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Behind the Selfie Interview South Africa

#BehindtheSelfie: Communications specialist Koni Magatshavha

Koni Magatshavha has worked for a number of companies throughout her career - and has found her place now as the newly appointed internal communications manager at Bryte Insurance.
Image supplied: Koni Magatshavha
Image supplied: Koni Magatshavha

We spoke with her to find out more about her background, what she does in her spare time and what she hopes for the future…

Tell us a bit more about what you do?

I am a strategic communicator: I help businesses to achieve their strategic business objectives by keeping employees informed and engaged.

Businesses have a lot of smart people with a lot of really smart things to say, and I help these people say it well, to the right audiences, at the right time. One of my favourite tools of the trade is storytelling. Storytelling is a universal language; we have been told stories since we were children, and they move us and inspire us to act.

What is really behind your selfie?

An exceptionally independent and confident person, who is incredibly camera shy – taking this selfie can only be equated to climbing Mount Everest.

I am the last born of 13 children, and I was raised ‘free range’ in a village, running around and climbing trees. That is where my independence and confidence come from. My parents always trusted me to make the right decisions unsupervised and most of the time, I did. This trust exchange relationship defined how I have chosen to interact with others. I am a trusting and trustworthy person.

Growing up, what did you want to do?

I wanted to be a doctor, like my father, only my father was not a doctor - he was a nurse. I only found out when I was between nine and 10 years old after I had stood in front of the class and shared with them my dream to be a doctor like my father.

The teacher started pummelling me with a million questions. I could tell he did not believe my father was a doctor. I got home and told my sister, who started to laugh while calling my brother. This is the day I discovered my father was a nurse.

In my defence, he was a man, and in those days male nurses were rare.

How did you end up doing what you do now?

Being completely honest, by chance - or rather serendipitously. I did not choose the degree I studied, it was available, so I chose it. However, I love what I do so much that I think the universe chose it for me.

Tell us a bit about some highlights of your career.

It is not an event, it is the day I realised I no longer had to fight to get a seat at the table where strategic decisions were made, and the chair was pulled for me.

This happened because I had worked hard to build trust in my abilities, and I had won the confidence of the organisation. In my role as a communicator, I never want to hear this is how we want to communicate, I want to hear, this is what we have to say, help us say it in the best possible way.

When you are not busy working, what do you do? How do you socialise these days?

I like to take a drive to Magaliesburg, Hartbeespoort, or Muldersdrift on Sundays, and find a spot to eat, drink and meet new people. It is by far my favourite thing to do.

What are you watching/reading/listening to right now?

Listening to: Kendrick Lamar –Mr Morale & The Big Stepper
Rewatching: 30 Rock
Reading: As Nature Made Him by John Colapinto

What are your hopes and dreams for the next five years?

I want to be happy, healthy and fitter. If I am still in corporate, I want to have climbed a few more steps. If I started my own business, I want to have hired some employees.

About Emily Stander

Freelancer specialising in games and entertainment | My first loves are writing, music and video games
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