This week I got to sit down with Nunnovation’s very own, Mantsha Pheeha aka the ‘3-Step’ lady. Known for her unfiltered and unapologetic views on Finance and social issues, I got to sit down with this dynamic woman as she shared her life story with me. I met up with her at her swanky abode in the North of Johannesburg, and I was pleasantly surprised to learn that she did her own interior decorating. Beautifully furnished with attention to detail, it was like walking into a small heaven.
Women’s Month is about honouring the women who have in the past or are currently breaking barriers. Whether it’s a woman single-handedly raising her children or a woman who sits in a boardroom making decisions on behalf of huge corporations, these women deserve to be celebrated. Behind her great sense of humour and warm smile, is a woman who has jumped over hurdles others would have otherwise dodged. With a BSc Chemical Engineering Degree from the University of Witwatersrand and having worked for some big companies, it hasn’t been a smooth journey for her.
Pastor Mantsha, as she is affectionately known by others (Yes, she is an ordained pastor), was born in Botlokwa a village in Limpopo. Her parents were educated and so they managed to pull-strings and have her start school at the age of 4. Even though she wasn’t one of the smartest in primary school, she completed matric with 5 distinctions. After having applied to about 50 companies for a bursary, she only got 2 favourable responses. Mantsha started her tertiary education at the age of 16, with impressive results and a bursary in hand you’d think tertiary would be a breeze for a student like her. Unfortunetly life had other plans for her, she ended up doing a 4 year degree in 9 years. She explains this experience as ‘humbling’ to say the least. When her bursary pulled out because of her time of completing the degree overlapping and her struggling to pass, she decided to start a tuck-shop with some of her mates to pay for her fees.
“My experiences as a student and my experience with failure and how it impacted my relationship with God, taught me how to deal with people who are struggling. Whether you’re struggling with your own mistakes or something is not working out and you’re not getting a breakthrough. I believe that experience has given me an understanding and a heart for what people are going through.” she says.
She finally graduated and four months later started her first job. An experience some would be overjoyed about, she was under pressure to catch up with her peers who had completed their degrees years before she did. This led her to get into debt and spent the next couple of years paying off her debts. She started off as a Project Engineer went on to be a Management Consultant, moved into Development Finance and is currently a Management Consultant at a senior level at Africawide Consulting, a consulting firm. “If I can’t see the impact of my work on my generation, it’s very difficult for me to get motivated.” She has worked for companies such as Impala Platinum, Deloitte, IDC and even worked for the Government. Her work experience alone says a lot about her as a person, very resilient and extremely hard working.
Mantsha is also involved in a few non-profit projects, going to shelters and helping them as a preacher, a counsellor and also initiates ways of financially contributing to these shelters. She is currently working on writing her first book and also wishes to write about our beautiful continent. “Africa has so much talent that is yet to be realized and I want to help in that regard.” she says fondly.
Having basked in her presence for about 3 to 4 hours, I walked away from that experience with a new perspective on my personal journey and life in general. Between being a Management Consultant and being a Pastor who preaches all over the country, she is a living testimony that ‘the purpose of life is to live a life of purpose’.