As our Matoyana Media team grows we’re delighted to introduce you to the latest member of the team, Pati Kwakwa. Pati was born and raised in Polokwane and spent good portion of her schooling years in Gauteng, matriculating from St Mary’s DSG in Pretoria and graduating from WITS and the Wits Business School in Johannesburg). She is now back in Polokwane and works with us remotely.
We interviewed Pati to find out more about her background , her passions and her goals in life.
Hi Pati, tell us a little bit about yourself – what profession did you want to be when you were a child?
I have always had a deep passion for the fashion industry, so it was between a model and fashion designer, but as I grew older, I started leaning more towards a creative director.
What degree do you have?
I have an undergraduate degree in Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Media Studies.
What made you study that particular thing?
Mainly to understand the power structures and how gatekeepers control the way we think and perceive the world in order to further their agendas.
What was the most memorable thing about studying?
The most memorable thing about studying is the freedom that I had. I am a very free-spirited young lady and the fact that I was responsible for balancing my social life, academic life and health was very exciting to me. Not to mention, I lived at res so I did not have parents dictating to me when I can go out and what time I must be home
What five things have been the best about working at Matoyana?
It is a working environment where a degree of autonomy is encouraged. Everyone at Matoyana has a strong work ethic. Matoyana has an identity and purpose beyond its everyday business routine. I was not treated as a mere intern but was given the opportunity to grow within the business. Nokwazi is a very respectful and admirable manager who seeks to develop her employees rather than intimidate them and tear them down.
What are five things that have surprised you about the business world?
Although we are taught to communicate well and not make use of profane language within the workspace, I have had experience with recruitment officers and employees in general from very reputable companies use foul language and not express themselves as professionally as they should
You can cook up a big story about what an amazing employee you would make in an organisation and recruiters could potentially never find out it was all a lie
Working at a big company is not as fancy and exciting as they make it seem in the movies. Most of the time these corporations have complex systems where you would have to wait up to a week to get a simple request processed, and they do not give their employees as much autonomy on a project
An organisation is not as great as it seems from the outside compared to when you are inside. Marketing is indeed a very powerful tool. Even managers, directors and people who sit in executive positions do make mistakes and miscalculate things no matter how much experience they have.
What is your favourite meal?
When I am vegetarian it is a veggie burger (patties made from shredded chickpeas with vegetables) and when I am a carnivore, a good steak fillet with chips will do. I do love my vegetables and fruits too!
What is your favourite movie/TV show?
Movie – The Hunger Games franchise and TV show – Orphan Black.
What is your favourite book?
Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch.
How did you cope during lockdown – any new hobbies or learnings?
Unfortunately for me, we continued with the academic programme during lockdown, so it was a matter of self-studying and reading. Might I add, we were under pressure to secure an internship so that was a very stressful time as several companies were in the process of retrenching workers and not looking to hire anyone. So, I barely had time to pick up a new hobby!
Where do you see yourself in 1 year, 5 years and 10 years?
In the next year I see myself renting a beautiful one-bedroom apartment in Johannesburg or Midrand working as an HR officer (or any entry level job in the HR department) of a medium to big sized company
In 5 years, I see myself as a HR manager of the very same company I started at or a different company of the same nature. I would have relocated to a 2/3-bedroom apartment in Bryanston or Sandton, driving a Polo TSI or Renault Megane. My career journey would be very fulfilling, and I would be travelling and learning a lot from other executives, and developing both professionally and personally
In 10 years, I will have already given birth to my first child (possibly pregnant with my second). Professionally, I would have become an HR specialist running my own small company and sitting on a few affluent boards. I would be well on my way to world-status because I would have developed a successful HR model that would have been adopted by many companies in Africa. Not to mention, I would be living in a mansion on a plot in Midrand driving all my dream cars.
What is your favourite quote?
“Time is of the essence.”
It is indeed – and many thanks for your time Pati!