Having a dedicated teacher for a mother and an assertive principal for a father, Dineo Molokoane had no choice but to bury her head in her books most of her young life, an order she is very glad she obeyed.
The enthusiast and challenge-seeking Molokoane ventured into IT, a career she pursued simply out of curiosity, but soon decided to listen to the inner voice that guided her to her hunger; a passion she turned into a career, making all the time she dedicated to her books worthwhile.
Today Molokoane is one of only a few South African black women who can say she is the Managing Director of her own company, Shedding Light. She is also an educational facilitator, entrepreneur and motivational speaker, teaching people about all that can benefit them.
When the thought hit her
“I always knew there was something special in me. It came across when I was about 14 or 15 years of age when I was given an opportunity to perform a poem in Middle School. My poem was chosen as the best one,” the 31-year-old said, explaining when exactly she realised that she was destined to do the job that she is doing.
“I knew I had the gift of speaking, but I just didn’t quite know how to utilise it.” Molokoane says one of the incidents that helped reinforce her belief in the talent that she has was when she was given a chance to host a prize giving function in high school.
“For me that was the first time I felt authentic and the response was also very strengthening. I knew then that I had to do something, but it became even clearer when I joined Telkom and noticed the lack of soft skills that most graduates struggled with.”
She conducts her talks mostly in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Rustenburg and some parts of Polokwane, predominately in schools and the corporate sector, and hopes to grow and expand her teachings to other areas.
“My talks are mostly on self-leadership, self-management and personal transformation. The reception thus far has been amazing,” she said.
“I draw my passion from the impact I have noticed I have on people’s lives, because I love it when people are in control of their lives and make things happen. I’m inspired by growth.”
The Rustenburg born businessperson says she hopes to one day open a centre where young people will be taught the correct skills to become future leaders.
Not an easy path
Moving from the corporate sector to opening a business and being her own boss, Molokoane says the path had its fair share of obstacles. She points out that it took a lot for her to be where she is today with her company, Shedding Light.
“When starting out in the sector that I am in, people were very sceptical of my talks; they didn’t believe in me and certain people judged me harshly. You need to believe in yourself and your product.”
Molokoane says she needed to develop a great sense of persistence. “You deal with a lot of rejection, to a point where you doubt your path. The biggest lesson I have learned thus far though is that entrepreneurship is a tit for tat relationship.”
Handling a crowd
“I’m a naturally gifted speaker. I have learned that 55% of communication is about body language. I’m a mover and shaker. Before I go on stage, I also ask myself what the audience will think of the message. I do a lot of self-talk and tell myself: ‘Dineo you are enough.’” Molokoane says reminding herself to address the crowd at a human level is what keeps her calm.
Importance of confidence
The bubbly woman says though some experiences in life can put a dent on one’s confidence, she grew up to be quite a confident person. “My father has taught me a lot in life, but one of the most profound gifts he gave me is the ability to believe in myself and to be a confident individual.
Molokoane says although she doesn’t struggle with her confidence and has grown comfortable in her own skin, she constantly needs to speak words of love to herself.
“A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking, because her trust is not the branch but her wings.”