Pretoria - It is not every day that academics such as Dr Izimangaliso Malatjie would pay attention to details about the township they grew up in.

However, in her maiden book Me, Myself And My Journey To The Red Gown, Malatjie paints a vivid picture of exactly that place, the schools she attended, other places she has been to, her parents, grandparents, friends, childhood dreams and ultimately the final day of the “Red Gown”.

This motivational book explores teachings about tenacity, self-belief, determination, focus, hard work and pursuing dreams until they come to fruition.

“It reflects my personal journey to the ‘Red Gown’. The memoir takes you on a journey from where I was born, how I grew up, and the challenges I had to overcome to get to where I am today.”

She said that while telling a story, she highlights the importance of a support structure, family love and self-love.

“Then, finally, I highlight lessons learnt along the journey, and hope that you too as a reader will be able to learn one or two things out of my journey as you read this memoir,” she said.

The married mother of three was born in Ga-Rankuwa, and grew up between her grandparents’ home in Zone One and her parents’ home in Soshanguve.

Having done all of her schooling in the Pretoria townships, Malatji now holds four qualifications, most recently completing an MPhil in management coaching from Stellenbosch University.

She also holds a National Diploma and a BTech in cost and management accounting, MBA and a Doctorate of Technology (DTech) – Business Administration from Tshwane University of Technology.

“I chose to study for an accounting qualification because I was very good at accounting in high school.

“I am an accountant by profession. I worked for many years in the finance field, so I chose that field because I was naturally good with numbers in school.

“But I always had a love for working with people and mostly education, training and development (ETD). Then, in 2022, I moved out of finance to the ETD space at the National School of Government as a chief director.”

Malatjie added that she had a soft spot for reading from a young age and knew one day she would write a book of her own.

“I started reading books from the very young age of about nine or 10.

“The stories would always captivate me, and I made a promise to myself that when I grew up, I would be a book writer. I think at the time I didn't even know what the word ‘author’ meant,” she said.

In only four months during the Covid-19 pandemic, Malatjie was able to complete a book that told a story of not giving up and not allowing failure to deter anyone from their set dreams.

She conceded that there were challenges that came with writing a book such as this one.

“Challenges were in terms of putting my thoughts on paper and deciding what information to share and what to leave out.

“Also, financing the project was a challenge,” she said.

Malatjie believes that women should be supported and given an opportunity to be the best versions of themselves.

“I really don’t like this notion of ‘the first woman to do this and that’. I believe that women as a majority in the world should be at the forefront of everything, innovation, creation, technology, leadership and politics.”

Asked what would be next for her, Malatjie vowed to launch another book.

“I am currently writing my second book and hoping that it will be ready toward the end of 2024.

“I would really like to open my own coaching consultancy as I have recently finished my Master’s in management coaching. I want to specialise with coaching youth who are starting out in their careers.

“I believe that we need to prepare youth to take up future leadership positions both in life and in their careers,” she said.

Pretoria News

2023-05-24T07:05:54Z dg43tfdfdgfd