Gaolatlhe Keba Ramakgala
Spring Water, Administration Assistant, 2012
Associate Degree in Public Relations
I have assured myself to begin with the end in mind, I want to see myself as a big shot in the arts industry and I think Limkokwing laid a good foundation for me.
30 November 2012
Against All Odds: Climbing the Industry Ladder
Written by Thato Moruti
A single mother, her experience has birthed true relentlessness and continues to motivate her to do more for herself and her only child. Gaoltlhe Keba Ramakgala wishes and aims to build a legacy that her daughter can be proud of. She plans to teach her child to better understand herself and where she comes from, a true inspiration in her life.
Twenty-six-year-old Ramakgala has risen up against all odds to become what she always dreamt of. She started out at the bottom of the ladder as a cleaner. She rose up the ranks to become a storekeeper and now, her current role as an Administration Assistant.
Ramakgala started working with Spring Water as a cleaner soon after completing her general certificate of education in 2005. Spring Water is a local company with a chain of stores throughout the country, well-known for its range of water and dairy products as well as agricultural supplies and other local produce.
She was in charge of looking after the general tidiness of the office. Two years later, Ramakgala resigned from her job to pursue an Associate Degree in Public Relations at Limkokwing University of Creative Technology.
After completing her Associate Degree in Public Relations with Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, Ramakgala was called by the Spring Water Director to work again. This time she was offered a job as an Administration Assistant; barely able to contain her excitement, she did not hesitate to accept the offer.
Her daily duties include recording petty cash, typing local purchase orders and assisting the Administration Officer with the cost schedule for different contracts and recording the staff’s annual leave days.
One of the fun things about her work is that she still gets to practice the things she learned in university. “I also deal with telephone enquiries from customers, assist with day-to-day client response administration, bookings for staff travel and dealing with other communication duties on behalf of management,” said Ramakgala.
Gaolatlhe Ramakgala recalls that being a cleaner helped her understand more of what she is able to do than her limitations; instead she used her cleaning jobs as an opportunity to grow. Since then the young mother of a beautiful two-year-old daughter saw herself flourishing and every cleaning experience became a blessing to her.
She realized that her dedication to her work had caught her supervisor’s eye, leading to an interest in her life. She said that her boss used to ask her what she wanted to do with so much talent and she would say, “To live a good life.”
Makgala is also an incredibly active young lady in traditional dance. She currently sings and dances with a highly-praised traditional dance group called the ‘Mogwana Dance Troupe’ that has won awards both locally and internationally.
Fortunately, amidst all her dreams, ordeals and challenges, she heard a Limkokwing University of Creative Technology was opening its doors to gifted people. She polished her dancing shoes and decided to try her luck. With her mind set on learning traditional dance, she went to the Ministry of Education, and was told she could apply for anything she wanted.
She fell in love with public relations and ever since then, she has never taken her eyes off the goal of becoming a better individual.
As she frequented her dance practices, she found herself traveling to countries like China, Japan, France and Canada to market Botswana’s culture and tourism, where she continued to learn more public relations skills like promoting a product and positioning a brand.
The ‘Mogwana Dance Troupe’ also gave talks and discussed about Botswana and its traditional music.
“The ‘Mogwana Traditional Dance Troupe’ gave me an opportunity to showcase my public relations skills and place my ability as a creative thinker and a true emissary for Botswana, but Limkokwing University gave me wings to fly, to trust my skills and depend on them more.”
Always listen, learn and think for one self. Ask questions where you don’t understand.
Ramakgala believes that listening to her lecturers and putting more effort in her studies helped her achieve what she has today.
And by listening and learning, she has been able to organize events and projects during her school days. One fine example would be the public relations convention which attracted all communications students and well known PR practitioners in Botswana.
Ramakgala also appeared as an extra in the international movie ‘Mma Ramotswe’, a movie about a Motswana woman who set up a detective agency. ‘Mma Ramotswe’ is said to be a true story about Botswana written by McCall Smith, a British international writer. “I have assured myself to begin with the end in mind, I want to see myself as a big shot in the arts industry and I think Limkokwing laid a good foundation for me,” said Ramakgala.
Her advice to other young people is to “always listen, learn and think for one self. Ask questions where you don’t understand.” She says this will motivate you to achieve any goal you set your eyes on.