Mbali Z. Ndlovu (Photo/Courtesy of Lukafit)

When black women inspire each other to live healthy lives, it’s a wonderful thing.

After starting a small fitness group with just a few of her friends, Mbali Z. Ndlovu learned this firsthand.

She was happy, healthy and seeing the positive effects of implementing these changes to her lifestyle.  This intimate accountability group grew to a health and fitness community for Black women in New York of over 800 women.

After realizing the benefits of organizing women through wellness, Ndlovu wanted to do more.

She quit her full-time job to continue her passion of motivating women through fitness. Fast forward a few months, and Lukafit was born. It is an activewear brand designed for Black women who aspire to live long, healthy and boundless lives. Lukafit is partially derived from the Zulu word juluka, which means to sweat. Sweating releases “feel good” endorphins, detoxifies the body, and gives you a healthy glow. So what better product to inspire women to swear then through LukaFit’s high-waisted leggings that were released earlier this year? The leggings can be worn while running marathons – or running errands. This is just the start for Ndlovu’s growing empire.

Get inspired by Mbali Z. Ndlovu by learning more about Lukafit.

What year were you founded?

2016

What inspired you to launch your business?

I was initially inspired to launch Lukafit after I started a fitness group with 10 of my friends and realized that the positive peer pressure and accountability helped us develop daily health and wellness habits. With more regular exercise, I had a regular outlet to sweat my stress away, and finally started to feel more confident about my body.  I then started a health and fitness community for Black women in New York that has grown to nearly 800 members and counting.

Like me, most of the women I’ve met along my health journey want to get stronger, healthier and feel more confident. However, it’s tough to feel confident in leggings that don’t fit properly and have huge gaps at the waist. It’s frustrating to support brands that treat women of color as tokens in their advertising, if we’re even included at all. It’s difficult to stick to your health and fitness goals consistently when you’re going it alone.

I started Lukafit to address all of these issues. Lukafit provides activewear that fits our curvier bodies and a supportive community of sisters united in self-care.

What makes your brand unique?

Lukafit is the first activewear brand that encourages the pursuit of holistic health & wellness, self-love and sisterhood for Black women.

Why should everyone #buyblack this holiday season?

Because it’s incredibly important for us to “be the change we want to see.” Supporting Black-owned businesses leads to wealth and job creation, which are essential foundations for creating positive social change in our communities.

How do you pay it forward within your community?

A few friends and I are working on a mentorship program for aspiring Black founders. We’re very passionate about sharing what we’ve learned along our entrepreneurial journeys so that young people with great ideas don’t have to keep reinventing the wheel.

What is your business mantra?

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together,” which is a West African proverb.