Lubisi experienced many challenges at the start of his professional career. His university applications were rejected, but he never gave up.
“I’ve never been one to quit, so when I was rejected, my only thought was: ‘How can I find another way to be accepted?’ I remember dropping my head onto the counter at the University of Pretoria and telling the staff that I was willing to do whatever it took to get in because I was not prepared to spend the year at home,” he says.
With perseverance and hard work, Lubisi was later accepted to do a BCom in Accounting Science. He went on to become one of the top 15% academic achievers of 2012 and was recognised with membership of the exclusive Golden Key International Society.
“I was motivated by the same thing that motivates me today. My goal is to set an example for anyone coming after me. Understanding the root cause of why I want to achieve my goals gave me a very strong purpose. I apply that to everything I do and when I get lost in the activities of life or when failure visits, it has allowed me to re-centre my thoughts and have the strength to give it another try,” he explains.
Finding meaning in mentorship
Lubisi first recognised the need for and value in mentorship while he was a student. As the Chairperson of the Tax Society and a member of the Commerce Faculty House, students often reached out to him for advice on their career plans.
“It reached a point where I was helping over 10 students in a week. I noticed that most young people share the same fear of failure and the ambition to make something of themselves – myself included,” he says.
He later established the Me, We youth mentorship programme with the goal of showing people how similar they are and demonstrating how effective mentorship can be in creating a stronger sense of community and ultimately, allowing more people to realise their dreams.
Lubisi hosts regular events where groups of individuals come together in a spirit of harmony and positivity to share ideas, experiences or lessons to the benefit of the larger group. The themes focus on various aspects of personal development, such as goal-setting techniques, interview skills and developing a career plan.
“We’ve already seen what a profound impact mentorship can have. Earlier this year, I helped a mentee prepare for two bursary interviews because she had never been to an interview before. We did mock interviews and gave her feedback and she was selected for the bursaries. It goes to show that a little bit of help can change the course of someone’s career,” he explains.
During the week, Lubisi works as a consultant for global media intelligence company Meltwater. His future plans include hosting youth seminars and becoming an established international speaker who shares authentic African stories with the world.
As a speaker at the TEDxPretoria 2016., Lubisi’s talk, entitled My Brother’s Keeper, aimed to challenge the way people think of mentors.
“I want people to realise that all of us can and should be engaged in some form of active mentorship, because if we work together, we can make a real difference,” he concludes.
Lubisi’s tips for aspiring business people:
- Own your story! Authenticity is the most valuable asset you have.
- Have a strong self-awareness, because it enables you to recognise your talents and grow by working on changing traits that are holding you back.
- Be fluid! Learn to adjust your plan when things don’t go your way.
- Keep moving forward.