Young woman tackles unemployment using mentorship programme

Young woman tackles unemployment using mentorship programme

August is Women's Month. One phenomenal woman is Mahlogonolo Mengwai, who has devoted her life to mentoring young unemployed people, especially from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Mahlogonolo Mengwai
Mahlogonolo Mengwai/ Supplied

The 30-year-old is the CEO of a company called ‘Hlogi Business Training & Mentorship’, where she trains and mentors young entrepreneurs. 

“I believe when a child or person is born, their parents or guardian are the primary mentors until they reach the age of 17, then, once a person reaches the adult age of 18 and upwards, they need a secondary mentor,” says Mahlogonolo. 

She describes herself as a strategic mentor and hopes to tackle unemployment using strategic mentorship. 

“The high unemployment rate in South Africa, especially amongst the youth, motivated me to begin to investigate the reasons why, and I came to the conclusion that it is because of the lack of mentorship. I came to realise that it is because there is no mentorship within the education system of South Africa,” says Mahlogonolo. 

With university dropouts so high, Mahlogonolo believes introducing mentorship at an earlier age before one goes to college will give the youth the necessary knowledge for their career choices and help them choose the right path. 

“I’m of the view that, mentorship must be introduced at High School level and continue throughout tertiary years so that by the time they graduate, they are ready for the market place either as entrepreneurs who already know the world of business or as an employee who knows where and how their qualifications can get them a job,” says Mahlogonolo. 

She also equips the youth on how to get the job of their dreams. 

"The education programme doesn't train you for job interviews, and how to discover your purpose. With our programme, we have helped a lot of young people discover their purpose and we train them for interviews and the corporate world," she adds.

"I connect them with businesspeople and also help build themselves up and have confidence. Our program helps them to look for job opportunities in their own field and tap into those sectors."

READ: Jobs Summit to engage solutions to unemployment

In a year, she says she helps at least 20 young people.

She says was also motivated by her mentor. Mahlogonolo has multiple qualifications including a BCom Economics Degree from the University of Pretoria with six distinctions and is currently pursuing an MBA. 

The young entrepreneur says she hopes to open a mentorship school one day.

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