‘If I were to caption a book about my life it would be Stories of a life of purpose,’ says Precious Mdlalose.
Her choices of work from the moment she qualified as a CA(SA) was to seek a life of purpose. She was drawn to the public sector because she wanted to be a representation of service excellence in public sector, particularly because of the far-reaching developmental impact in contrast to corporate. She worked in male-dominated industries such as mining, automotive and financial services for both SMEs and JSE-listed companies, providing interventions that require disruptive innovation and strategic thinking. Her life ideology is to strive for excellence and with a particular focus on making a developmental impact; given the IDC’s mandate, it was a perfect fit.
She used her time at IDC to train and mentor CA(SA) trainees with an emphasis on excellence and leadership through servitude. Her contribution to CA(SA) training resulted in being nominated for the IDC award for mentorship. She extended her CA(SA) skills to the corporate sphere through her seat on the board of two venture capital companies, one of which is at research phase for nano technology. ‘I am proud to be a black female representative on these predominantly male boards and my aim is to further illustrate that women are formidable corporate participants and have both the intellectual and leadership qualities to contribute,’ says Precious.
‘My contribution to the growth of my peers in the GIBS MBA 2017 cohort was just as fulfilling as my own personal growth,’ she continuous.
‘I was able to engage with people of different backgrounds showing that the transition from interacting with blue-collar workers to CEO of a JSE-listed business comes naturally.’ She completed the first year of the MBA cum laude and won the award for the best overall student for customer-centric strategy. ‘This specific award is in line with my passion for service excellence and innovative strategic thinking for business solutions.’
While completing her MBA, she started an online bookstore with a group of four inspirational women. The bookstore is the first of its kind in South Africa; they showcase books with protagonists of colour in all 11 official languages. The focus on protagonists of colour is to expand the current children’s book offering to ensure that diversity prevails. Their goal was to make reading an integral part of early childhood development in order to improve self-esteem, tolerance of diversity and literacy. They have collaborated on a project with the Otto Foundation to source books for the Sunflower Learning Centre for the children of Zonnebloem Girls’ and Boys’ Primary schools. They also collaborated with the National Arts Council to bring authors to the townships across Gauteng for book-reading sessions.
‘My life has been a conscious pursuit of purpose and excellence,’ she says.