BACKSTORY: Nedbank’s Chipo Mushwana
We question executive of emerging payments & innovation at Nedbank Retail Chipo Mushwana
What’s your one top tip for doing a deal?
Use time to your advantage. Negotiations often expand to fill the time available, and you need to be very clear of this upfront to delay or fast-track a deal in your favour.
What was your first job?
Research analyst for a mobile marketing agency in Joburg.
How much was your first pay cheque, and how did you spend it?
R15,000 per month pre-tax and I used it to settle in Joburg (I came from Cape Town). Day-to-day expenses and bills took up most of my money, but I started saving a minimum R500 a month, and R1,500 in a good month.
If you could fix only one thing in SA, what would it be?
Our education system in terms of what and how we are teaching future leaders.
What’s the most interesting thing about you that people don’t know?
I spend most of my spare time at the shooting range.
What is the one thing you wish somebody had told you when you were starting out?
I can admit it now: I was completely clueless about a lot of things in my first job out of university — from navigating complicated office hierarchies to knowing exactly what to wear in the workplace. If it wasn’t for my cringeworthy expectation that I was always going to be given clear instructions and then realising I was wrong, my brain wouldn’t be set to the "automatically anticipate needs" mode that it’s on today. So essentially: "You don’t have to know everything, but you must always be useful."
What’s the worst investment mistake you’ve made?
I borrowed money to try to save an entrepreneurial venture I had founded, knowing full well that I did not have the capacity to drive the much-needed growth, and this left me with huge personal debt after shutting down the venture. As they say: "Only invest what you can afford to lose."
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Transparency. You want to be honest and open with others, but you needn’t let every thought that enters your brain spill out of your mouth unfiltered. If you aren’t careful, you can hurt the ones you love.
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?
Yes — a talk show host.
If you were President Cyril Ramaphosa, what would you change, or do, tomorrow?
Put clear policies in place to deal with gender-based violence — it is too costly to ignore.
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