Basali Development Programme Series Blog Entrepreneur type4girl

MATSHEGO MODUKA: I don’t believe in handouts, I believe in handups

Matshego Moduka is one of over 100 participants of Standard Bank Enterprise Development’s 12-month Basali Development Programme. She is the founder and Managing Director of Atlega, a training and development company that equips women with specialised skills in the motor industry including welding and spray painting.

  • The Programme was launched in 2021, with the objective of ensuring that participants increase their annual turnover, create quality job opportunities and improve their compliance in order to qualify for higher levels of funding. Read the full Programme release here.
  • Since joining Basali, Matshego improved her business documentation quality to access new funding opportunities through the Business Management and Business Compliance workshops.
  • Since acquiring increased funding, Atlega took on over 200 learners compared to an approximate 50 learners in 2021.

Matshego, a Bloemfontein native, describes herself as a typical township girl. She was raised by her grandmother and wanted to be a psychologist as a child.

INSPITE OF MY CHALLENGES

Soon after starting at tertiary, Matshego fell pregnant and had to drop out. But she wasn’t ready to give up on herself because of the new challenges she now faced. Fortunately for her, years later, a good Samaritan helped her secure her first job in a training centre where she facilitated lower levels at ABET. She gradually grew in that environment and climbed her way up the ranks. “I also took the initiative to go back to school and learn new skills. At the same time I continued working, first as a facilitator and then an associate moderator. Now I’m almost done with my NQF7 to do my masters,” Matshego recounts. She went on to register Atlega in 2018, and began operations two years later.

FULFILLING MY PURPOSE

On mastering her purpose, Matshego says,“I always knew I loved working with and developing people. But life got me here, and now I take care of people differently – I’m imparting knowledge to them. As a psychologist, maybe I’d be advising women to leave their unhealthy marriages or put themselves first, but I’m on the other side of the story where I say take this opportunity and better your life. I’m still in the right place and taking care of people.”

Her life’s mission is to pay it forward, and extend the same lifeline she was afforded in getting her first job. “There are many Matshegos out there and they need someone to say and do what was done for me.”

BASALI TAUGHT ME THERE IS SO MUCH MORE TO BUSINESS

When Matshego joined the Basali Programme, she was already running Atlega. “When you start a business, you start it understanding your strengths and skills. I know how to get learners from registration to training, and completion – that’s what I’ve being doing for almost 20 years. But I didn’t understand that there is more to running a business. So when the workshops started, ‘aibo! Now I must understand things like compliance and financial management. This also taught me that you don’t have to know it all to get into business, but you’ll have to be willing to learn. Basali helped me understand that I don’t have to work in the business, I must work on the business.” 

How do you want Atlega to be remembered?

“Atlega is an organisation that pays it forward to women. We are solution-orientated and give women an opportunity to better themselves and their position in life. You know, often we’ll see people posting on social media and think we know how tough the shoes they walk in are. I want women to know that I understand they’re going through a hard time and I want them to help me help them make a positive change. More people should be asking – how do we help each other? See, I don’t believe in handouts, I believe in handups. Like, how do I help you move up?”

Is there progress in access to opportunity?

“There is always a possibility for progress. Our problem is the entitlement mentality we have. People think they deserve the fruits without the hard work. For me to help you unleash your potential, you’ll have to work. I’ve heard people say you don’t have to work hard, you must work smart… That’s not reality, we have to work hard. Even as a small company competing with bigger companies, there will be a glass ceiling and you’ll have to work to break it. Being part of opportunity-filled programmes like Basali helps you build your credibility and make yourself visible.”

What would the title of your autobiography be?

“(Do It) Against All Odds.”

What do you do when you’re not working?

“I am a big movie and series person! And I love rewatching the same movie or series season100 times. My son complains all the time about how I watch The Wife episodes on repeat. At this point I even know know the script to some of these movies and shows. I also love travelling, I once drove to PMB from PE by myself. I can be a bit of a loner, and I love reading local.”

Love, Matshego 🖤

“There’ll always be a lot of noise and you’ve got to be selective about the noise you entertain. When you make a mess of things, acknowledge you made a mistake, but never think of yourself as an offcut that is only good for trash. Though broken, we can be put back together to make a beautiful piece of art, something unique.”

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