In honour of Women’s Day this year, we touched base with some of the most inspiring women we know: The young ladies from our Smart Girls Rock mentorship programme.
As part of our programme, we selected 11 of the smartest and brightest girls from Umqhele Comprehensive School, Ingqayizivele Secondary School and Thuko Ke Maatla Secondary School and provide them with the right level of mentorship - not only to complete matric and reach university, but to graduate from university. At the beginning of this year, we got the greatest news possible – all of these incredible students passed Matric with a Bachelor’s admission averaging 70%!
We are still mentoring these youngsters, helping them adjust to university life and preparing them for the working world. In one of their recent weekly sessions with us, we asked the girls to answer a few questions for our blog:
Tell us about life after school
“It is very interesting and difficult at the same time. My life requires me to focus for it to be interesting and fun. I once had some challenges with a certain module but when I mentioned it to my mentors at African Bank, they really helped. University is better when you’re willing to engage and network with people.” – Kgotlello Nonyane, BSc in Mathematical Science in Applied maths and mathematics.
“Life after school has been challenging but also exciting. You learn important lessons in life, like how to be independent and responsible.” – Puseletso Thobejane, LLB
Tell us about a challenge you faced at school and how you overcame it.
“I knew that if ever I wanted to live my best life, I had to be strong. Even though I felt like giving up, I want to change my family's life. I feel like they are depending on me to better their lives.” – Mpho Magabe, Nursing
“Finding accommodation and paying for it, but a monthly salary is really helping. Emotionally it is challenging too. I don’t know if I have overcome that challenge or not. Another problem was maths but I overcame that by getting a tutor.” – Martha Montsheng Madonsela, Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting
“It was difficult getting used to the fact that my family is not around to motivate me to study. I downloaded videos of graduates to hear their stories on how they dealt with the transition and through that I saw that am not alone. I also wrote short, medium and long-term goals to push through.” – Sindiswa Khosa, BCom Accounting
What can women do better to uplift other women?
“Realise that another woman’s achievement is actually her achievement too. Always try to add value to another woman's life and try to speak positively. Words are very powerful, they can either make or break you.” – Lerato Mohlafase, BSc Life Sciences
“The best way to uplift each other is to apply Ubuntu to ourselves. ‘I am who I am because of you’. Women should help each other, remembering that one’s success is a success of the nation. Help your sisters in need and enrich each other’s minds to achieve common goals, eradicate gender inequality and poverty.” – Bafedile Nchabaleng, Bachelors degree in Education
As a young South African woman, how does it make you feel knowing that Basani Maluleke is our CEO?
“Basani gives me hope and her appointment inspires me, knowing I can be anything I want to be for as long as I breathe.” – Mapitsi Sehodi, BCom Education
“It’s so encouraging to know that women can be in charge. Let me take you back to the apartheid era where black females were suppressed and said to be weak. Basani Maluleke as an African Bank CEO proves that anything is possible, there's no reason to shut off your dreams because there are lot of great opportunities. #WomenRunTheWorld.” – Pethang Maleka, B.ENG Mechanical Engineering