This week the Education Ambassadors SA Team caught up with Palesa Mokhele, who grew up in towns such as Reitz and Senekal in the Free State, South Africa. Palesa is an HR Entrepreneur at heart and never lets anything stand in front of her dreams as she believes that if the mind can conceive it, then it is possible for God to bring it to life for anyone. Read her inspiring story below.
I was born and raised in the Free State and I was raised by my grandmother until the age of 12. From there, I then moved to live with my parents in Reitz and we moved around a lot because of my father’s job, we lived in Reitz and later moved to Senekal and eventually moved to Bethlehem which is where my family is currently. I completed my Grade 12 at Paul Erasmus High School in Senekal. From there I then went to study Human Resource Management In the Central University of Technology and that is where I completed my BTech. With all that said after obtaining my degree like any other graduate I looked for a job, and I have always been blessed to find a job but however I was never fulfilled because I knew I never wanted to work for another person because I knew that my eagerness for entrepreneurship went beyond wanting to make money but rather to also inspire and try to approach business a bit differently and I was doing that by fusing business with helping the Youth wherever I can. After dabbing from one company to the other, I started my own recruitment company called Pableplacements, which did really well and we worked with big engineering companies such as SSH, Standard bank, Spoormaker and ABB. However, because of how the economy was doing at the time in South Africa, and going through a few personal struggles of my own, I had to close down the company.
What were the challenges and great things about growing up)?
I can’t say I faced any challenges growing up because my parents tried their best to give me a proper life that is conducive to a child. One of the greatest things though about growing is being raised by my grandmother who I believe fuelled a drive in me to get into entrepreneurship. I can never remember a time where my grandmother didn’t sell anything, she used to sell Simba chips, candy and cakes to the kids in my community and sometimes when the elders were going to get their pension, she would take her stock and take me with, so basically as much as she was not making a lot of money, seeing her making a bit of profit inspired me to also want to get into business at some point.
Tell us about your career
I am in HR by profession and qualified in that space, however, I am an entrepreneur and I love starting new things and seeing them grow. I am passionate about recruitment and that might be something I fell into after graduating, but I eventually grew a love for it because it resonated so much with who I am, and that is being able to help people. Helping people get jobs gives me hope that I have made a difference in someone’s life and sometimes you also get to impact not only them but their families’ too. So going forward I am currently working on getting my recruitment business from the ground in South Korea.
I recently moved to South Korea and my main reason why I am here is to eventually run my recruitment business and bring other young people this side or anywhere abroad and expose them to opportunities that are available not only in South Korea but all over the world. I believe that we as black people we are not privileged to certain opportunities that are available outside of South Africa and my vision is to be able to give those opportunities to other young people and graduates who might not have experience but have the qualifications to do the work. Another thing I am busy with is my YouTube channel where I share experiences and what I get up to while I am here in South Korea.
I am also really passionate about working with women because I believe women are strong beings, and I have also noticed that as much we are strong we also can forget about ourselves, So I opened a non profit organisation called I AM WOMAN and that is where I share stories about young women that are out there making a difference in other people’s lives. Another reason why I opened this organisation is because we as women can be our own worst enemy, we sometimes do not like acknowledging each other when we are doing well, so I wanted to create a space where we can all acknowledge and build each other as women.
What do you like most about yourself and the work that you do?
What I like about myself is that I am a go getter, I am a self-starter, I never let anything stand in front of my dreams or anything that I want to achieve because I believe that if the mind can conceive it then it is possible for God to bring it to life for you.
What are some of the challenges which you’ve faced and how did you overcome them?
I have had to close my recruitment business simply because, at the time there was a lot happening in my personal life and also I feel I still needed more experience in the industry and that is when I decided to go back into the recruitment corporate space and I joined a recruitment company, from there I can say that I got to learn about different things that had to do with recruitment and how to handle difficult situations that sometimes arise in the recruitment industry. That has been really beneficial to me because now I have a better understanding of the ins and out of recruitment. Personally, it also taught me that it is never too late to start again.
What are some of your life highlights for you so far? What are you most proud of?
My highlights are, graduating and running a successful recruitment business and working with major players in the engineering space. Giving birth to my little girl. Moving to South Korea, and never giving up on myself.
What, in your opinion, are the most important factors to keep in mind to make it in your career or life in general?
Always be yourself, never try to be somebody else, God created you for a specific purpose and never try and change it. Keep to your values, respect yourself, love yourself, dream and wake up every day working towards your dream! Respect every person whether young or old , rich or poor and never ever think that you are better than someone else.
Where would you like to see yourself in the next three years?
In the next 3 years, I would like to have more than 3 mainstreams of income. I would like to see my recruitment company taking over the world and giving opportunities to people who always thought they were out of reach for them. I would like to own a few properties in different countries too.
If there was anything you could do differently, what would it be?
There is really nothing I would like to do differently as I believe that, in life, we are all in a journey and anything that happens to you, good or bad is part of your journey and it takes place to either teach you something or pave the way for you. Whenever you fail at something never be afraid to start again and do better.
Are there any specific people or organisations that you look up to and draw inspiration from and why?
I draw inspiration from my mother, she is a very strong woman who cares deeply about the people that she loves and most importantly on how she carries herself. Professionally, I draw inspiration from women like Khanyi Dlomo, Carol Bouwer and Basetsana Khumalo. I love how they all support each other and just how they carry themselves.
Are there any inspiring projects which you’re involved in?
I am currently running my Youtube channel and sharing my journey in South Korea! I have to say it has been a lot of fun! And I am busy running “IAMWOMAN’ which is a non-profit organisation that uplifts women.
Lastly, what advice would you give to others out there looking to follow in your footsteps?
What I can say is that God has a plan for each and every single one of us, we all have an assignment to fulfil and one should never give up on themselves, wake up every day no matter how you feel, and try to be a better you, never compete with other people but always try to do better than you did the previous day. Dreams can be achieved and nothing is out of reach for someone who is committed.
How can the public contact you?
Twitter: @Thee_Palesa, @Pableplacements
YouTube: Palesa Mokhele
Thank you for sharing your inspirational story with our community, Palesa. What a powerful woman you are! All the best in your life and business. God bless!
If you would also like to see your inspirational story published in our publication, email: firstname.lastname@example.org