To mark International Women’s Day 2017, I have conducted a series of interviews celebrating women I feel have had positive influence on society. The first woman is Tshepy Matloga.

My name is Tshepy Matloga, a 30 year-old South African journalist turned entrepreneur. I am the founder of Chronicles Media Group (South Africa) and co-founder of Encore Creatives PR and Events (Malawi). At the moment I alternate between South Africa and Malawi. When I am not working I read – I am an avid reader of African literature. I have been an entrepreneur for three years and since then I’ve been selected as one of the 100 brightest young minds in South Africa, the 20 most influential young people in SA, and I am a Nelson Mandela Institute of Development Studies (MINDS) alumni. I have also been featured on international mediums such as True Love magazine and She Lead Africa. I am also a founder of Malawi’s only women’s business and lifestyle magazine Inde, which was born last year. My ultimate biggest goal in life is to one day become the president of South Africa.

  1. What is the special thing in your life that makes you feel bold?

My identity. About three years ago I left my job and decided to venture into entrepreneurship with no money and definitely no collateral to ensure I got a bank loan as a startup capital. I remember marveling through the Book of Chronicles in the Bible. This is a book I draw motivation from when I need to recharge. I had spent years helping people set up their businesses and I felt that at that moment God was communicating with me to say, it’s time to create your own path. I started a media company, Chronicles Media Group.

  1. What does it mean to you to be a bold woman in the year 2017?

I come from a society that spent years entrenched in racism and patriarchy. I am grateful for the women who shattered the glass ceiling and paved a way for me to be able to dream in colour today. Women like Miriam Tladi, Lillian Ngoyi, and Charlotte Maxeke who lived a purposeful life. Because of these women, today I have a voice that is not interrupted when I speak.

  1. What important roles do you think women around you, including yourself, play in society?

I was raised by my mother and her siblings. Three gentle giants, I call my mothers. They have taught me without saying a word that when women collaborate, we can raise men and women of substance. Because of the values they instilled in me, I now mentor young ladies who want to venture into entrepreneurship as a career.

  1. What mistake (s) have you made in life that you think young girls could learn from?

Allowing people to box me in their idea of what a ‘good’ woman should live her life like. Don’t let obligations dictate how you live your life – there is no happiness in living your life on society’s terms and I learned the hard way. Don’t think you’re on the right path just because it’s a well-paved path. With age, I have learned that we are the ones who live with our choice, not our parents and definitely not society, therefore never choose the crowd to the detriment of your happiness

  1. What advice do you have for young girls who want to be as bold as you are?

We are lucky to be living in an era where the world is filled with opportunities for women to make a difference in the world. Find your purpose and pursue it regardless of how difficult the journey may be. I believe that in one way or the other, we are all here to leave the world a much better place than we found it.

  1. What changes do you hope to see with regard to economic, social and leadership inclusion of women in the next 10 years?

Seeing  more women taking up leadership and entrepreneurship positions all over the world. I dream of a world where women won’t have to fight for inclusion in decision making, because equality will be a norm.  A world where women don’t get violated and disrespected, and where boys grow up to be men who are taught the importance of treating women as equals.

Follow Tshepy on Twitter: @tshepy

Cover photo credit: Tsephy Matloga

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