BOHLALE MATHATE: GLOBAL MANAGING DIRECTOR ON VALUES, YOGA & GIVING BACK

#BossLady is all about inspiring every aspect of the #BossLady in you, whether it be mind, spirit or body. We’re always in search of #BossLadies who have opened themselves up to new experiences and are now blazing a trail for others to follow suit.

We caught up with Pretoria-born Bohlale Mathathe. She is the Global MD of the Lebo M Foundation and serves on multiple Boards. Having studied law, Bohlale has honed her skills in a variety of corporate roles. Her proudest achievement in her current position is the recent establishment of a mobile law clinic that’s making access to justice a reality for vulnerable citizens of South Africa;

“The Foundation’s latest project has had a special impact on me and I’m excited that we are rolling it out nationwide. The founding clinic had a focus on labour and human rights law – particularly the plight of farmworkers along the KZN farming belt of Ndwedwe. We partnered with the Office of the Premier in KZN and the Ministry of Labour and we have conducted thorough research on labour practices in the area. More than 2000 people turned out on  the day. It was most rewarding to do our bit in restoring dignity to that community”.

The Lebo M Foundation was founded by SA born Disney producer, singer and songwriter Lebohang Morake (Lebo M). It is a non-profit organisation with programmes in the fields of Justice and Law, Education, Health, Arts and Finance.

Q: We know that life has not always been easy. Where in your life have you had your greatest learnings?

A. “My toughest lessons have come from a naivety in some moments where key decisions needed to be made. Sadly, we live in a world where people are not always who they say they are. It takes experience – and perhaps age, to master discernment and to see through that which is being presented at face value. I have risen by staying true to myself, my purpose and not allowing my heart to be hardened by failure and disappointment. If I could whisper in every woman’s ear, the words would be; ‘Stay gracious and get back up. Never allow anybody or situation to strip you of the key commodity of your being – your dignity’.

Q: What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

A: While I was still in broadcasting I had the honour of interviewing the then Public Protector Adv. Thuli Madonsela. We had an hour of candid on-air talk. After the microphones went off, she told me something that will never leave me. She said; “Bohlale, I see greatness in you. Continue to blaze a trail. There is no room for fear in this life. Feel the fear and do it anyway”.

Q: Where is your focus, and what are you striving for?

A. Professionally, I intend to finally take up Chambers as an Advocate focusing on commercial/ corporate litigation.

“Above my professional aspirations I want to be a mother. Family is very important to me and external success is meaningless without it”.

Corporate BOHLALE MATHATE puts motherhood first

Q: What are the top 3 books that have inspired your career growth?

A: My career trajectory has been closely linked to my overall spirituality and growth. Books that have had an impact on me include Oprah Winfrey’s ‘What I know for sure’, Marianne Williamson’s ‘A return to love’ and Susan Jeffers’ ‘Feel the fear and do it anyway.’

Q: Wow, those are power books! Tell us, which #BossLady are you crushing on and why?

A: Definitely my mother, Adv. Petunia Seabi. She single-handedly raised my brother, Tumelo and I.

“I get very emotional when I think of the sacrifices THAT MY MOTHER made so she could give us the very best of everything”.

No matter how tough things got she kept us in the best schools and invested a great deal in our education. This gave us a headstart second to none in life. I would not be where I am without the strength, values, support and prayers of my mother. I will choose her in every single lifetime!

Bohlale started doing yoga in 1998 following the sudden death of her maternal grandmother. Her grandmother had raised Bohlale whilst her mother was completing her degree at the then University of Natal.

“Gran’s death hit me hard. My aunt, who had been a ‘yogi’ (A yogi is a person who has spent many years practicing the philosophy of yoga), inspired me to take up the discipline so I could get back on the path to holistic wellbeing – and most importantly, healing. I have not looked back since. I do yoga and ballet to not only keep physically fit but also to retain balance in my life”.

Bohlale Mathathe: THREE THINGS I’VE GAINED FROM YOGA

Beautiful BOHLALE MATHATE in a yoga pose

  1. Yoga forces us to literally shut down from external surroundings, to focus and to find calm in the silence. In a world that doesn’t sleep, it is easy for us to get derailed by the instantaneous nature of everything at our fingertips. Yoga forces a complete withdrawal from the hustle and bustle of life. And it allows us to transition into another realm of consciousness.
  2. It strengthens the core muscles, helping to build a lean physique and good posture..

“I am obsessed with good posture – especially in a #BossLady”.

3: You can do it anywhere. Because yoga is compact, it’s easy to fit into a busy lifestyle as it isn’t confined to a gym set up. This makes consistency a lot easier. All I need is a mat and solitude.

So, on that inspirational note, watch this space #BossLadies! The #BossLady team are on the lookout for some great yoga instruction, so that we can share some power poses with YOU!

#BossLady Opinion: Have you been in a situation where you had to rise from tragedy to triumph? How did you cope? Share your story with our #BossLady network

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