The realisation that some women feel uncomfortable exercising in front of men inspired Nolwazi Njilo (24) to open Femactive Studio, a women’s only gym.
Based in Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal, Njilo’s gym ensures that women are able to train and exercise in a space where they feel comfortable.
Njilo opened the gym in April.
She has a sport science degree from the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
“I also completed my honours degree in exercise science and am now busy with my master’s degree,” says Njilo.
She has completed an internship with the AmaZulu Football Club and also ran fitness testing for the Golden Arrows Football Club, both of which are based in Durban.
At the start of her career, Njilo also coached high school sports teams and worked as a strength and conditioning specialist to help athletes to get back onto the field after an injury.
Eventually, she decided to open her own fitness studio.
“I just wanted to create a space where women can feel free and safe in anything that they choose to wear,” she explains.
The gym caters for all women’s fitness needs, including group training, and offers boxing, steps, functional training, high-intensity interval training, conditioning for the elderly and dancing in heels.
“My clients can train with a personal trainer, but also have the option to facilitate their own training, at their own pace, using any of the equipment,” she says.
Njilo realised that many women, who hadn’t been to gym before, do not know how to use the equipment.
She says they would then only run on the treadmill and leave because they were too scared to ask for assistance.
Her women’s only gym addressed this challenge, as the women feel comfortable asking other women for help.
The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) gave Njilo R50 000 to buy equipment. “This boosted my business because I could offer clients more,” she says.
The business has created five jobs for women in the community since opening its doors.
For information about NYDA funding, contact 087 158 6345 or email firstname.lastname@example.org