6 Tips to the Key to Success with Odwa Ndungane.

What is the key to success? We all have goals and ambitions and whether we’re looking for the key to success in life, or in our career, or in our hobby, it’s a question we have all asked ourselves. We recently connected with our Brand Ambassador, Odwa Ndungane, to pick his brain on this exact question. And with a ‘success’ sheet as long as Odwa’s, we were sure to get some valuable insights into the Key to Success!

Odwa’s story is unique in that he has managed to find success in so many different areas. He is of course well known for his rugby career that spanned over 17 years (a feat in itself) where he spent the bulk of his career playing for the Sharks as well as representing the Springboks between 2008 – 2011 (which included being a part of the 2011 World Cup squad). Outside of his rugby career, Odwa has found success as a businessman and is a Director at Ndungane Construction, he is also a TV presenter on SuperSport, runs a charity organisation with his brother Akona, called the Ndungane twins foundation, and most importantly he is a successful and happy family man. So, as you can imagine, Odwa has a lot of advice to offer when it comes to the topic of success – here are 6 points that he has learned in his journey, where his main goal is to keep on learning and moving forward:


For Odwa, it all begins with the individual and the passion. Odwa refers to his early days in rugby in which he felt a burning desire to achieve success in the sport. But it takes more than just passion to gain success. It all comes down to the individual and having a real sense of work ethic and the willingness to make the required sacrifices to achieve your goals. Odwa goes on to say ‘98% of success is what you put in’ and as we go through these points, you will pick up that they are all connected as they form part of the ‘process’ that Odwa has mapped out from his years of experience and learnings.


As Odwa looks back, a key memory for him was when his coach at Border Bull Dogs, Kobus Van Der Merwe, called Odwa to tell him that he would be in the starting line up for the weekends game against Western Province! This would place Odwa right in the deep end for his first ever senior match and at just 19 years of age he found himself matching up against Springbok legends; Pieter Rossouw, Percy Montgomery and Breyton Paulse! And for Odwa ‘That’s where it all started’ – a testament to the classic saying, ‘You’ve got to be in it to win it’ and it’s no different when it comes to success. To achieve your goals, you’ve got to jump in, even if its scary.


Not long after Odwa kicked off his senior career, the Sharks came knocking on his door and Odwa jumped at the opportunity to join the franchise. Unfortunately, things didn’t go exactly according to plan and he found himself on the back foot after joining the team. He was then faced with an ultimatum, he could either follow the easy road and accept the coach’s offer to put him out on loan to the Griquas OR he could stay and fight for his place in the starting team. Odwa’s decision to stay and fight taught him 3 key things. 1 – Never give up; you must be willing to work through the hard times and be adaptive for when things are not going your way. 2 – Learn to optimize mistakes; What he means by this is to change the way you think about mistakes. Mistakes are actually a powerful opportunity for you to learn – and when you learn, you’re better prepared for future challenges. So by flipping the mindset on ‘mistakes’, you’re now able to create opportunities where others might see failure. And 3 – it all comes back to the individual; Odwa was able to turn his situation around by focusing on his approach and work ethic and trusting his process.


Once you have set your goals, it’s important to break them down and understand what they mean. For example, you can’t just say, ‘I want to be the best’, you have to go further than that and unpack what process you need to follow to achieve success. And as you work through this process, Odwa also highlights these 5 P’s that will help focus your energy; Have a PLAN, Be POSITIVE, Be PRESENT, Be PATIENT and Be PERSISTENT.


The next step in following your process is another key mindset switch. When striving to achieve your goal, your mindset needs to be one of continuous improvement. It can’t just be about ticking boxes. You need to be learning and growing to ensure you keep moving forward. And as Odwa also points out, this is still vital even after you have achieved your goal, as, ‘it’s harder to stay at the top than to get there’. Keep finding ways to push yourself and to keep moving forward.


As with everything in life – balance is key. Too much of one thing is never good for you and life isn’t made up of just one box. There are lots of different boxes and to be truly successful, you need to be fulling all of these because if you’re focused on just one thing and it gets taken away, you can then find yourself lost. So, while you work hard to achieve your goals, no matter what they may be, make sure you are finding time to create balance in your life.

It really was fantastic to connect with Odwa on such a powerful topic and one on which he is so willing to share his experiences. It’s another great reason why we are so glad to have him on team Bidvest Insurance and while Odwa continues to focus on the Key to Success, we are glad we get to support him on his journey in moving forward through our powerful products such as Key Angel (Click here to find out more about how Key Angel)

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