Lebogang Chaka considers herself a multi-potentialite. She is a dreamer, a speaker and MC who has committed to travelling the world talking on pertinent African issues related to the continent. A firm believer in the notion that Africans need to tell their own stories, Lebogang believes that she was born to use her “voice” through her work and talks to become a “guardian” of the African continent.
She is the founder of a consulting firm that offers management consulting services such as transformation, change management, organisational design, outsourcing and restructuring programmes including facilitation and coaching services. Lebogang Chaka has experience working with top-tier consulting firms such as Deloitte, KPMG and Accenture, with international experience in Dubai. She also currently serves as the Chairperson of the Thabo Mbeki African Leadership Institute Alumni Forum as well as the advisory board for Africa Future Dialogue.
Still, Lebogang is a small town girl from Mafikeng with a love for her continent and dreams of being Dr Chaka.
Take us through your day
I like to start off the day with a gym session to prepare me for the day and all that it comes with. Given all my passion and commitments, my days vary. I am a management consultant by trade, which sees me sitting in board rooms with C-Suite executives or leaders in the public sector. As a consultant, I understand the problems of an organisation and provide practical solutions to their various problems.
My demands as a Phd student require that I come home, switch off and give my studies my full attention. My various volunteer activities —which includes sitting on boards, require me to review concept documents, set up meetings and respond to proposals.
As a speaker and coach, I ensure that I prepare for my sessions with my various commitments. What I love about my day is that it is seldom the same. Time management is key and learning how to say ‘no’ has been my greatest lesson to make it through the day. And yes, I manage to cook and spend time with my loved one. I love a home cooked meal. One needs to protect their core, some things cannot be compromised.
I love being present at home and not let all my passions be a source of guilt.
How do you push through your worst times?
After burning out after 3 years in management consulting and nearly passing away, I took sabbatical for a month. During that time, I met people from different walks of life. This was my greatest low and afterwards, I learnt the art of taking care of myself physically by exercising and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. I was incomplete without my spirituality, I reconnected with God’s word and I now I draw strength from feeding my soul with the word of God.
Through my worst times, I remind myself of how I overcame all the doctors had said. I remind myself of how far God has brought me. I push because I know that the light at the end of the tunnel is worth the wait, because I know that my success will inspire others.
My doctoral studies have been the most challenging studies I have had to date but I stay grounded in the word. I maintain a healthy lifestyle to ensure the stress that comes with the studies is minimised to ensure that I can live a live that is filled with joy.Lebogang Chaka learnt the art of taking care of herself after a burn out and nearly passing away Click To Tweet
What keeps you awake at night?
The renewal of our continent. We cannot be the “dark continent”, I need to play my part.
I constantly ask myself; What more can I do to ensure that I can build a continent that my children will be proud of?
What are your success habits?
The one thing that I admire about myself is my ability to dream like a child and to not have boundaries. My dreams are always larger than life, my dreams usually scare me but I always boldly talk about them. I got to where I am today because I am not afraid to dream and I am not afraid to work hard for my dreams. Above all, God’s grace is forever with me.
I also believe that a life well lived is a life that does not mirror the vision of others but rather is based on one’s own journey. My measure of success is how well I have lived my life according to what I believe I am called to do. This is as opposed to what society believes I should do.
Lastly, I was raised by parents who had an incredible vision for us as their children; to be more and to serve others.
What is your meaning of greatness? Do you believe you have at some point achieved greatness?
Greatness to me means being the best version of you. It means being able to achieve peace about what you were called to be, understanding your purpose. After experiencing a corporate burnout, I reflected on my life and realized that I had given all my talents to the corporate world.
At that very point, I began to search for my purpose. Today, it is very clear how I can use my talents to serve and make a difference in the lives of many. My career as a speaker is birthed from me understanding my calling.
Can you tell us about a time when you almost gave up, how you felt about that, and what you did instead of giving up?’
This year with my PhD studies at the beginning of the year, I was struggling with my studies. I have never struggled with any of my previous studies as such, this was indeed a humbling experience.
There was a time in class in February when we were having a discussion, the director of the program asked me a question. As I tried to answer, I had lost my voice as I totally did not understand the content. I went home and decided that I was changing my university and going for a more ‘simpler’ PhD program…
My biggest challenge in my mind was that I had never done a research degree before and I did not understand the basics nor the concepts. I grounded myself in the word of God and surrounded myself with affirming positive thoughts. I also reached out, there is an African proverb that says; “kgetsi ya tsie e kgona ke go tshwaraganelwa”. This means, problems are overcome by coming together.
What I did next was to reach out to my support system and told them that I was failing to make the cut. My support system tutored me, made me promise not to quit, sent me motivational quotes and above all prayed for me. There is no shame in reaching out.
I also enrolled myself in a research methodology course at UNISA and took a week off work to learn this “research” language. Lastly, I watched numerous Youtube videos and read numerous research books. Challenges are humbling, I welcome them. If I am comfortable it means I am not learning.If I am comfortable it means I am not learning - Lebogang Chaka Click To Tweet
What would the closest person in your life say if I asked them, “What is the one characteristic that they totally dig about you, and the one that drives them insane?”
I asked them and they said, they like that I have a big heart. One thing that drives them insane is that I tend to over think things. Well what is a girl to do? There is so much to think about…lol
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