By: Thoboloko Ntšonyane

MASERU- Tataiso-Bhotani Holdings has recently been unveiled as a holding company of the subsidiaries companies Tataiso Afrika (Pty) Ltd and Bhotani Films and Publishing.

These developments transpired recently in one of the hotels in Maseru amid a fanfare ceremony.

The other subsidiary company whose details will be unveiled at a later stage is the ‘Malehlohonolo Ndumo Foundation (Non-Profit Company), a literacy promotion NPC that was established by ‘Malehlohonolo Ndumo, Advocate Ndumo’s mother, in 2009 with some old ladies in Moshoeshoe II village.

Under Tataiso Afrika (Pty) Ltd there are cutting edge training and mentorship programs for the enrolled. Tataiso Afrika (Pty) Ltd is about holistic human capital development and some of its offerings include psychometric assessments for both individuals and companies.

Previously, one of the flagship programs run by Tataiso Afrika was the Tataiso Male Engagement Masterclass SERIES which was designed to accommodate only young males for a 12-month period of sustained coaching and mentorship from trusted Elder males on a diversity of topics implicating masculinity, GBV, SeMoshoeshoe and SeMohlomi and its impact on productive gender relations, Basotho males and interiority, Basotho males and work ethic and resilience andmany other interventions. This programme has now been rebranded to EmpowerHIM and its female counterpart is called EmpowerHER.

Tataiso-Bhotani Holdings’ Founder and CEO, Advocate Mothepa Ndumo said she started the company six years ago while living in Johannesburg, South Africa, with “hardly any connections nor any money “.

“I started this with nothing and those who could help me refused to help me, which is fine. You know why, one day God wants all His glory [when things fall into place] and no mortal can genuinely take credit, myself included, for the significant impact that this company is already making.”

“This company is not ‘mine,’ I am just a willing vessel. God has invited us all to be part of this. I haven’t issued a job advert as yet but have attracted a staff of a high caliber because this is God’s platform even the way it has been constituted,” she said.

Adv Ndumo said Tataiso Afrika’s focus is to develop and nurture potential for youth and Basotho in communities, organisations, state owned enterprises and public institutions.

Most of the programs target the youth, but there are also programs designed for corporates and other established institutions which are not published on the Tataiso Afrika website, organizational climate surveys, team building programs and leadership training programs amongst other offerings. There are also kindness curricula for preschool kids, high schoolers and generally everyone is catered for outside of the traditional offerings found in schools.

Advocate Ndumo added: “Our firm belief is that God created every single human being with potential, with gifts, with talents and He has a purpose for every human being and that purpose is not ordinary. We have come to accept the ordinary, the mediocre, without question; we have come to accept that it’s OK to be “ordinary” but the truth of the matter is that hidden inside each and every human being there is massive potential waiting to ignite the entire world.”

“Unfortunately, historically, economically, even in terms of the institutions of faith that we have had, but most critically the education system, all of them have had an oppressive effect on human potential, on human capital; is this by design or purely accidental? I can’t definitively say, I am just looking at the fruits is all.”

Also, an Industrial Sociologist, accredited executive and leadership coach, and Thomas International psychometrics practitioner, Advocate Ndumo criticized the education system for “channeling” the students, likening it with a sausage conveyor belt. As a result, she observed that most young people cannot even think critically due to the channeling effect of our social institutions.

Adv Ndumo is of the view that human capital development in this uneven 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) era is to give ourselves permission to throw the orthodoxies out the window, adding that there are people doing “amazing things disrupting the idea of what it means to learn, what it means to think, what it means to be an entrepreneur, what it means to be human even”.

Having had a stint at the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Switzerland in 2009 into 2010 and having lived and studied in South Africa for at least half of her life, Adv Ndumo stated that she has been exposed to the notion of “world class” in practice and from a diversity of views and national origins and she insists that she shall continue to contribute to the apparent skills and knowledge deficits in her country of birth using everything that she has cultivated over the years.

Adv Ndumo stated that encouraging and motivating people using her personal stories without any shame whatsoever is her happy space and comes naturally. One of her hashtags on social media is #ThereIsZeroShameInMyGame.

“It’s about people; I believe in people; I believe God has created specimens of perfection in us, humans,” she emphasized. She however lamented that some people have seemingly resigned themselves to deathlike lifestyles and stopped pursuing their dreams and goals largely because of the environment they are in.

Advocate Ndumo continued “This environment would kill anyone in terms of their dreams and visions, look at our country. Do you know this country belongs to us and not to politicians or political parties? “We have to develop our human capital to its fullest capacity, we have to nurture our God-given potential, we have to unleash it so that we, this country [becomes better] it is in this state because of us. It can become our Wakanda through us. The solution always lies within us; we are most assuredly not victims.”

Adv Ndumo lamented the gap between the national policies and what is actually happening on the ground, highlighting the successive National Strategic Development Plans (NSDPs), Vision 2020 and other national policy documents whose outcomes and achievements had been minimal and hardly noteworthy.

“In higher education, for instance, there is a mismatch of skills, knowledge and the needs of industry. If you say you want to produce 20 000 IT technicians in pursuit of an economic growth objective but you don’t even have one school domestically that specializes in that, does that make sense?

“So we have all these wonderful policies, high sounding policies, the NSDP II said it will focus on arts, film and entertainment – Where are the recording studios? Where are film studios? Where are the recording deals? Where is the funding for these things?

“So we Basotho are notorious for beautiful policies but lack of implementation. Where is our human resource development policy? If it exists, what are the fruits? Dismal. If you are going to develop a generation of people that align with your national economic policy priorities and where you want to go as an economy, you literally have to have institutions that will train those people to take up space in those industries that are so-called key priority areas.”