SA’s leading homemaker Mbali Nhlapho partners with Metropolitan

South Africa’s popular housekeeper Mbali Nhlapo has partnered with one of the leading insurers and personal finance/investment company, Metropolitan. The social media content creator was picked for her target audience, which is women, especially working women, mothers and housekeepers.

“At the moment I am working with over 100 housekeepers. I understand that even if you have as little as a R350 and you receive proper guidance to work with money, then you can use your money,” Nhlapo says. 

Focus on empowering housekeepers

She revealed to Sunday World that this venture is set to take off in Polokwane and other provinces where housekeepers will have access to “How to work with my money” workshops.

Nhlapho said that her company Cleaners at Work started in 2017. Since then, her cleaning and housekeeping hacks have become popular with TikTok viewers.

“I love cleaning because I am a cleaner. I am a child of Soweto. One day a family member who gave birth was left stranded. I was able to come to her rescue with a housekeeper, who still works there to this day,” Nhlapho said. She fondly recalled how it all started.

Nhlapho aims to provide education for housekeepers in order for them to keep their jobs for a longer period of time.

“Housekeepers need to understand that this is a professional industry. It is not a chop and change thing. When people are trained, they do better,” Nhlapho added .

Sitting in the corner at Nhlapho’s high tea, held early in April, her mother-in-law Johanna Mdakane attested to Nhlapho’s “cleanliness”. She said she is proud of her makoti, and also shared that she doubted this venture in the beginning. But now commends Nhlapho for her consistency.

High tea celebrated housekeeping as a profession

The social media darling teamed up with Metropolitan to host a high tea for an enthusiastic crowd of over 150 devoted housekeepers. 

The event, held at the Africlassic River Lodge in Rivonia, celebrated the often-overlooked profession of housekeeping. This while providing valuable insights into work ethics, hygiene, and the importance of insurance.

Mbali said events like this are important as they help housekeepers feel valued.

In conversation with Sunday World, Metropolitan’s provincial general manager Queen Malobane said that housekeepers play a critical part of their target market, which is women.

Malobane told the housekeepers that as much as they do house keeping, they should also do financial keeping.

She believes that it is important to empower women and teach them to take care of their financial health.

Principles of housekeeping

Malobane provided five core principles of financial housekeeping and believes that every woman can run with this.

1. Financial Planning

The cornerstone of financial well-being lies in meticulous planning. As Malobane emphasised, financial planning is as vital as any other aspect of life. Many housekeepers are either single mothers or have more than one dependant. And very often, these women (or men) work far from home, making financial planning especially critical. From doing your monthly budget to saving for trips back home. Or non-negotiables like your children’s education, every step counts towards securing a stable financial future.

2. Insurance hygiene

“Insurance Hygiene” was the buzzword at the gathering, advocating for safeguarding oneself against life’s unforeseen events. Malobane said we all tend to get emotional over these topics. However, they are all realities that many of us will have to deal with. Death, illness, disability — there is no escaping tragedy. So it pays to be financially prepared and covered.

“Whether it’s life cover, funeral plans, or disability insurance. These policies ensure that your loved ones are shielded from financial burdens in your absence,” said Malobane.

3. Couples and Money

For couples, aligning financial goals and behaviours is paramount. We all know that money can be one of the most divisive topics in any relationship. Transparent communication about income, debt management, and shared responsibilities is vital. It should lay the foundation for a harmonious financial journey. One where you and your partner can grow together in a shared direction.

Additionally, Malobane advised that all couples to take legal precautions before commitment. Seek advice when it comes to pre-nuptial and antenuptial agreements, as well as Wills. These are all indispensable tools for protecting one’s legacy. They also ensure financial protection both inside and outside the boundaries of a relationship.

4. The Importance of Wills

Contrary to popular belief, Wills are not reserved for the wealthy. Malobane said they serve as blueprints for distributing assets and safeguarding the future of your loved ones. But she advised there are many ways to go about it. So it is crucial to do your research or speak to a trusted financial adviser. This will help to find an approach that’s right for you and your family.

“A testamentary trust, for instance, ensures that your children’s inheritance is utilised according to your wishes. This shields them from potential exploitation,” said Malobane.


5. Planning for Retirement

“Starting small today can pave the way for a comfortable retirement tomorrow,” said Malobane.

By investing wisely and thinking ahead, retirement funds can serve as a safety net. This not just for you but for future generations to come. She said even a small amount can really add up over time if you start early.

“How much you stash away depends on the kind of life you envision for yourself down the road. Also the unique needs of you and your family as you age. Gone are the days when women worked until their knees collapsed. This was just because they were the only breadwinners at home and there was no education on retirement planning. Today, we have resources and information available at the tip of our fingers.”

The Housekeepers High Tea event transcended mere social gatherings. With the help of Metropolitan’s Queen Malobane, it also became a beacon of financial enlightenment.

As Mbali Nhlapho eloquently stated: “I know that housekeepers know how to save when it comes to hygiene. But we also need to know our insurance hygiene.”

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