In this week’s edition of “Upcoming Entrepreneur” we feature the founder of Bokatuma Group, Nkeletseng Tsetsane (Kelly). Nkeletseng is one of the young black women who are making a difference in Mzansi through entrepreneurship. Mzansi411 spoke to this vibrant young lady to find out how she is making it.
Birth Place and where did you grow up?
I was born in Qwa Qwa in the Eastern Free State, lived there until I was in grade 5 and the whole family relocated to Pretoria. I have been here since then and I still live here.
Immediately after finishing matric I went onto the Protea Hotel’s Management trainee programme. I had to drop out of that because I fell pregnant and I opted to look for a job. I did not realise my passion for HR and especially recruitment until I started working as a recruitment consultant at Leadway Consulting which was based in Randburg. I then got a contract job at Discovery head office as a Recruitment Administrator.
As I grew in this field I got to love it and decided to register for a Diploma in Human Resources Management with Damelin. At Discovery I had the opportunity to work on the recruitment of learners for the Wealth Management and Marketing learnerships and that was the most fulfilling part of my career there.
I registered Bokatuma in 2011 and I have never looked back.
What motivates you?
My greatest motivation is and has always been my daughter Mbali. I have had the privilege of having my parent as my mentor and role model and I want to be that for my own children.
I am motivated by the hope and faith I see in the eyes of the young people I interact with, I love seeing the difference I make in each of their lives, no matter how small. All they need is someone to believe in them and they do the rest. I mean I still have some of the learners from Discovery calling me just to update me on their achievements and that for me is enough to keep making an impact in people’s lives.
Tell us about your company
Wow, where do I start. Initially Bokatuma was known as the HR one stop shop, where you would get consulting, training and recruitment services. I then joined the Shanduka Black Umbrellas on a Business Development Programme, through the workshops and mentorship offered I was advised to stream it down a bit and identify a niche which exactly what we have done.
I now focus on Youth Development through facilitation of Job Readiness Workshops and Placements. My workshops are targeted at those graduates in our rural and peri-urban communities who have completed their studies yet cannot find a job. The message I send through to them is they need to consider themselves as a brand in order for people to buy into what they have to offer.
I take them through guidelines on how to prepare for interviews, how to dress, how to read the interviewer’s body language and how to control their own. Once I am in possession of a database of the “trained” graduates, I seek partnerships with industries within the specific areas in getting them jobs or skills development opportunities.
As our youth go out there and fight for job opportunities, I am just trying to ensure that they are in a position to take advantage of those opportunities when they come about.
I am also aware that the greatest “excuse” that is used to decline candidates is the “lack” of experience, so I only use interns in my office who work on 12 months contract, I mentor them and prepare them to take advantage of job opportunities. We are still small and unfortunately we cannot take a lot of interns at a time but we are making a difference, one individual at a time.
The name “Bokatuma”?
Bokatuma is a combination of names, you see its meant to eventually become a family business, a legacy I leave for my family - so here is what it means: BO – Bokang, who is my younger brother; KA – Karabo, is my daughter’s sotho name; TU- Tumelo, is my nephew’s name (my older brother’s son, I gave him the name) and MA – Maria, is my mother.
Bokatuma’s Successes and Challenges:
I think like most business owners, access to market has been a great challenge but the past year has really not been that bad. Having to balance my personal life and work life has also taken a lot out of me, as a small business owner you tend to want to do everything yourself, delegating work is one of the hardest things because you question if someone else will do the work as well as you want it done.
One of the greatest achievements was being accepted onto the Shanduka Black Umbrellas’ Business Development Programme based in Pretoria. A start-up business is very hard to maintain, so Shanduka offers us a lot of support in a form of subsidised office space, mentorship and other marketing opportunities. For example, Bokatuma has been listed in the Shanduka Black Pages and we were afforded the opportunity to exhibit at this year’s Business Opportunities and Franchise Expo.
Who are your major clients?
I have POPCRU Group of Companies (PGC) is one of our major client, we have been Subcontracted through Hlaniki to work on a Skills Development and Job creation initiative with the Nkangala District Municipality. We also service a lot of other SMME’s such as:
Basic Blue Engineering, Moyeng Engineering, Bathale Media, STMG and others.
Long term goals for Bokatuma:
My long time goal is to see Bokatuma as the number 1 preferred partner of Government and Private Sector Companies in youth development and empowerment.
How do you keep busy in your spare time, when you are not busy with work?
I love kids so I spend as much time as I can with kids even those that are not my own. I volunteer at a Place of Safety called Dimphonyana Tsa Lapeng in Olievenhoutbosch. I have recently gone into a Franchise Agreement and acquired the rights to trade under MAID4U Centurion, which is a placement agency specifically for Domestic workers, so basically I am always busy with some kind of work but I really love travelling.
Website : www.bokatuma.co.za
Twitter : @bokatuma