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Ubuntu:a conscious leadership virtue that can equip and empower women entrepreneurs

Written by Staff Writer

September 26, 2023

By Sinazo Mkoko


“Success is the progressive realisation of a worthy goal or ideal.” – Earl Nightingale. This is the motto that the Executive Manager of Corporate Services at Coega Development Corporation, Mokgaetši Sebothoma lives by and believes in.

Mokgaetši gave a keynote address at the 2022 Standard Bank Top Women conference speaking about how the African philosophy of Ubuntu could be a conscious leadership virtue that equips and empowers women entrepreneurs so they are able to take control of their being and create results from within for impact, influence and innovation.

Mokgaetši emphasised the importance of having a purpose and being intentional in order to achieve great success.

“We live in the culture of microwave results and think that we’ll be earning millions, driving flashy cars but I want people to know that one cannot cook up results. It takes persistence and being intentional about finding who you are to create the results that you want,” she said. 

She encouraged people to go out there and step into their power and start to innovate. She added that the spirit of Ubuntu is a cornerstone of success. 

Mokgaetši said while most people were encouraged and guided to follow certain career paths or to go into some business because they saw others in their communities doing it, most of the careers are not their own choices but it was circumstances that led them into that direction. However, she said, people have certain innate virtues that are built within them that drive people to find their purpose in life. 

“It’s something that I’ve grappled with because I’d look within, and question myself but I could never get answers to my questions. Your burning desires become the one thing that drives you out of bed every day and when you become intentional, you become much more driven because you’re excited about something you’re creating,” she said. 

Quoting from her go-to book, Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich, Mokgaetši said she lives by these four principles in life.

“There are four simple steps which lead to the habit of persistence. They call for no great amount of intelligence, no particular amount of education, and little time or effort. The necessary steps are:

  1. A definite purpose backed by a burning desire for its fulfilment.
  2. A definite plan, expressed in continuous action.
  3. A mind closed tightly against all negative and discouraging influences, including negative suggestions of relatives, friends and acquaintances.
  4. A friendly alliance with one or more persons who will encourage one to follow through with both plan and purpose. ― Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich

Mokgaetši holds B.Proc and LLB Degrees from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, as well as an LLM Degree from the University of the Witwatersrand. She is an Admitted Attorney of the High Court of South Africa, an Associate Certified Coach working towards her ICF credentialing through Coach Africa and is also a Certified Proctor Gallagher Institute Consultant.

After joining PetroSA in 2004, she rose through diverse legal and commercial roles to achieve her position as Head of Legal Counsel. After having spent over 17 years at the institution, she honed her skills by venturing into private practice through the establishment of Divinity Global Group, an emerging black-owned company specialising in leadership development, and executive and management coaching and consulting. Her experience includes legal and compliance roles with the Human Rights Commission of South Africa and the Competition Commission of South Africa. She has served on numerous Boards during her career.

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