do you think there are enough support structures in place for women in business?

"As far as I know, I'd say there are a few organisations and movements that encourage and empower women, like 'She Leads Africa' and 'Women in Leadership'. In terms of structures, structures are in place for everyone in general. I don't know any that are specifically for women. It would be lovely though if there could be more awareness of the development of women by the structures if they do exist."

Has the COVID-19 crisis affected your business?

"To a great extent, it certainly has. I am not able to host book launches that require us to gather. I am also not able to courier books I have printed since it's not part of the essential services during this crisis. I'm limited to sharing book reviews from the website and raising topics for engagement on social media."

I asked her what gave her the confidence to publish her own book, she replied:

"I feel very strongly about addressing internal wounds and issues, especially because I've also had them. I found that these things deprive us of the freedom we're supposed to live in. We tend to live in anger, bitterness, fear, with no peace, as though we can't enjoy life. I wanted to address this strongly because God has made a way through Christ Jesus. We can address, we can heal and move on with the will of God for our lives."

Simthandile's words of motivation for someone who wants to write their own book:

"If you know deep in your heart that your book will help to encourage, motivate, heal, address any issue/concern with a solution for the sake of peace, go for it! It doesn't matter who doesn't believe in your book, discourages it or doesn't understand its purpose, even those - who are closest to you. You know its purpose and God gives wisdom. Trust God's Spirit that is leading you. Don't worry about the book being perfect. Just write and leave the rest to Mpilo Publishing 😀"

How can someone who would like to publish a book get in touch with you?

You can contact me through any of the following: Social Media at Mpilo Publishing (on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter); Email:; Whatsapp: 078 497 7645

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