Ms Zimkitha Mbane was awarded PAFSA’s prestigious title of South Africa’s PA of the Year 2013. She is PA to Dr Majid Mahomed, executive director at University of South Africa (UNISA). Ms Mbane’s peers recognize her as an excellent professional and Dr Mahomed stresses her humility and diligence.
Andreia Gonçalves (AG): How does it feel to be nationally recognized for your work and dedication?
Zimkitha Mbane (ZM): I am so humbled and honoured by the accolade and to be chosen as the ambassador for the profession. I also acknowledge the support of my boss and my colleagues, without whom I would not have developed and grown.
AG: “I am elated at the recognition given to Zimkitha. Her focused work ethic and desire to succeed at everything she does puts her in good stead to climb to greater heights in her career path.” These are your boss’s words. What do they mean to you? Are they a source of extra motivation?
ZM: Yes, it makes me believe that I can achieve more and work harder.
AG: You are currently working in a university. How different is it from a secretarial job in a corporation?
ZM: I am not sure what the difference is because I have never worked for a corporate company. But what I can say to be a Secretary or a PA in any company it requires the following attributes:
Brilliant Communication Skills
Good with problem solving
Good IT Skills
Discrete, honest and loyal
AG: Have you always known that the secretarial profession was the right choice for you?
ZM: Not at all, I did not even think that to be a Secretary/Personal Assistant was a profession. I always wanted to be doctor but because of financial constraints, I had to study Business Computing at Damelin but I also realised that our dreams are not always filled at once, but they do realise in pockets of incidents that shape a new and better dream and I came to love and respect my dream.
AG: What do you feel is the most rewarding part of a secretary’s job?
ZM: My job offers a lot of variety in term of projects and dealing with people. It continuously expands my world and it allows me to impact on people on different levels and I am also challenged to grow.
AG: What kind of advice would you give someone who is just beginning his/her secretarial career?
ZM: This industry requires passion, focus, a drive for excellence, love for people and respect for what you need to do. It is about self-branding, self-respect and service excellence. If young people understand these principles then they are surely suited for this kind humble profession.
Andreia Gonçalves (Finalista)