BACKSTORY: Thabang Motsohi
We question Thabang Motsohi, organisational strategist and author: Fit For Purpose on his top tip for doing a deal, his first job and the one investment he wishes he’d made earlier
What’s your one top tip for doing a deal?
Have a very good eye for the hidden risks. Don’t be blinded by the optics.
What was your first job?
I was a science and maths teacher at my previous high school immediately after university.
How much was your first pay cheque, and how did you spend it?
Around R950 a month, and I bought a small portable radio.
What is the one thing you wish somebody had told you when you were starting out?
That learning is a lifelong commitment and enterprise with many shocks and surprises.
What’s the most interesting thing about you that people don’t know?
That I am a very good cook and have been for a long time. It provides the creative space I need to relax and reflect.
What have you most enjoyed/disliked about lockdown?
I am fortunate to have been confined on a farming estate surrounded by mountains and walking paths for reflection and meditation. But the irrationality of many lockdown regulations has infuriated me enormously as the poor have been sacrificed.
What, if anything, would you have changed about SA’s approach to lockdown?
I would have decided to ring-fence and isolate (high-density) high-risk residential areas and permitted regulated normality in all other areas to minimise economic regression.
Was there ever a point at which you wanted to trade it all in for a different career? And if so, what would that career be?
Not at all. I have been blessed with a wonderful life journey that is still unfolding. In the past five years I have authored two books on strategy and leadership.
What is the one investment you wish you had made, or made earlier?
Investment in property.
What is something you would go back and tell your younger self that would impress him?
I would show him a picture of my university graduation day when I was 24 and tell him he has the brains and opportunity to graduate at least four years younger!
If you were President Cyril Ramaphosa, what would you change, or do, tomorrow?
I would boldly and publicly reassure the public that my primary mission is to lead policies that will have a positive impact on their living conditions and that I have chosen the ANC as the vehicle to support me to achieve this mission, not to hinder it. And that the law will immediately be changed to enforce suspension without salary for corrupt transgressions in the public service.
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