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PROFILE: Conquering fears and living her dream

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Mrs Pretoria-Tshwane finalist – Ronel Jooste CA(SA)

Despite excelling at academics and sport at school, the beautiful Ronel Jooste describes herself as being extremely shy while growing up. And during articles, she hardly said a word either. In fact, if you had to ask one of her fellow article clerks whether one day she’d earn money from public speaking, they wouldn’t bet on it.

Today she is a successful businesswoman who is comfortable speaking in front of audiences of more than 600 people. She is a member of Toastmasters International and was awarded second place in the national club contest for impromptu speeches in 2018.

‘It all started with a dream. I knew I had to face my fears and overcome my obstacles in order to achieve my goals in life. You can do anything if you apply your mind to it and take action,’ Ronel says.

Ronel is a proud Mrs Pretoria-Tshwane finalist and hopes to use this platform to make a bigger impact in her community and help to make our beautiful country a better place to live in.

The crowning and gala event will take place on 17 November at Leriba Hotel in Centurion. Mrs Johannesburg and Mrs Gauteng will be crowned at the same event.

In the meantime, we ask her to tell us more about herself and the beauty pageant …

Tell us more about Mrs Pretoria-Tshwane?

I am very excited to be a Mrs Pretoria-Tshwane 2018/19 finalist. It is not your typical beauty pageant, but a philanthropic pageant. The pageant is hosted by Rolemodels Foundation, a registered non-profit organisation. The three main projects they support are the Imfundo Educare Skills Development project for children, Asante Neo Life project for abused women, and Thamakhulu project for the elderly.

What are some of the criteria for a Mrs Pretoria-Tshwane finalist?

Mrs Pretoria-Tshwane is all about dynamic women who are actively making a difference in the community. It is about ordinary women stepping forward to achieve the extraordinary. A woman who makes an impact, who inspires and empowers others. A woman who is a role model.

Describe your personality?

I can be both extroverted and introverted. Although I do a lot of speaking at events and present training, I also need my space at times. I am driven, ambitious, hard-working and kind-hearted. I have a calm and collected personality. I am on a mission to make all my dreams come true.

Tell us more about your career as a CA(SA)?

I completed my articles at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Sunninghill, after which I joined Momentum in Centurion. I spent 10,5 years at the Momentum Group (MMI Group) as head of group financial reporting. In 2015 I started my own company called PhysEQFiT and I run the financial wellness division called FinanciallyFiTLife.

I use my qualifications, experience and passions to help individuals and businesses become Financially FiT for Life through consulting, coaching and training. We also offer financial wellness programmes for corporates, as well as online financial courses. I often speak at events or corporates about personal or business finances and I have a financial talk show on the radio. There are a few exciting, new business developments in the pipeline … just watch this space.

You believe that by empowering and educating individuals financially, you can uplift a nation. Tell us more

If people are financially savvy and able to make proper financial decisions, they can create wealth and financial freedom for themselves. Financial education has a direct impact on job creation, fighting poverty and reducing crime.

Are you currently involved in any community work?

Yes, I have always been involved with various charity organisations. I often present coaching, workshops and talks about finances or entrepreneurship to help others on their journey towards financial fitness.

Together with a business colleague we have developed a ‘build your dream board’ workshop whereby we empower men and women from all walks of life with financial, business and life skills. It was humbling been nominated recently as a DMI Top 100 SA Difference Maker.

What else are you passionate about?

I am a self-confessed fitness fanatic and a qualified personal trainer. Running, gym and playing golf form a big part of who I am, and I aim to train at least five days a week if my work schedule allows. I have participated in multiple Telkom (Momentum) 947 Cycle Challenges, Cape Town Cycle Tours (Argus) and Tsogo Sun Amashova Durban Classic cycling races, as well as the Comrades, Old Mutual Two Oceans and Old Mutual Om die Dam ultra-marathons. Apart from sport, I enjoy travelling, going to the theatre, entertaining, exploring new restaurants and sleeping.

How can the community support you?

By getting involved in the projects listed above that I will be supporting as part of my Mrs Pretoria-Tshwane finalist journey. Donations in the form of your time, skills or money are always welcome. It doesn’t matter how small or big, you can make a difference. Invite me to speak at your next event or at your workplace and help me to live my dream while empowering others.

Why do you believe woman are so crucial to the workplace?

I believe women bring a whole new dimension to the workplace. We can add a lot of value, especially when IQ and EQ flow in harmony. I also don’t believe a woman has to behave like a man in order to be successful. When you as a women know what you are talking about and are self-confident, men will respect you and value your opinion.

Tell us more about your family?

I was fortunate to grow up in a stable and loving family. My parents have celebrated their 48th wedding anniversary earlier this year and I have a younger sister, Marli, who is doing her PhD. I have never been married and don’t have children, but I am blessed with a wonderful man in my life. He is my number one supporter and gives me wings to fly. We dream together, exercise together, brainstorm business ideas, and laugh a lot.

You also own a guesthouse?

I own PhysEQFiT Guesthouse in Centurion together with my sister. Honestly, it was − and still is − a tough journey for a chartered accountant and a psychometrist to venture into the hospitality industry with no experience whatsoever and build up a guesthouse from scratch. The success story of the guesthouse definitely played a role in both myself and my sister being nominated as Margaret Hirsch Women in Business Achiever finalists for 2018.

What is your message to other chartered accountants?

Don’t allow people to put you in a box. People have certain perceptions that accountants must act and behave in a certain way, must stick to certain jobs, and will not excel in certain things in life. Believe in yourself and your abilities. There is no rule that a chartered accountant cannot be Mrs Pretoria-Tshwane.