It was a watershed moment when the CEO of FNB announced that our very own Thobeka Thala was leader of the pack among all the FNB branches in the KwaZulu-Natal province. This accolade, better known as the POP Legend award, is one of the bank’s ways of recognising outstanding performance by team leaders across South Africa. Thobeka, an MUT Marketing graduate who is team leader at the Umzimkhulu branch, outperformed hundreds of her peers and made history for her rurally-located branch.
“Being called a legend for my performance and having my name announced by the CEO is a big step forward in my career. To be considered for this award is an assurance that you not only know what you are doing but you are doing it better that others. The selection criteria for the award are very precise and are based on your performance as well as that of your team. I am a legend and leader but I need to also give credit to my team who made sure that we deliver no matter what,” Thobeka said.
She credits her success to her love for her work. For her, things just make sense because she is exactly where she needs to be. Some may call it chance but she calls it destiny. Looking back at when and how she joined the bank, it is no surprise that she is thriving and looking forward to a bright future in the sector.
On the last day of her internship at a municipality in 2011, Thobeka received a call for an interview at the bank. This came as a surprise as she had never applied for the position. Nevertheless she wanted the job and was confident that she was capable of handling any work in the sales and marketing sector. She started doing research on what the job entailed and prepared herself thoroughly for the interview. To her surprise she did well and was offered the position. How the bank got hold of her CV was still a mystery to her. After she had settled into her new job, Thobeka called the human resource department to enquire how they had got the CV. To her surprise she was told that it had been submitted by her marketing lecturer and head of department at MUT, Dr Mphathi Ndlovu. “I was so humbled to realise how much Dr Ndlovu cared about the future of his students even after they graduated. I have called to thank him for this very kind gesture but I still need to take a moment and thank him in person. This legendary award would not have been possible if it was not for Dr Ndlovu who explored opportunities for me to secure the job of my dreams,” she said.
Thobeka appreciates the motivation of the friends and family who are always cheering her on and wishing only the best for her. She also sees herself as being blessed with a team that is as driven as she is and is willing to work hard. At MUT we salute our legend flying our flag high and writing the positive history of our institution.