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Living a life of balance, Zealously

ZEA GOVE is something of an anomaly. She hates studying but loves learning. Her right and left brains constantly duke it out for supremacy, before settling on level pegging, there being few grey areas in her grey matter. As brand strategist and marketing manager for Mpact Plastics, all her lobes enjoy a strenuous daily workout. 

‘Strategy development and execution keep my logical side “fed”, while content creation fuels my need to communicate,’ she explains. Which, being linguistically ambidextrous, she does equally proficiently in English and Afrikaans, both professionally and personally. 

No half measures here! When she learns she does it to the nth degree. She was the country’s top student in both her marketing and business BCom and brand leadership honours. She returns to the books as often as work, wifedom and motherhood allow, with negotiation, information technology and digital marketing skills added to her credentials over the years. Most recently, she completed a corporate communication course with veteran journo Janine Lazarus. 

At Mpact Plastics, her unmistakable drive catapulted her from sales – where she stagnated in a short time – to head of a small team with a modest budget tackling a mammoth four-year branding strategy. In the last two years, Zea’s merry Mpact Plastics band increased the company’s brand exposure by about 316% and slashed communication costs by up to 76%. You go Gove!    

Her favourite project, however, was the four-year journey to an online presence closing the loop from exposing prospects to the brand to engaging about products. 

In an ever-changing industry, there is always something – lately extended producer responsibility (EPR) legislation – to upend the apple cart. But if you’re Zea, you don’t count the bruises on your braeburns, you make a superb strudel. ‘Fresh thinking always emerges from challenge,’ she insists. 

With EPR, she can’t wait to sink her teeth into a juicy slice of consumer education, based on fact rather than ‘greenwashing’ and starting with her hobbyhorse, the two-bag recycling approach. The long-awaited POPI bloomed in 2021, also providing ‘more to learn, do and measure’. ‘It’s exciting,’ she enthuses. 

At Mpact Plastics, Zea has acquired skills rarely learnt from a book – maximising each hour by working with intention, stepping up rather than ducking when the ‘oops’ is yours, clearly setting deadlines and expectations, and never forgetting respect as fundamental to any relationship. 

These are life lessons that she and husband Andrew will instil in the young Goves, Tevye, five, and Bielke, four. Zea carries the title ‘helicopter parent’ with great pride and has almost completed a book on the topic, in which she will reveal what others dare not. More than a little dirty laundry will be aired on those pages, we predict.

In the meantime, dad has kept rainy days at bay, literally and figuratively, as owner of a booming business GWR Roofing. 

For a reality check on life, the couple step into their backyard and gaze across the valley at a roof on a distant property. It’s not just any roof – it was Andrew’s first. ‘It’s a reminder of how far we’ve come and how important it is to always do a good job because it may be staring you in the face for eternity,’ Zea laughs.

Being who they are, the two can’t just relax and soak in the rewards. Zea was top student in her day, so Andrew followed suit when he studied project management. He started running, so she joined him, determined to stay ahead at all times. 

After a long trip through nappies and sleep deprivation, camping, fly fishing, mountain biking and canoeing pleasures are returning. ‘Anything that involves mother nature and dirt appeals to us,’ she states. ‘No flatscreen TVs for us, thank you.’

That said, Zea concludes, a conscious decision to achieve life balance is a personal triumph. ‘The tendency is to glorify success in one area at the expense of others. Doing well physically, financially, mentally, relationally and religiously results from living intentionally and, ultimately, brings better all-round performance.

‘The exercise has revealed how much life there is to live and it’s now clear that I need to stick around to at least 100.’

Click here to read this in the E-mag.

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