The National Mentorship Movement Community Stories.
The National Mentorship Movement Entrepreneurship Centre
Free practical courses for phenomenal people wanting to start or grow their businesses.
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We are thrilled to share with you the inspiring journeys of individuals who have benefited from our mentorship program. We hope these stories will inspire and motivate you to pursue your own goals and seek mentorship as a valuable resource on your journey.
NMM General Mentorship Programme
NMM is a Non-Profit Company and Section 18A Public Benefit Organisation. It was formed following a forum of business leaders in 2015 at which they discussed how mentorship could assist to address South Africa’s massive unemployment problem and our poor entrepreneurial health. The forum accordingly mandated a team to introduce mentorship at scale to support entrepreneurs and others across the nation to create jobs and greater social cohesion.
I would first like to thank NMM for trusting me with their mentees and for being part of a life changing programme. I have been in contact with Nhlanhla (mentee) sharing ideas on how he can improve his business.
When we started the journey, the business had no systems and no sales, hence we continued post the mentorship period. I am proud that he followed my guidance of using social media and approaching schools. For the first time in October, he sent a message that he made an income of R11000 from one school and the business is getting customers for birthdays etc... I am certain that next year the business will grow more and perform better as the basics are now in place.
My mentor Anthea Oosthuizen is a blessing, the National Mentorship Movement programme came at the right time, and I highly recommend it.
Anthea Oosthuizen shows a genuine interest in my personal development.
She listens attentively and assists me to think rationally about situations and aids me on how to approach situations from a level-headed perspective. She is the best person to bounce off my ideas with, express my opinions, and share my frustrations with, and she provides me with objective and constructive feedback. Since I met Anthea, not only have I grown in leadership skills, but my emotional intelligence and my communication skills have been strengthened. Furthermore, I have also gained new perspectives through her willingness to share skills, knowledge, and expertise in the field.
She is reliable, sticks to the scheduled meetings, I trust and value her input… She can give clear guidance on how to perform tasks or develop useful skills. Anthea assisted me with effective goal setting, tracking progress and staying focused, while providing feedback along the way.
Kevin Thabiso Lebereko
I would like to share my beautiful mentorship journey story with the NMM community. I was partnered with Mentor Tayla after I joined the National Mentorship Movement. From our 1st session, I knew that my success had just begun.
Her approach has allowed me to be honest with her, including details of my personal live. I was free around her, when I started my path, I knew I wanted a business, but I just did not know where to start. She helped me with the following.
1. Business plan
2. Business registrations
3. Marketing strategies.
4. Helped me open a WhatsApp business account, Instagram, and other social media platforms as well as other necessary documents.
I am now the owner of KTIndustries PTY LTD because of my mentor, my clothing and textile business is booming because I was engaged with the most amazing mentor ever.
“Your experiences give you something you can share with someone else and make an impact on that person’s life.”
“It’s actually very easy to make an impact on peoples’ lives. We live in a bubble of privilege where we can reach out to like-minded people when we need guidance.
We have a history of dignity, morality, respect, and mentoring from our parents or peers, but when that bubble is not there there’s a whole new perspective that needs to be considered.”
The Da Vinci Institute prepares people to enter the workplace and provides skills that will enable people to take advantage of the skills required to enter the formal business sector. This is completely different from assisting with business plans or strategies.
Coming from a privileged, educated background, one forgets that there are so many people who just don’t have that initial drive to pursue success and failure means the end of the road. I’ve seen a different side of South Africa. You need a level of patience and determination. Even committing to meetings is not regarded as a commitment, and one needs to try and establish ground rules that both mentor and mentee adhere to. Scheduling meetings, following through, and ensuring that we are in an environment where dialogue and discussion can happen is already a victory rather than chatting whilst strolling through a mall with no commitment to the mentoring process.
“It is about building someone up to understand the meaning of commitment and following through on those commitments. Instilling a level of personal responsibility and professionalism and talking to someone from a completely different background opens ones’ eyes to the diversification in South Africa.”
These people need support to trust their own self-worth and step up and ask questions when in doubt. If they don’t get this before they enter the work world, they won’t last long in the formal sector.
One of the key things we have focused on is planning and time management. So, planning his assignment according to deadlines and working with a plan, breaking things down into bite-size pieces allows more structure than to do everything in a haphazard way. Everyone understands that life happens so when you can’t make a meeting or you’re unsure of what’s required in an assignment, communicate and let people know that you can’t make the meeting or that you’re unsure. If there is a reason for not handing in an assignment or doing really badly in a test, communicating with the lecturer or teacher enables a level of understanding which could allow a rewrite and give a second chance so that this slip does not become the end of the road.
I like to think of South Africans as people with a giving nature.
“Being part of someone’s upliftment is a real kick and NMM allows you to do this on a very personal basis. It’s an opportunity for you to get to know someone who you would never have known unless you were part of a mentoring programme.“
The NMM onboarding is easy and matching works well. You could just donate money but the value of your time and you’re sharing a journey with someone else allows both mentor and mentee to grow and share perspectives.
I linked up with NMM David Wilson of NMM through LinkedIn. I received an e-mail and then linked onto the website.
“I thought that if I have some strengths that could benefit someone else, why not?”
Vivian is a college student studying thought leadership, and we started our journey about 4 months ago.
Vivien is an enthusiastic person and poses a lot of questions and has a lot of ideas. I help her formulate her ideas and transmission into execution and business strategy.
“It’s about the change that happens internally.”
There’s a quote that says practice makes perfect, but I disagree with this statement because if I am practicing the wrong thing, I still won’t get anywhere. Having a mentor will save you a lot of time and prevent you from making the same mistakes over and over. I keep giving her assignments (business research and the like) so that she can feel what it’s really like to run a business. We talk operational cost, managing working capital, break-even points, customer engagement and employee wages, etc. She wants to open an apparel business. I help her take the concept and turn it into a business plan. I also help with identifying free marketing platforms and how to leverage those without huge marketing costs.
“When I spoke to her for the third time, I could hear the difference in the way she speaks. She was inspiring me, and it became a win-win relationship”.
Vivian is great at walking the talk. By asking her to identify her strengths, the identified areas improved but she also started identifying with her authenticity and individuality so that her confidence grew.
“We don’t need to copy or imitate others. If you have a vision or a great big goal, the possibilities are endless. It’s a good feeling to share that with someone who has a bright and colourful future ahead of her.”
NMM is a winning recipe. I enjoy the opportunity it gives me to make a difference in people’s lives. We get so wrapped up in our day-to-day corporate lives which leads to linear growth. There’s so much beauty in the world if we only took time to look. I am grateful to NMM and the NMM family for providing this opportunity. I am passionate about what I do and will keep on doing this. Nowadays When we grew up there was very little opportunity. Coding for example is now taught at school. I only encountered coding 10 years into my corporate journey. Their opportunities sometimes make me jealous!
“The ROI of the NMM program is intangible. I believe that the ROI however is huge. Our EQ level goes up when we avail ourselves to these kinds of opportunities”.
My partnership with my mentee Mark ended successfully even though we have not done all that was planned. He got a job and that has been consuming much of his time, but other than that I am happy that I at least contributed to his career journey.
Feenix Mentorship Programme
Feenix helps students who are registered at universities in South Africa. They help raise funds from investors and can settle outstanding student fees. This financial burden, especially this year, can stop students from pursuing their bachelor's or postgraduate studies. It’s like giving gifts to the hopeless to get them back on their feet.
I am busy with my Master's in English studies. This year was tough in that when we had to leave the university, we had to go home, and we had no or little access to computers which we normally used in the library, and data was a problem. Plus, the environment at home was not conducive to studying. Feenix was wonderful in assisting with data and laptops for the neediest. They really were a lifeline.
“My journey with Rhonda, my mentor, was fantastic. I felt like I needed someone who can help me lift the weight and help me realize my dream. By being introduced to the National Mentorship Movement, I felt as if I had reached a milestone. I felt like I wanted to live and that I could achieve my dreams,”
She kept me focused and told me that no one and nothing can stop me. I enjoyed every session that I had with her.
“I started taking my studies seriously, I started helping in the community so that I could help others reach their potential. Rhonda helped me go the extra mile to get what I want.”
I’d like NMM to spread the message widely. I found it to be a fantastic journey and would really want all South Africans to have access to it.
The Technology Innovation Agency TIA Mentorship Programme
Each year the GCIP-SA combines an annual competition and a business accelerator programme where SMEs and start-ups are continuously trained, mentored and assessed on their business models, investor pitches, communication, and financial skills for the development of a more marketable and investor-attractive product and business.
Connecting with Dave has really helped me get a clearer understanding of what I need in the tech industry, especially since I don’t have a background in IT or software development. He really provided clarity on what questions I should ask, and he is helping me find a developer.
I know it is a bit late in the year, but it is a big program and I want to find the correct person to work with going forward because this could be a long-term project and you know it could change the lives of many people, so it must be done properly. I am having a good journey so far, I am glad I related to Dave, and he has really changed my trajectory of the project.
The very beginning stage of any start-up is quite chaotic. There is a lot going on, and you find yourself forming a team; the different people play different roles and wear many hats, and you hardly get to have someone hear you outside of what is going on internally with your project or your start-up.
So, the one thing that I can say about the mentorship program is what it has helped us with is to kind of provide us with the guidance that we need.
From very early on, it is very practical. We didn’t need to have a lot of meetings because it is quite clear what is asked of you as an innovator; you have the work that you need to do and complete. It has been great. I am quite content with the match, and it has exceeded my expectations. I look forward to the meetings this quarter because I believe as a team, we have managed to push quite a bit so that we can get to where we are currently.
I really look forward to the journey and I appreciate my mentor match with Wasiu. I look forward to more learning. This experience has been filled with a lot of learning and has made me believe more in entrepreneurship because of the support structures that exist in South Africa, particularly in TIA. We are indeed heading in the right direction, and great things are to happen.
Mathapelo Sanah Kabai
I am excited about life. A Laundromat is the business I wanted to start; however, I am currently selling handbags. My dream is to own a laundry and dry cleaner, but I need a bit of capital to start.
My group members helped me realize that I do not need to wait and stress about how I will raise capital for my laundromat and that I should find small goods to sell that can help me with life’s costs. I am now stocking and selling handbags.
The Mancosa Mentorship Programme
Mancosa identified mentorship as a sustainable and impactful means to transition students through their academic studies into successful employees or entrepreneurs. In line with this, we embarked on a series of conversations aimed at exploring the best way to shape a mentorship programme that will promote academic and professional development, help students focus on achieving their goals, and strengthen mutually beneficial relationships among peers. The programme is aimed at ensuring personal and professional growth for mentees and mentors.
I am a qualified HR generalist with over 10 years’ experience in the HR space.
Through this mentorship programme’s mentor training, I developed professionally.
I learned a lot about myself, on time management, patience, and flexibility as my mentees were from different backgrounds and professions. I have shifted from a fixed mindset to a positive mindset, and I am grateful for the opportunity of mentoring the Mancosa 2022 3rd year students/mentees.
“I wanted to change my career path, and I did not know how to begin or change. And then this program came about.”
I met mentor Melesia, and I like her because she had an honest conversation with me about speaking to the relevant people, more so in the space/s I would like to venture into. I did exactly that, and now I just want to say, I have achieved my goal. I am in a very good space. It's been a great journey.”
"This program helped me form an understanding of the many facets of marketing, such as consumer interaction and effective communication."
During the program, I learned how to interact and work with my colleagues who have different sets of strengths and weaknesses.
I learned how to deal with conflicts and challenges, how to manage my time effectively, how to diffuse difficult customer situations, and how to develop and implement more efficient and effective ways to perform my duties, which I believe will lead to an increase in productivity within my company.
Thank you so much for reaching out to me to join the Mancosa mentorship program. What I have achieved from the program is using the models taught to me about how to navigate change, shift my mindset, and various other models that were taught to make me an effective mentor.
I have been applying the lessons in my group mentorship sessions, and this helped my mentees understand themselves more and navigate positive change to effectively achieve their goals. I've also learned how to set vision and goals, plan for action, help shift my mentees' mindset, and how to plan forward. I think this program is a lovely opportunity, and I'm grateful for being a part of this initiative. I hope that many more people get involved, and I look forward to my continued involvement in future sessions.
"Being a mentor in the MANCOSA mentorship program taught me so much about having a growth mindset and the importance of being open and willing to step outside of my comfort zone to explore continuous growth opportunities."
Not only did I learn so much about myself, but I had the privilege of learning a great deal from my mentees and fellow mentors. The program taught me the importance of goal setting and execution and how to overcome challenges that stand in the way of me achieving my goals. I am grateful to the National Mentorship Movement for the opportunity to have mentored in this program and will certainly take the lessons learned and apply them to enhance and enrich my future, as I hope my mentees will too.
"I am a Mancosa alumina, who joined the mentorship programme early this year. I graduated with my MBA in 2015. What I've liked about this mentorship programme is the training that we went through, and the group mentees that were allocated to me."
In the first session, we looked at the river of life, where we got acquainted and told our stories to each other, with the purpose of getting insight into each other’s life. Most of the stories were really inspiring.
The mentorship group/s learned a lot, and the team that I was in was highly active. We were able to build friendships, and I'm happy to have been paired with my group mentorship mentees. The lessons learned and activities added so much value to the sessions, and this was a new experience for all of us. We were well trained, particularly on how to deal with our group mentees/team members. I really appreciate the whole experience and the training that we went through.
This experience also opened my eyes to some things that I was not really sure how to deal with and allowed me to come out of my comfort zone and be able to work with different kinds of people.
This is one of the best programs that Mancosa is doing, and I recommend that it continues. I believe there are areas of improvement, nonetheless, it was a wonderful program, and I will continue to support this initiative in the future. I am still in touch with all my mentees; we communicate and encourage each other. I am thankful to Mancosa for choosing me to be a mentor, and I am really looking forward to the next sessions.
Mentor and Mentee Quotes
"We need to be positive in order to succeed"- Assavela Phohledi
“What has changed for me, is understanding the importance of using my head and heart when making decisions” - Tiara Sukdeo
“A reminder of the ability to interact with mentees and have a better understanding of their needs which has helped me better understand myself and my needs” – Sithembile Khoza
“Whatever I do needs to align with my goals” - Lerato
“You are not today who you were yesterday, and you will not be who you are today, tomorrow” – Andile Putu
“I have learnt to put myself out of the situation when needing to make a decision” – Alice Masango
“The power of the spoken word! All the information provided in the mentor training sessions have helped me and my mentees move from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset” – Menisia Johnson
“I have learnt the importance of seeing things from a different perspective” – Debbie Smit
“I am more responsible and accountable because of this programme’s schedule; I am now applying this in other areas of my life. This programme has helped me manage group resistance and this has been a life changing experience” – Ruphas Kafera
“This programme has helped enhance the things that I know” – Regina Sivagamie
“I have learnt the importance of practicing what you preach. Apply the knowledge yourself” – Nonkululeko Ntuli
“Have honest and open conversations” – Zanele Buthelezi
The IQ Business Mentor Forward Mentorship Programme
IQ Business is a partner of the National Mentorship Movement NMM and its employees have mentored in a variety of other NMM partner programme
"Last year, I worked for IQ Business contracting at Standard Bank. And I moved across from IQ permanently to join the bank in a permanent role and was introduced to NMM there."
They're doing a whole lot of outreach. I just reached out to the National Mentorship Movement, and she introduced me to Dave Wilson. Dave and I went for coffee and got it all sorted from there. I was hooked up with Mabel at the start of the year (2021), and it’s been wonderful ever since. We were both dismayed when we were told our journey was over. We're just going to continue as friends or on an ad hoc basis and send each other voice notes to stay in touch.
“I'm trying to get her an internship in a radiology department. So, I'm actually going to start with an email to 94.7 for the Christmas wish list”
You can't force relationships. You either get on with your boss, you either get on with your girlfriend's friend - it either works or doesn't. Initially we had a very casual conversation and a couple of laughs. It was only later that we got down to questions like “What do you want to work on?”, “What tangible steps do you need to start your journey into the corporate world?”. She was quite erratic, and I helped with stress formatting techniques, simple breathing exercises and meditation and a to-do list - just a little to do list - three things that she needs to do in a day and then one she needs to do for herself. We created a new CV for her, and I helped with a Linkedin profile. We chat about an elevator pitch, about what she wants to do and why she wants to do it. And that's when the radiologists thing popped up.
“She was taking quite a bit of strain in terms of keeping up with her lectures and attending hospital and that sort of thing and I really took my hat off to her because, I think a million people in her position would have just given up. It makes you appreciate what you have and that your problems seem small in comparison.”
She seemed more in control of things and her messages were more positive. She’d send a message saying:” I'm feeling happy today” which is great feedback!
Mabel took some nice photos in a Feenix jersey to advertise for Feenix. And then we did a charity drive together. She made a LinkedIn post. and then I gave it a push, like Standard Bank, NMM and Feenix was a tripartite Alliance, it's all working together, and we both really enjoyed that!
The NMM team is fantastic and very hands on in their work.
“Mentoring helped me so much through COVID lockdown. There is so much sadness around you and on TV there is sadness - even a trip to the store highlights the sadness, so helping someone - even if it's just an hour every 2 weeks re-energizes me.”
The Da Vinci Institute Mentorship Programme
Dineo started a small business selling blankets. Through the blanket business she managed to pay off her car. This has now expended her business as she can reach more customers. She can make deliveries to customers who order over the phone or online.
I had an idea of quality education for all. I wanted to know how to go about this idea or how I can make it work.
My journey with Mr Fani has been great. He helped me start my business and gave me good advice on how to handle things in business. Mr Buswe Fani is a good mentor.
The printing SA Mentorship Programme
Ayanda Nangalembe & Tonderai Mawopa
Assalamu alaikum my name is Ayanda Halima Nangalembe. I am the co-founder of Halima company Pty (Ltd). sometime in August 2021. I got a call and a gratulations email from National Mentorship Movement.
My mentor was Mr. Tonderai Mawopa who is a Senior Lecturer with practical professional experience demonstrated in a career spanning 17 years working in higher education institutions in South Africa and Holland.
Areas of expertise on marketing, branding, green marketing, change and innovation, hospitality, and English language. Mr. Tonderai with the short time we had he took time to listen to our challenges, developments mistakes and shared his point of view and what to look at and develop in your business. By then my business was still in an idea face but with accountability and every meeting on how we as entrepreneurs can push to have better growth in the next meeting. My business has grown so much in October 2021. I launched a brand called African Muslim and an art product since November 2021. I presented to my soul to a Muslim audience from all over the world in a mosque at Hammonds. 12 November I won a bidding competition with both for business programme as a tough youth business that can make it in the country, I also won in June 2022 a stall that was sponsored by Nedbank simply based through youth African entrepreneurs’ institution Expo for the ninth of July 2022 If it wasn't for Mr. Tonderai teachings, admin team at National Mentorship Movement following up with me on every meeting and reminding me to attend the business wouldn't be here. Thank you so much for the opportunities that you have opened for me. You are doing a great job of pushing the success of others knowingly and unknowingly.
The CDI Capital Mentorship Programme
Lauren Gregory & Sune Marias Mentorship Journey
From my point of view, just having someone to talk to about specific things was very comforting. I was able to speak out without judgment or Sune being close to the situation which can cause hesitation.
In the beginning of our mentorship, I felt nervous and scared to share my thoughts, but a year later I have learnt that being opening and discussing things can not only build your confidence, but help you learn things you can use in your own processes. No matter what your position within a company, there is always room for growth, and you need to be willing to allow this. I have always been reserved and hold in the things I am hoping to achieve, but the discussions with Sune have showed me that you can speak up confidently without sounding rude, it is a matter of how you address your situation.
[Sune] I am a firm believer in open and honest communication. Change is always scary and taking on new responsibilities can be intimidating and rewarding at the same time. Sharing personal reflection and learning is so valuable and from our discussions I found that you wanted to grow your team and ensure that they also grow which is refreshing to see and speaks to your personal ethos and work ethic. The importance of mutual respect was a key take out for me. The need the remain focused also became more evident as time progressed in our discussion as it is easy to get lost in daily tasks and then losing sight of the strategic goals one would like to achieve. In our discussions it became important for me to keep looking at the goals that needed to be achieved and to keep track of achievements.
Personal development and growth are such an important aspect in life, and I am so pleased that there was progress and movement in the right direction. Continuous reflection on what one has achieved and goal setting of where one would want to go is such an important part of an individual’s journey. Your personal growth and motivation have become present to me in our discussions in the way that your thought process of addressing matters changed.
Mervyn Gers & Rick Ed Mentorship Journey
Despite the severe impact of loadshedding (and his improving health), Mervyn continues to build on his successes. He has largely empowered his staff to ensure his business functions in his absence: staff receive ongoing, relevant training (e.g., Kaizen, Excel) and perform well when learning is applied.
Cash Flow Forecast is updated regularly, and Mervyn monitors it at weekly online management meetings. Financial projections show significant improvement in profitability and cash holding over the next six months Klins upgraded, and sales are improving significantly but shipments severely hampered by power outages.
Big orders from Melbourne Gift Fair and local upmarket retail outlet expansion. By implementing improved procedures, breakages and shipments have been significantly improved, production manager promoted to managing Director. Share options being implemented for senior staff and all other staff to get profit share, risk mitigation systems being implemented and developed. Key-person insurance being reviewed, Mervyn will be freed up to focus on creative design input and product diversification e.g., décor and lighting. Top management has held a very constructive strategic planning meeting to plot the forward and Board of Directors is being appointed.
My journey with Mr Fani has been great. He helped me start my business and gave me good advice on how to handle things in business. Mr Buswe Fani is a good mentor.
Old Mutual Mutually Collaborate Mentorship Programme
"Jabulile was my mentor. It was my first time having a mentor, the induction was good. She asked me questions and to think about a lot of things that I wanted to achieve, especially because I am running a business myself.
I found myself in a situation where I needed assistance, and it came with a lot of challenges. She helped me investigate short and long terms goals. It was an experience, she gave me Homework, lot of homework which was a good because it really clarified a lot of things.it was great working with her. As a pregnant person, sometimes it is very difficult to find me online, but we managed. She is a very patient person. So, I had a lot of challenges with a business partner, but she helped me with a one-year plan to think about the decisions I had to take, and I also had needed in terms of funding, she made me think of ways improving my business model so that when I apply for funding, I will be nicely positioned and to meet whatever the funder might look for."
"Life is always made up of a vision’’ -Dave Wilson
“Worrying wastes time, so being positive is probably a creative action" -Roslyn Solomon
"We need to be positive in order to succeed" -Assavela Phohledi