The journey that got me here
My turn has come to step onto the plate – open doors for others and let them find their voice.
I have been active in the formal sector of South Africa’s economy for more than 30 years. In these three decades I have been to many interesting places and a handful of firsts.
In 1991, when I worked as a Personnel Officer in the then Department of Post & Telecommunications, I enrolled for the Bachelor of Administration (B.Admin) Honours programme at Tukkies. In that class of 1991, I was the only Black person in the class, the first black post-graduate in that Department. It was incredibly challenging, especially as in terms of the policy of the University at the time; we took lectures in Afrikaans and wrote exams in English.
In 1994, I represented the Black Management Forum (BMF) in the RDP Council. I was employed then by the BMF as its Head of Organisational Transformation.
I was privileged in the first five years of the new and democratic South Africa to be appointed as the first Director for Equal Opportunities in the Department of Labour, tasked with the responsibility of setting up the Directorate and defining public policy to shape legislation on Employment and Occupational Equity. I contributed to the Green Paper, published in July 1996.
In 2003, while serving as President of the Institute of People Management (IPM), I was one of the breakaway session speakers at the Chartered Institute of People Development (CIPD). There I met one of the keynote speakers Deepak Chopra who invited me to join the Global Alliance for a New Humanity. I was one of first two Africans to be Honorary Members of the Founding Council. I attended the launch event in Puerto Rico in December 2003.
These and many other experiences have led me realise that I have a duty to plough back and make whatever modest contribution possible to the prosperity of our country. Given where I come from, born in Atteridgeville, raised in Jane Furse Sekhukhuneland, schooled in Jane Furse, Lebowakgomo (S J van der Merwe Technical High School) and Kempton Park (Promat College); perhaps there are many young and rural South Africans who can benefit from my experience.
I am a graduate of the school of hard knocks. I knocked on many doors after graduating at the Universities of Zululand, Pretoria and the Kellogg Graduate School of Business and by the Grace of God Almighty doors of opportunity were opened for me. Every time these were opened, there was a Catalyst, a Mentor and Coach, most of these were from the GI, Silent and Baby Boomer Generations; a handful of my peers also flung a door or two open for me; perhaps my turn has come to step onto the plate – open doors for others and let them find their voice.
May the Almighty fuse our positive energies together to contribute to a dream bigger than all of us – building a prosperous South Africa, a pioneering nation without poverty through positively earth-shattering change.