“You Are Never too Old to Learn Something New”

Q: Tell us a few things about your country, and also your life's story!

A: I am proud to be from South Africa! My country is a diverse, vibrant, colourful and enthusiastic. It has breath-taking natural beauty, a growing economy, a wide selection of holiday destinations, interesting cultures and lots of sunshine. South Africa is rich in natural resources, design, cultures and interesting people. Being one of the leading countries in Africa in terms of economics and trade, South Africa is certainly influential and impactful. Along with this, South Africa is also an influential global player and trade partner.

I grew up as a farm girl on a sheep farm in the Karoo. This upbringing kept me grounded and taught me valuable lessons in hard work, resilience and determination. I come from a large, loving and supportive family which continues to positively impact on my life. Due to my home’s location I went away to boarding school and residence at University, these experiences taught me how to be independent, considerate and resourceful. I love the outdoors, running, tennis, travelling, animals and meeting new people! I have studied Investment Management, Marketing, Financial Planning and Strategic Management and Planning. This academic background has given me a strong foundation on various business-related matters. My work in financial planning and asset management in the corporate industry have taught me valuable skills in client service, accountability and business operations. I look forward to gaining further valuable work experience and experiencing new opportunities in a variety of new countries!

Q: What is your view of the world as it is today? And how do you define the concept of a better world?

A: My view on the world is that it is fast paced, detached, has a high level of consumerism and is running out of resources! I worry that processes, systems and operations have become impersonal due to technological developments. I also think that the globe is overpopulated and faces threats insufficient food provision and environmental sustainability. A better world would encompass more consideration, less selfishness, educated people putting their knowledge to good use, improved use of our current facilities, sustainable living, impactful collaborations and radical innovation!

Q: What are some of the key challenges in your society?

A: The key challenges in my society in South Africa include that of the negative and snowballing effects of crime, poverty, social issues, the limited access to affordable and quality education, a lack of water, desertification, implementing sufficient renewable energy sources and an unreliable and under-utilized railway system. I think my country has so much potential to grow and develop. However, we need to be accountable, do strategic planning, act and form valuable collaborations in order to change our future.

Q: As a young individual what are a few of the hurdles that you had to overcome up until today?

A: As a young individual, it is hard to source funding to pursue tertiary education. The threat of mining to a rare and fragile natural environment is extremely harmful. South Africa is also geographically distant from major influential countries for work and travel opportunities. As a South African looking to work, travel or study abroad, there are many visa requirements needed to be met which can

make it limiting. There is also a lack of inter-provincial safe and reliable public transport systems. The crime changes our way in which we view our world and posses a daily threat to our safely. I believe that through increased awareness, careful planning, valuable collaborations and efficient problem solving – these hurdles can be reduced.

Q: Why is the role of a mentor important for you?

A: A mentor helps us by sharing best practices from similar experiences, guidance on life in the work place and they help to shed light on difficulties we might be experiencing. This is important to me since I like to learn from what others can share with me and discover best practices for the future.

Q: Do you have a lesson that life has taught you and you would like to share?

A: You are never too old to learn something new, change your lifestyle or take on a new challenge! I am currently a full time postgraduate student again in an exciting new country - both of which I never expected I would do!

Q: Name a project, a foundation or a person in your country that you think is doing great work in helping improve other people's lives!

A: The Allan Gray Orbis Foundation is empowering and supporting scholars, students and young adults across the country in pursuing academic excellence and entrepreneurship!

Q: What are some of the challenges that women in your country face and what efforts are made towards gender equality?

A: Women are seen to still take on traditional roles in the workplace or home environment. Having a family is often sacrificed for a career when rather they could be cleverly combined. Efforts made towards gender equality have included work continuously done by gender based organizations, legislation and awareness campaigns.

Q: Athena40 is the first ever global selection of the top 40 women forward thinkers, commentators, activists, authors, academics, entrepreneurs, executives, innovators. Can you think of a truly innovative and forward-thinking woman from your country that you wish to nominate for the Athena40 global list?

A: Magda Wierzycka - CEO of Sygnia (Fintech Asset Management company) For her fearlessness, wealth of knowledge, courageous journalism and innovative thinking!

Q: Share with us a phrase, a poem or a story that you love or you find interesting!

A: "Ambition is the path to success. Persistence is the vehicle you arrive in."
- Bill Bradley

Q: Tell us one thing that you have learned from your mentor.

A: Be open-minded, adventurous and never stop learning new things!