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Boss babe Nthabiseng Makgabo is an asset manager in one of the largest property portfolios in South Africa, Respublica Student Living. She’s also chairperson of the South African Institute of Black Property Practitioners (SAIBPP) Young Professionals Forum, an organisation aimed at driving transformation and the participation of young professionals in the property industry.

She’s passionate about spaces (property), the way people and property interact, and seeing people being treated fairly and living their purpose. She tells GH writer Ondela Mlandu about her journey.

Get your notebook and pen ready because there are some smokin’-hot lessons coming up…

First off, how do you get into the property industry?

Nthabiseng recommends that you study towards a property-related degree. “There are many universities in the country that offer courses, including my alma mater, the University of the Witwatersrand. I completed a BSc in Property Studies there,” she says.

“There are also short courses available. SAIBPP continues to educate the country by offering courses and our property entrepreneurship course is accredited by the University of Cape Town.”

Once you’ve done your research and know which part of the industry takes your fancy, get involved with industry bodies such as the SAIBPP Young Professionals Forum, so you’re part of the community and can gain valuable mentorship opportunities.


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One of my favourite things to do is to talk. I could probably talk all day when I’m in a good mood. My mom says she knows something is wrong by the number of words I say. I pretty much keep quiet when I’m around people I don’t know or if I’m uncomfortable. Otherwise, I could talk all day. It’s a passion of sorts. To me, working with @saibpp_yp has been fulfilling in many ways. I’ll get into how I wouldn’t have made it through WITS without them one day. For now, the biggest way I have been fulfilled has definitely been talking to people about property and helping to inform young professionals about the space. I’m always looking to discover my purpose. This, talking, informing people about the world and the way it works, this is definitely one of the ways I fulfil my purpose. —————————————— #blackgirlmagic #Speaker #host #purpose #property

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What challenges can you expect in this line of work?

For Nthabiseng, the jump from university to work felt massive. “It took me some time to adjust,” she says. “When I first started working, I was afraid to speak my mind. I was anxious about getting things wrong and I struggled to understand why work was so challenging if I aced university,” she says.

READ MORE: How To Make It As A Woman In The Property Industry

But she soon took control of the situation. “I decided to start participating more actively in industry networking groups. I created relationships that could support me when I went through challenges at work. Most importantly, I came together with other industry professionals to put together the SAIBPP Young Professionals Forum so that other young professionals wouldn’t feel the pressure to conform or not be themselves in their places of work. I didn’t want others to have their growth stunted. And so, I became the change I wanted to see in the industry,” says Nthabiseng.


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Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. Marianne Williamson ? @wame_as_in_mine

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Solid-gold lessons she’s learnt along the way… (um, notepads everyone)

1/ Be yourself.

“You are of more service to yourself and the world when you are being authentic.”

2/ Forgive yourself when you make mistakes.

“Rather learn from them and teach others to grow from them too. It takes courage to do this. It’s also liberating.”

3/ It’s okay to be afraid when you do something new.

“It’s okay to have doubts and to feel like the challenge is massive.”

4/ Run towards the discomfort.

“Your greatest challenges are often the ones you beat in your head first.”

5/ You are wildly capable of achieving everything you want.

“Visualise yourself as the person you want to be and try your best to show up as her every day. Persistence will take you far.”

6/ Ask for help.

“You’d be surprised at how far you can get with a little bit of guidance.”

Connect with Nthabiseng

@MissMakgabo on Twitter and Instagram

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