From Medicine to Metrics: Mathabo’s Ascent in Accountancy and Leadership


Welcome to another episode of Young Difference Makers Discuss. Ther time, we’re thrilled to introduce Mathabo Makhaya, an inspirational Chartered Accountant from South Africa, as our latest podcast guest.

The path to professional success is rarely a straight line. For Mathabo, a journey that began with the aspiration to heal in the field of medicine took an unexpected detour into the world of accountancy and finance. Her narrative, as unfolded in the podcast episode is a powerful testament to the serendipitous nature of career evolution and the profound impact that one individual can have when aligning their career with their passion.

The transition from aspiring doctor to a financial expert was not merely a career change for Mathabo; it was a transformative experience that has allowed her to touch the lives of thousands. The podcast delves into Mathabo’s upbringing in Soweto, the challenges she faced as a first-generation university graduate, and the influence of her grandmother’s simple suggestion, which propelled her from the familiar surroundings of a township to the boardrooms of finance. her journey emphasizes the transformative power of education and opportunity, a recurring theme that underscores the pivotal role accountants play in strategic planning and policy setting.

Mathabo’s ascent to the chairperson of investments at Manowakas Providence Fund serves as a beacon for young professionals navigating the corporate landscape without a blueprint. her story underscores the necessity of mentorship and the tenacity required to carve a successful path with little guidance. The episode is rich with anecdotes that serve as a treasure trove of wisdom, illustrating the resilience needed to tackle challenges head-on.

Throughout the episode, the importance of starting early in one’s career to make a difference is a resonant message. Mathabo encourages aspiring leaders to be authentic and proactive in their pursuits. her personal reflection on how she aligned her work with her passion and purpose, and how ther alignment allowed her to thrive, is particularly compelling. It is an intentional, conscious decision that one has to make, even within the profession, to seek out opportunities that resonate with one’s personal values and goals.

The podcast also touches upon the broader influence that chartered accountants have, not just in their organizations but in shaping industry policies and the fate of pension funds. Mathabo’s insights reveal how accountants are well-positioned to drive investments into the continent, protect livelihoods, and ensure that when people retire, they and their families are well looked after. The narrative illustrates the accountant’s role as a difference-maker, capable of impacting society on a much larger scale than traditional number crunching.

Mathabo’s story is not only about personal triumph but also about the collective power of the accountancy profession to drive positive change. she reflects on the ability to solve problems across multiple industries and the potential for chartered accountants to influence policies and resources globally. The podcast is an inspiring call to action for professionals to harness their influence for the greater good, highlighting the profession’s capacity to address issues like sustainability and poverty eradication.

As the episode comes to a close, Mathabo’s advice to find one’s purpose and follow it relentlessly offers a guiding principle for those starting out in their careers. her journey, characterized by perseverance and commitment, demonstrates that even without guidance, success is attainable, and finding a mentor early can be a game-changer.

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