Nullens may have been handed life on a silver platter but she is made of steel.
Her first years with a silver spoon in her mouth saw her start from the bottom. Her first job was as a tea girl, at her dad’s consulting firm, at 14, then a typist and a personal assistant at 16.
Like a thief in the night, bad times came. Her father fell ill and the money dwindled. Hospital bills were piling up. They sold all their cars and used up all of their savings. This painful time steeled her for the tough world of entrepreneurship.
She founded L’eau Choisie, a still water brand.
“I asked a friend to create a logo for free and negotiated to make payments bit by bit with suppliers. We didn’t have any machinery, we did everything manually. We didn’t even have a machine to fill the water bottles; we had to measure with our eyes. I then moved door to door at big shops and asked them to taste and stock my water,” says Nullens.
The sweat earned her a businesswoman of the year nomination from the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce in 2012.
By 2014, Nullens was getting married. She couldn’t find a wedding planner so she founded Conquered Events. As part of her marketing strategy and love for media, Nullens also founded Conquered TV, an entertainment online TV channel. Under Africa Petroleum, her new company based in Mozambique, she has also recently invested in fuel tankers she hires to companies.
Her struggles years ago compel Nullens to give back and encourage others to do the same. She founded Celebs 4 Change, an NGO that encourages African A-listers to give their time to charity. On October 7, she will host the inaugural African Leaders 4 Change awards, hosted by Akon, in Sandton.
Appropriate for a woman of steel tempered by change and outrageous fortune.