Becoming a Virtual Assistant in South Africa

In 2015, I was introduced to Virtual Assistance, and while I was initially fascinated by how it works, I was also confused as to how it would actually work for me as a Zimbabwean living in South Africa. Up until this point, all the people I had seen online were not living in Africa and it seemed like such a far fetched dream.

By 2018, I  noticed more and more people working remotely and I updated my notes. However, my job became busier and I only managed to do part-time on-site work. 

Then suddenly in 2020, I was retrenched for the third time in my life.  Once again I was left out on the cold, with no real control of my income. Having been retrenched previously I knew that the current economic climate would make it difficult for me to secure another job immediately. It clicked to me that I truly wanted to take charge of my income and most importantly my schedule. 

Do not wait until the conditions are perfect to begin. Beginning makes the conditions perfect. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Alan Cohen⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

While begrudgingly serving my notice period, I took action. I researched further and found not only was it now viable to be a Virtual Assistant in South Africa but there was a thriving community. I’ll be honest I spent many nights watching YouTube tutorials between the hours of 12 midnight and 5 am (Thank God for night data) 

I made a list of every skill I knew I had and scoured the internet to see if anyone had ever been paid for it. I created graphics on Canva and joined various Facebook groups in the hopes of finding work. I signed up for free webinars and masterclasses. 

One of the first promotional graphics I created

Becoming visible online was important to me so slowly started revamping my social media and started telling people I was looking for work. I scrambled together and designed a Website on WIX… In order to look more professional, I asked my sister to take me photos which I still use today on my website. She used her iPhone by the way. 

I posted my first promotional post on 19 June 2020 and in less than 30 days I had clients.

Sometimes I worked for free, though it turned out not to be as beneficial as I had anticipated it would be. I highly recommend if you go this direction get guarantees in a place like if you’re working for a testimonial that you actually get it. I’m glad that I didn’t do it too long and one of the clients became a paying client. I also paid in the form of data bundles by one person. 

My first paid VA gig was uploading images onto an e-commerce store. I had my first paying client by the 16th of July 2020.  Once I knew it was possible for ME I couldn’t stop. I was forced to maximise my talents in a way I never really thought about.

I learned on the go and refined my way of doing things. I challenged myself to talk about my new business on every platform I had including my Youtube channel. 


  • Use what you have
  • Research, research, research
  • Whatever your want is possible
  • Use your social media intentionally
  • Leverage your personal network
  • Ask for help
  • Don’t wait for it to be perfect

Thanks for reading

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