Culture of mentorship necessary

14 July 2017 | Business


First Lady Monica Geingos has stressed that it is important to create mentorship networks. She addressed a room full of women yesterday where she shared learning experiences and what she had learnt.

Geingos also said that the former first lady, Penehupifo Pohamba, had been a mentor to her before her move to State House.

“The former first lady has been a mentor to me. She took me around the State House residence and showed me what the public does not see. The most important parts are the mechanics inside the machine,” said Geingos.

Although she acknowledged that she had been successful in her own right, she emphasised that it was still important to seek mentorship from others as well.

“I’m not too big to be mentored, you need mentorship when you are at your most powerful, success is its own worst enemy. There’s always a new standard to improve upon, you have to keep moving yourself up and how do you stop yourself from stagnating.

“It takes humility to go from mentor to mentee,” said Geingos.

She called on those seeking mentorship to be specific about why they sought mentorship.

“When you seek mentorship, you must be specific in what you need. You must all be able to bring something to the table. You must also give, do for others. You must bring something to the table. We must be able to trust each other in mentor relationships,” stressed Geingob.

Invited guest and founder of Ndalo Media, Khanyi Dhlomo, shared the importance of media. According to her, it was through mentorship relationships that she was able to create her company which has now spun off two magazines, ‘Destiny’ and ‘Destiny Men’.

“It is not about the name and the person, mentorship comes from different sources, it does not always come in the way that you would expect,” said Dhlomo, whose mentor turned out to be Naspers board chairman Koos Bekker.

According to Dhlomo, their relationship blossomed during her time at Media 24 when she was the editor of women’s magazine ‘True Love’.

“So strong was the relationship that there was a promise to support studies remained,” said Dhlomo, who had left to work for Tourism South Africa in Paris, France, for a two-year stint, thereafter progressing to study at Harvard for her MBA.

“When I created Ndalo Media I was able to go into a 50/50 partnership with Media 24. Even though I gave up 50% of my business, I got the opportunity to get something much bigger. My family and I have also been able to buy back the business,” said Dhlomo of her path with her mentor.

Entrepreneur Jerry Muadinohamba stressed the need for mentorship programmes to exist.

“We need to create a culture of mentorship, you should have a Key Performance Indicator targets and a number of people to mentor. That way it becomes a norm. We need to create that culture and move away from people driven management,” said Muadinohamba.

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