Fikile Mthwalo hails from Lesotho, a landlocked nation in South Africa. She was born into a culturally and religiously rich pan-African household, with a Kenyan-Tanzanian mother and Sotho father. Fiki explains that her parents fostered an ‘inspired curiosity’ within her, nudging her to ask questions and constantly investigate her environment.
Her culture has always had a zealous attitude toward reusing and repurposing goods. In her early life, items around her were always taking on new life and inhabiting new uses. She fondly recalls how an empty tub of margarine could easily become her lunchbox the following day, or how the red plastic sack that held oranges could be balled up and used to scrub the bathtub during chores. She believes coming of age in this environment inevitably made her conscious of waste and the art of sustainability.
Prior to sinking her teeth into entrepreneurship, Fiki enjoyed a thriving career as an actress on South African television. She appeared in the popular serials It’s Complicated, Isidingo and Gold Diggers, before moving to the United States in 2015. She went on to graduate from NYU with an MFA in Acting.
She enthusiastically adopted a vegan lifestyle 3 years ago, and fondly muses on the irony of being a “butcher’s granddaughter.”
With a familial history of entrepreneurship, Fiki holds that business is an extension of the creative muscle. Drawing parallels to her acting career, she finds that nurturing a business is akin to embodying a character. In both cases, she takes something that is little more than an idea on paper, and breathes life into it. She is proud to be doing business “her own way,” having eschewed the formal teachings of business school to gain hands-on, head-first experience as the founder of Glubbs. This comes, in part, from her aforementioned lineage of entrepreneurship, or, as she says with a chuckle, “a lineage of scaring the shit out of yourself.”