#CareerFocus With Natasha Mkhize Executive Strategic Relations For Curro
1. Tell us a bit about yourself?
I was raised by my strong and determined grandmother in the humble township of Gugulethu in the Western Cape. Gugulethu means ‘our pride’ in isiXhosa and true to where I come from, I am just a girl trying to make her grandmother proud and her family proud.
2. What work do you do?
I manage the group’s Ruta Sechaba Foundation programme that provides school scholarships, bursaries, and awards to qualifying learners at Curro and Curro-managed schools. The main objectives for the foundation are to grow the portfolio of current donors (including KFC, Capitec, ABSA, PSG, The Reatile Foundation Trust, Jones & Wagener Education Trust, and Alexandra Education Committee) and to drive the academic performance of learners in the programme. I am also entrusted with advancing the corporate affairs relationships of the group within the private and public sectors.
3. How long have you been in the industry?
Three years. I started as the group’s Brand Manager in 2019 before recently being promoted to Executive: Strategic Relations before being in the education industry, I was in the advertising and FMCG industry for over 17 years.
4. Has your work always been your passion? Tell us why?
Yes, always, passion is a key driver for anything I put my mind to, even more so in what I am doing now, educating the nation. It is an absolute privilege and honour to be part of a brand that nurtures and celebrates the future of South Africa, this will not only shift society but also empower future leaders to do and be their best.
5. Being a woman in the industry – what does it take?
It takes perseverance, passion, and always being authentic.
6. What has been the most difficult challenge of your career?
I always view challenges as opportunities and right now the opportunity is to unlock more donors to participate in the Ruta Sechaba Foundation so that we can offer more opportunities to deserving and aspiring young leaders. We need to close the gap in our youth accessing quality education and this can be done through the Ruta Sechaba Foundation. Education provides hope to realise a better tomorrow for a better future.
7. What advice do you have for other women in your industry?
Be intentional in everything you do. Do not let any doubt or fears prevent you from achieving your goals. Consistent and quality delivery is key. Never doubt yourself.
8. Plans for the future?
Educating the nation, one child at a time.
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