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Faith Mangope: A world changer

Image: Instagram South African poet, Puno Selesho recently posted, ‘No matter how many Augusts we celebrate. Somebody keeps hurting us. Somebody keeps killing us.’

But we will not die. ‘We will keep on multiplying.’ South African women and women from all over the world, are not taking warfare against their bodies, their minds, their voices and their destinies, lying down. 

A quote by the late Toni Morrison comes to mind; 'If you’re going to hold someone down, you’re going to have hold on by the other end of the chain. You are confined by your own repression.' So, Madoda! ENOUGH with the #notallmen hashtags.

Sisters. Bafazi. Basadi. Vrouens. We need to keep staying vigilant without fear. We have a right to live.

And we are not confined to women’s month to recognise and celebrate women that are making a positive impact in society. Especially those that are championing women empowerment and are all about excellence.

Enter Faith Mangope. Mangope is a woman’s woman, and in her own words, ‘a broadcaster, entrepreneur and a world changer.’

The whip smart and hard-hitting eNCA news anchor has been featured as one of the Top 200 South African by the Mail and Guardian and Independent Newspapers’ Top 100 Young South Africans.

Back in 2014, she was selected as one of 500 participants in the Young African Leaders initiative (YALI) that's part of the Mandela Washington Fellowship Programme—where she spent six weeks studying Entrepreneurship at the University of Texas. Mangope got to introduce Former US president Barack Obama for the YALI Summit, and made quite an impression. (You need to check it out on YouTube).

She is the founder of FTA Media Communications and is also behind the New G—a mobile app designed to provide access to job opportunities.

Faith was recently named the official ambassador for Africa Code Week and it’s fitting, as she has just launched the Faith Mangope Technology and Leadership Institute (FMTALI).

We chat FMTALI and the 4th Industrial revolution, purpose, her audacious and fearless nature and her magical moment with Obama below.

Please tell us about the Faith Mangope Technology and Leadership Institute.

The Faith Mangope Technology and Leadership Institute was established to align African Youth, particularly women with the working environment governed by 4th Industrial Revolution. Its objectives are to educate, empower and equip Young African women about 4.0 jobs. To expose African women to global opportunities in the ICT Sector and provide a support structure for women who are interested in working and becoming entrepreneurs in the ICT Sector.

FMTALI will be incubating 10 female candidates who will participate in the pilot launch of FMTALI.  The young women will be identified through a selection process produced by our partners, multinational Fin Tech company XH Smart Technology Africa.

We are aiming to take in 100 girls every year, as we expand our reach and resources. We are also looking at expanding across the African continent.

The journey to confidence is never-ending. You are clearly not easily intimidated (as Obama said, "confidence is not something she lacks." How did you get to be so bold and fearless?

I think the beauty of challenges and overcoming them, whether socio-economical or relational, builds resilience in an individual. My growing up days were not so easy. I had to mature and take the lead in my family’s home very early. I do believe that has contributed to my boldness. Do I have moments where I think ….what the heck am I doing? Absolutely! Half the time I jump in and consider the consequences after. A bit of a risk taker I may add. But that is what life is about, opening closed doors, requesting those intimidating meetings, taking that job opportunity, saying yes to that change. The question is this…. imagine what you would be doing, if you were not afraid?

While on Barack Obama, please share a bit on the whole YALI/Mandela Washington Fellowship experience and what it did for you and your career?

I believe the Mandela Washington Fellowship programme engrained a sense of greater purpose in me. I mean being selected to be a part of the programme was an honour enough. However, on that day when then Head of Global Security in the White House Brett Bruen came to the university where I was studying—University of Texas in Austin—and conducted a brief interview (more like interrogation) with seven of us, I knew that something was different. The following week, my International office messaged me to say they needed to see me urgently. When I arrived at the office, it was a full boardroom. I was convinced I was in trouble.

But then they began to tell me that the White House called the University personally and requested that I not only introduce President Obama, but write and deliver a speech during Townhall on anything I wanted to talk about. They were giving me carte blanche. I also would meet the President and have some time with him. But the cherry was this…After President Obama delivered his speech, he got off the podium, walked straight up to me and said “Faith you did a really great job, I cannot wait to introduce you some day”.

I have held on to those words. So, the programme had 50 000 applicants, 500 participants and somewhere out of that me a girl from rural Mpumalanga, would be the one told that I would be with the most powerful man at the time, delivering a speech for him. How can I not be changed by that? How can I not want to be more, do more, achieve more? And most importantly be actualized enough to understand that life doesn’t happen by accident.

You describe yourself as a broadcaster, entrepreneur, and a world changer. Which would you say is work, and which is purpose? 

It’s all purpose. Everything I do, I do intentionally and it is all purpose. That’s why I can juggle all of it. It does not feel like work. I thoroughly enjoy everything I do. And I do not separate excellence from my purpose.


What's your advice to someone that wants to venture into television and radio broadcasting?

YFM’s former CEO Kanthan Pillay once said, ‘Faith the people who succeed are those who decide what they will be an authority in.’ Let me elaborate, decide on your path in broadcasting, remain true to it, perfect it, learn whilst in it and grow from it. I love business, current affairs, politics. I am constantly working and perfecting at being an authority in those areas. I am not an entertainer; I would totally suck at it!

I am not after “noise”, noise disappears after a certain amount of time. I am after impact. Impact lasts forever. So, to anyone wanting to build a sustainable, bankable brand in the industry, decide on your authority, quit wanting hype, you cannot withdraw “hype” at the ATM. Seek Impact. That’s when real change happens.

The 4th industrial revolution is creating new career options for people, what would you say are the key skills needed for the 4IR?

I am glad to see Basic Education beginning to introduce coding in schools. What we need however is to understand its purpose at a greater level. We must be able to articulate that even our traffic lights function as a result of coding, that everything has a code to it. That it’s not just about creating websites. We also need to focus on softer skills, people centred skills. You see as the world moves towards 4IR, the machines will or at least should take care of the more menial, monotonous work, and humans the more skilled work. For example, those robots will need maintenance, that job will need people. We should be able to hold meetings whilst not in a boardroom through virtual reality, someone needs to create that solution. How do we make more strategic uses of drones? Who will fly the drones? These are just some skills to think of.


There are those who have been extremely critical of the 'New Dawn' and those who have been very supportive. What are your views on the state of the Ramaphosa presidency as well as what's been happening with the public protector?

I think that the work of the New Dawn is being clouded by the scandals surrounding the New Dawn. I believe that South African politicians are so entrenched in airing out dirty laundry that one wonders when are policies being drafted and when is the work actually being done. What are we practically doing to address the rising unemployment rate? What are we doing to eradicate theft and violence in schools and against women? How are we strategically resourcing our sporting codes so that they compete and win on world stages? Those are the real issues of South Africa. How much the CR17 campaign paid the individual makes no difference to a 23-year-old graduate who needs a job. It makes no difference to a 46-year-old looking after grandchildren with grant money but wants to stop being dependent on grants.

Those are the real issues; how do we start moving away from 17 million people being dependent on grants every month? How do we better resource, and develop our people.

If I could stand on top of a mountain for all of SA to hear and see, I would say…Stop being distracted by the scandals, and lets actually get to work!

Some fun trivia about Faith  

Current read

Sun Tzu’s, Art of War.

Favourite Podcast

I love listening to Glennon Doyle Melton’s work. One video that would sometimes be the reason I got out of bed was, First the Pain, Then the Rising

On fashion and personal style

I love classic flirty pieces. I am really feminine, a girly girl. I have also been fortunate enough to have a metabolism that keeps me between a size 28-30 on most days (when I’m actually behaving). So, I play with that. I’m classic, with a hint of spice.

Visit to learn more about the Faith Mangope Leadership and Technology Institute.

Images: Instagram

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