Tomorrow’s Heavyweight: Shela Mahwibilia, an aspiring Chartered Accountant and a business leader

15 Nov

Shela Mahwibilia (R)

On Tomorrow’s heavyweight, Dumirocks get to chat with young people who might be gracing newspaper articles, business magazine covers and making influential decisions in business, politics and in life in the foreseeable  future.
More often than not, we see heavyweight from the commerce and  industry being interviewed by big media houses. We read about them, we get inspired, but unfortunately we quickly get expired when the reality hits that it is  gonna take some time to be heavyweights.

So, Dumirocks offer a platform for young leaders of tomorrow who are making a positive impact in their lives, and in the process better the society we live in, to also be interviewed in the same manner that those CEO’s are interviewed on moneyweb, BBQ, Radio and Television.

Shela Mahwibilia, a student on her penultimate year of studies at the University Of Cape Town, studies a BComm Financial Accounting (CA option) degree. This means that this young leader is an aspiring Chartered Accountant (CA), a designation that is well sought-after in business. Shela is a member of the Goldenkey Honours Society (GKHS), an only invitational society that honours academic excellence in Universities worldwide. Along with this achievement came an invitation to attend an International Scholar Laureate Programme (ISLP) delegation on business that was held in the United State of America.

Dumirocks get to converse with Shela about all her experience as a student, an ISLP delegate, her aspirations and ya what it means to be a student in a democratic South Africa.

Dumirocks (DH): How did you decide to study toward becoming a CA?

Shela Mahwibilia (SM): Companies and Universities normally came to our school for career guidance. One of the organisations, SAICA, unknown to me then, made their presentation about a career in Accountancy. They also mentioned that they have a bursary fund for equity students (Thuthuka). I got inspired and from that day on I said to myself that I am definitely following the profession.

DH: How does it feel to be a member of a prestigious academic society in the world and what benefits does it offer?

I feel very blessed, honoured and privileged. This has really opened doors for me. In addition it has created a platform where I can grow and see how my skills and talents can be advanced and used for the greater good of the majority.

DH: GKHS emphasis academic excellence, leadership and community service, what are you doing to live up these values?

With regards to academic excellence, I am constantly studying as I want to maintain my grades in order to qualify for an admission to honours programme on completion of my undergraduate degree. I am a front desk assistant, a mentor and a floor representative in my residence.  This is activities that I believe will hone my leadership skills. I am also a volunteer for the disability unit at UCT.

DH: What are the interesting things that your GKHS chapter at your university doing?

The GKHS chapter at my university has hosted a number of events, such as the new member ceremony, wine and cheese testing, to list but a few. In my chapter we are actively involved in community services, such a tutoring high school learners from disadvantage communities.

DH: According to When I am big I want to be a CA (facebook group) the administrator defines the 7-9 year journey towards becoming a CA as a CA experience, tell us about your CA experience thus far?

It has only been three years into this Journey.  Up to this point it has been a roller coaster ride, nonetheless I have enjoyed every moment of it. I believe the ride is yet to be rocky but I am up for the challenge.

DH: On completion of your studies, which company would you like to work for?

There are many interesting firms out there, however INVESTEC through its initiatives such as Women in Finance have grabbed my attention, I would really love to work for them.

DH: Do you read books other than academic, and if so what is your favourite book?

Accounting programme is quite a demanding course. I hardly find time to read books other than academically related materials, but there is one book that caught my attention that I was bound to go after, “dance with a poor man’s daughter”.

DH: who is your role model?

I have quite a few role models but these are the ones that stand out. My mother, Basetsana Kumalo and Dr Mamphela Ramphela.  The achievements of these people both in life and in business, keeps me going.

DH: ISLP delegation on business, tell us more about it?

This is a program that is exclusive to golden key members. One gets invited via a nomination. ISLP is a programme that gives an attendee the opportunity to see how the business sector is conducted in countries such as The USA. Prominent business people and politicians are invited to deliver inspiring speeches. Furthermore, issues that affect the global economy are discussed during a week long conference. Let me not forget friends I made. What a lifetime opportunity?

DH: Why did you choose the one hosted in America, and not Australia or China?

I initially wanted to attend the one hosted in China, but unfortunately the event coincided with my examination schedule. I had to attend the  one hosted In the United States.

DH: what are the lessons learnt in the conference?

Wow, I learned so much about America, their history, culture and lifestyle. We also had the opportunity to learn the history of some of the top Universities in the world, such as the University of Columbia, Los Angeles and California. I also learned a lot about other countries from my new friends which I met at the conference. Talk about Cross cultural differences!

DH: and lastly, what are the 3 things you can’t live without?

My God, Food  and People.

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Posted by on November 15, 2010 in Leadership


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