Owner of Mon-Cal, Jo­han­nes­burg

Destiny - - Hair -

Coming from an un­der­priv­i­leged back­ground in ru­ral Lim­popo Prov­ince, cre­at­ing em­ploy­ment and up­skilling South Africans give Mashamaite the most ful­fil­ment. Af­ter ma­tric­u­lat­ing, she stud­ied chem­i­cal en­gi­neer­ing, which she says she found bor­ing, but grad­u­ated in metrol­ogy and was de­lighted to work as a metrol­o­gist for a com­pany which spe­cialised in cal­i­bra­tion.

“I love ed­u­cat­ing peo­ple about cal­i­bra­tion. My favourite ex­am­ple is when I tell them about the scale used at shops to weigh toma­toes. Are we all aware that it needs to be cal­i­brated yearly, if not ev­ery six months? Do we even check whether that’s been done?” Cal­i­bra­tion is used in in­dus­tries from food and mo­tor­ing to the med­i­cal field.

She now has her own ac­cred­ited lab­o­ra­tory spe­cial­is­ing in equip­ment cal­i­bra­tion ser­vices, a busi­ness she started in 2015. Need­ing at least R200 000 to en­sure she was both ac­cred­ited and had the rel­e­vant equip­ment, she was able to pro­duce a turnover of R1,9 mil­lion within a year.

Mashamaite says her great­est achieve­ment is be­ing the only black fe­male in SA to own an ac­cred­ited cal­i­bra­tion lab­o­ra­tory. “The pride I feel in be­ing able to rep­re­sent other black women and say: ‘We’re ca­pa­ble!’ is huge,” she says.

Her ad­vice to oth­ers want­ing to work in the in­dus­try is to per­se­vere and learn as much as they can by at­tend­ing in­dus­try meet­ings. “Dream big and make school and books your friends. Where I lived as a child, we only re­ceived the Sun­day news­pa­pers on Mon­day and I read the ca­reer pages re­li­giously, try­ing to fig­ure out what I wanted to be. Be pa­tient and kind to your­self as you nav­i­gate your path,” she says.

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