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Lindiwe Monyae, managing executive of corporate benefits at Liberty. Picture: Supplied
Lindiwe Monyae, managing executive of corporate benefits at Liberty. Picture: Supplied

What’s your one top tip for doing a deal?

Listen to what is being said, ask questions, don’t assume anything.

What was your first job?

I joined the Standard Bank retail graduate programme, as it was called at the time. Before that I worked as a tutor at Wits University. I received a stipend of R3,500 every quarter, which I found to be the most valuable money ever. I used it to purchase second-hand clothing for myself.

How much was your first pay cheque, and how did you spend it?

It was R8,500 from the graduate programme and I already knew how to make a budget by then.

What is the one thing you wish somebody had told you when you were starting out? 

I was fortunate to receive this advice early on: save, save, save.

If you could fix only one thing in South Africa, what would it be?

Ensuring that girls have access to education and providing support to help pregnant girls return to school.

What’s the most interesting thing about you that people don’t know?

I’m actually quite shy and prefer being in the background rather than in the spotlight.

What’s the worst investment mistake you’ve made?

Not speaking to my adviser when I was signing a work offer. Understanding that your employee benefits are a long-term investment in yourself.

What’s the best investment you’ve ever made? And how much of it was due to luck?

Buying a house at 24. It wasn’t through luck but rather on my dad’s insistence.

What’s the best book you’ve read recently and why did you like it?

Diary of a CEO by Steven Bartlett. It’s a simple, easy read, with maybe even obvious learnings, but it could change your thinking and life if you let it.

What is the hardest life lesson you’ve learnt so far?

Sometimes you just need to let things go. Controlling things is an illusion.

What phrase or bit of jargon irks you most?

4IR (the fourth industrial revolution). Everything is clustered into this very broad term and people get lost about what it means.

What is something you would go back and tell your younger self that would impress them?

Life is not so serious; there is clean fun, and there is always time to have fun. Don’t lose the child in you.

If you were President Cyril Ramaphosa, what would you change, or do, tomorrow?

Increase the academic criteria for being a teacher, increase teachers’ salaries and introduce a teacher development curriculum that is world-class across all schools, public and private.

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