Ligotshwa lisemanzi: Dreams of entrepreneurship with Thamsanqa (Thami) Zwane

After chatting with Thamsanqa (Thami) Zwane, we learned a bit more about his experience at JET and work in the financial department. Thami works as an Assistant Project Accountant. He began his journey at JET as an intern in 2016 before securing a permanent position. Today Thami manages accounts for 16 different projects, ensuring on-time payments for all expenses. Among those projects, he spends substantial time working with TICZA, Save the Children, and PrimTEd SIRP accounts and problem solves anything from budgets to tenders. He also produces financial reports for clients. Overall, he and the financial team act as custodians for upholding JET policy and ensuring accuracy in the work that they do.

Thami enjoys the audit process that JET undergoes between February through March. The audit takes precision, as it is reviewed by many external stakeholders. Despite the stress and long hours during this time, Thami is motivated to do the work accurately, pushing for a clean audit. JET has had 20 years of clean audits. Thami finds this impressive given the transitions over the years, but knows that at the core, the finance department stands by that same goal each year.

In addition to the annual work that Thami enjoys, he is experiencing a new learning curve with the new Sage system. Sage helps do work more efficiently and ultimately helps minimise human error. Thami said, ‘The new system will help us work better as a team and with staff’. He knows the value in working with other staff and across divisions. The project accounts are split among three people. Playing an active role in the projects makes it easier to assist with projects and understand the budget parameters. Thami engages with stakeholders externally, as well as internal staff. 

Thami is passionate about entrepreneurship and has a goal to open an organisation with a mission focused on Early Childhood Development (ECD). Thami used the Zulu idiom, ‘ligotshwa lisemanzi’, which expresses his motivation to teach and groom children while they’re still young so they can be better in future. Thami sees entrepreneurship as a way of viewing the world through a different lens, as well as an opportunity to help solve others' problems, knowing that ultimately, ‘Problem solvers are remembered’.

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