Mpho Ama Mohapi is the Founder and Managing Director of Ama Mohapi Coaching (Pty) Ltd, a 100% Black female owned South African company founded in June 2018. She is a trained Life Coach, at Robert Simic Coaching Institute in 2014. She is a registered Facilitator (ETDP Seta at NQF level 5 with 10 credits), Assessor (ETDP Seta at NQF level 5 with 15 credits), and was trained on Moderator Training Course (ETDP Seta at NQF level 6 with 10 credits) which are all aligned with US 115759.
Mpho is a qualified Industrial Engineer (Vaal University of Technology) and former employee of Rand Refinery as an Engineering Data Administrator, Tiger Brands as a Maintenance Planner and Lear Corporation as a Junior Industrial Engineer. She worked in the Engineering sector from 2007 until 2014 when she decided to pursue the Business World.
Ama Coaching works with mostly young people in different phases of their careers and business growth, starting from High School (grade 9-12), graduates who are interested in starting their own businesses, unemployed youth and SMME’S. With the use of different life coaching tools, the company teaches them how to be mentally focused and assist them to uncover their talents and values. Her vision is to facilitate change in the youth of South Africa and get them to think outside of looking for a job and be job creators.
The Life Coach speaks exclusively to Sunday Oyinloye, Publisher, Green Savannah Diplomatic Cable
You are a qualified Industrial Engineer who worked in the Engineering sector for seven years, why did you decide to pursue another career?
I used to enjoy my job but it did not feel fulfilling, it was monotonous and I had a deep yearning to do something better and more fulfilling.
What was the reaction of family and friends when you took that decision?
I did not inform my parents about the career change until I had submitted my resignation letter. They were very shocked and curious whether what I wanted to do was going to work, my parents support me, it’s not that easy for them because their generation worked until retirement and that’s the only system they know. I am thankful that my parents supported me even when they don’t understand what I do. Friends and former colleagues were a bit skeptical and asked what would happen if I failed. Some of them said that I was brave for taking the step and wished me well, even though majority of them felt that I was making a big mistake. Few of my real friends supported me from day one and are still my biggest supporters and I’m thankful for that.
Which is more challenging, being an Industrial Engineer or Life Coach?
Being a Life Coach is more challenging. As an Engineer, there are systems and work methods that are already in place; you just plug in and work with minimal innovation required. As a Life Coach, I had to build the business from scratch with no business skills. I am constantly faced with new challenges and I have to figure out solutions as I am now reliant on myself to generate a salary.
What makes Mpho Ama Mohapi Coaching unique?
The coaching tools that I assist clients with have been mostly trialled by myself. I faced the same challenges that any new entrepreneur faces and I made use of the life coaching tools and personal experience tools to help me overcome the business challenges. I believe that I can assist any client with whatever problem they present, because I believe humans are capable of achieving any goal they set their minds to achieve. Mpho Ama Mohapi Coaching empowers young people to start businesses instead of seeking jobs as the unemployment rate is high.
What have been the challenges?
Having no knowledge of starting and running a business resulted in business being slow at the beginning. Then there are unproductive habits that slow processes down: sleep, procrastination, social media indulgence, unproductive self-talk, listening to the wrong people, amongst others. Sales and Marketing, also a challenge.
Would you say your organisation has made significant impact since you started?
I believe so yes, I currently have a couple of local clients and a few international clients. Most of my clients are referred by my other clients; this assures me that I am making an impact.
Most young talented Africans are faced with the challenge of required capital to start the business of their dreams, what can youth in that category do?
Firstly, youth in that category must start to understand that money does not start a business, a correct mindset and a business strategy starts a business. There’s no investor that will fund a business idea that is only in the mind. Secondly the youth that already have a strategy in place and require funding must look into what it is that is stopping them from acquiring the funds; it’s usually their believe systems that blocks everything from actualisation.
As a Life Coach in Business World, why is it that most businesses in Africa cannot survive second generation of the family as many Lebanese businesses do?
I believe Africans are very relaxed in nature, especially black Africans, such that when a senior business owner tries to instill business skills to their juniors; they oftentimes don’t succeed because the laid back mode kicks in and the seniors tend to fail to be assertive with them. Unlike the white Africans; they tend to be more strict with their junior’s to the extent that they even teach them to move out of their home at an early age of 18 to learn to be responsible whereas the black Africans cuddle their cubs and are not taught to be responsible at a young age, therefore making it difficult to enforce responsibility at an older age. White Africans, Lebanese and the Europeans introduce business skills to their young at an early age and the black Africans not so much .And that is also due to the reason that they themselves had to learn business on their own with no one from family showing them the fundamentals.
Tell me your big dream?
My big dream is to design an online coaching school that can be accessed by more young people from anywhere in the world.
What is your piece of advice for African youth?
Young people must know that they can achieve anything that they want; the capability to achieve is in all of us, not a select few. The resources needed to achieve anything they want are within them, not outside of them, they just simply need to learn how to access those resources.