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Kentse Makgae, Public Relations Officer of National Council of African Women.

Kentse Makgae strives to empower young women

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Following more than two decades of active engagement in the public and private sectors, Kentse Makgae is ready to share her journey and life experiences with young women in order to empower them.
The multifaceted Makgae, a traditional healer and pastor, is also the Public Relations Officer of the National Council of African Women (NCAW) in Limpopo. Apart from her involvement in the corporate world she also played a key role in various sporting codes, arts and culture programmes.
She was a first female Public Relations Officer at Dynamos Football Club, an opportunity she says she will forever embrace. “I was one of the first female Public Relations Officers in the country and for me that was a valuable experience which I will forever cherish. The position gave me a chance to explore the administrative side of football, market the club and fulfil my childhood dream.”
She previously owned a soccer, basketball club and was also a captain of the University of Limpopo ladies’ soccer team 20 years ago. “I love sport more than anything. Sport liberates and it also has economic spin-offs. My wish was for my soccer team to grow so that we would be able to employ more people and help fight the scourge of unemployment. I love to see young people participate in all sporting codes because sport changes people’s lives.”
Among her fondest memories counts serving on the boards and in strategic position of various organisations and agencies in the country. “I have served on the boards of Limpopo Parks and Tourism, Tinkawu Cultural Organisation, Limpopo Economic Development Enterprise, National lotteries Commission, Great North Transport as well as the Culture, Art, Tourism, Hospitality, and Sport Sector Education and Training Authority. I cherish those moments because I feel that I contributed to the growth of those organisations. One of our roles was to oversee the running of the company and ensure accountability. I also learned that most board members were not empowered with board leadership skills. Some of them didn’t know their responsibilities as board members due to a lack of knowledge but I believe if they were equipped with leadership programmes they would excel with aplomb.”
She says she could have achieved anything she wanted had she not prioritised education. “I want young women to go to school and stay away from freebies and shortcuts. There are no shortcuts in life. Shortcuts don’t work, I want to see a generation of women who are educated and independent. It they are educated they will be able to leverage on lot of opportunities and they will be able to take care of their own lives. I became a board member but I was an educator at the same time. I was a lecturer at the former Thabamoopo College of Education and part-time lecturer at the then Technikon South Africa. I could not have achieved all of this if I was not educated. ”
As a lecturer Makgae had the opportunity to present papers on Technology and Women Traditional Healers in Business at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg in 2011.
She also represented the country in Perth, Australia in 2004 where she presented a paper titled ‘The Role of Traditional Healers in an African Society. “Before travelling Australia I presented a paper on cultural identity and the revitalisation of the eroded culture through learning in Harare, Zimbabwe. I also went to Rome in Italy in 2012 to present a paper on women and entrepreneurship at the World Women’s Conference.”
She currently serves on the Gauteng Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation board.
She says her wish is to see young women from different villages in the province fulfilling their goals and progressing in life. “We are a province blessed with talented and intelligent young women. All they need is a platform to shine and showcase their abilities. I would love to see them prosper but they need to empower themselves with education because it unlocks human potential. Also they must know their culture because culture plays an important role in one’s life. They must know who they are, know their origins, respect each other and not listen to bad advice,” Makgae emphasised.

Story/photo: Herbert Rachuene
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