Caption: Starting out as an office cleaner, Sanki Nkosi (above) has proven her worth by working her way up the corporate ladder in the waste industry. This dedicated mother is now the Central Branch Manager at the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA).
It’s often a challenge for women and mothers to believe in themselves and to strive for a better future following their circumstances in life. Sanki Nkosi did not let her conditions get in the way of her ambition, and her tenacity is what lead her to one of the most intricate environments – the waste industry.
With only a matric certificate to her name, the Free State born Nkosi found herself between jobs as a helper and a cleaner. Little did she know that eleven years later she would become an inspiration to many by being determined and dedicated to learn.
This driven woman joined the IWMSA as a part-time cleaner in 2003. She was offered a permanent position as an Administration Assistant in April 2010, after her potential was discovered by Gail Smit, Executive Officer at the IWMSA. Nkosi’s corporate career started off by performing some day-to-day duties at the IWMSA’s Central Branch. This gave her more insight of how the office operates and allowed her to interact daily with different people and assist them with their queries.
“Through my journey of working as a cleaner then becoming an Administration Assistant, I was exposed to different learning opportunities within the waste industry by attending various accredited and non-accredited waste management training programmes hosted by the IWMSA,” says Nkosi. Nkosi’s training opportunities did not end there as she went on to obtain a General Administration Certificate at INTEC College in 2012 and attended several business etiquette courses through the IWMSA.
Nkosi was appointed as the IWMSA’s Central Branch Manager in January 2014. “Helping others makes me feel like I’m giving back and I get to learn more about the waste industry in the process. One of the highlights of being the Central Branch Manager is arranging the waste management training for all our stakeholders. I’m reminded every day of just how much I love my job,” says Nkosi. The accredited waste management training programmes offered by the IWMSA covers an array of issues ranging from how to separate, handle, store, treat and dispose of waste.
As a Central Branch Manager, Nkosi intends to further her studies in waste management in the near future. This is motivated by her love for the environment and how keeping it clean is key. “By understanding recycling and waste management, we can all help keep the environment clean. I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunities the IWMSA has given me, and look forward to my journey with them,” says Nkosi.
“It is very important for us to invest in people who show interest and dedication in the waste industry. By reaching out and providing opportunities, we can slowly but surely start building a nation that wants to protect our environment,” says Dr Suzan Oelofse, President of the IWMSA.
For more information about the IWMSA, visit www.iwmsa.co.za. IWMSA is also on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.