Q. When I wake up in the morning, the first thing I do is…

A.  Take a few minutes of quiet time which always works best to help me dig deep into my emotional and spiritual senses. It's the perfect way to recharge and gear my mind for the day ahead.

Q. What were you like as a child, and who had the biggest influence on your life?

A. I was that child who was loved by all the teachers... I was well behaved and loved school! I had no choice because the school principal was my uncle’s friend!

My late grandmother was my biggest influence, she was my source of inspiration and I lived to make sure that I don’t disappoint her. I think I turned out well, though… Unfortunately, she never lived to see me graduate and witness the fruits of her prayers.

It’s been a year since Thabile Wonci (35) was appointed Managing Director of the thought-leadership organisation, Black Management Forum (BMF). We get to know Thabile on a personal level and hear what he’s been up to between then and now…

Q. Was fairness and equality always a priority for you?

A. Oh yes! Having born and lived in this unjust society, I’ve grown to appreciate Mathew’s Golden Rule, “Do to others what you would have them do to you.”

Q. Were you always a natural leader?

A. I’ve never thought about it actually. Looking back, I’ve always gravitated towards leadership positions, both at varsity and in the corporate space. Part of God’s plan for my life!

Q. We see your interests include Economics, History and Politics, which are highly suited to your role and the BMF. In what way does your interest in these areas benefit you in your role?

A. They help balance reasoning whilst strengthening my argument in my advocacy role to see black professionals and black business play a pivotal role in our economy.

Q. You were formerly an investment bank professional and you are a writer, which implies you are both logical and creative. Does your position allow for creativity and if so, in what way can you incorporate it?

A. Most definitely; this comes out a lot in my review of how we are positioned as an organisation and how do we remain the epicentre for managerial leadership development and a voice for black professionals.

Q. What does being the MD of such a vital organisation mean to you?

A. It's a great platform for me to serve my people and my country – this job has afforded me this, and so much more... In fact, this is not even a job but a calling! A solid foundation which allows me to deliver great results has been laid since the beginning of the year, and I have ticked many boxes both strategically and operationally.

Q. What do you do to relax?

A. I collect books and music. Sitting at home with a great book in hand with beautiful jazz sounds playing in the background just swallows up my heart and soul. My ultimate relaxation time!

Q. Your Twitter bio says: “Life: Jazz, Cycling & Rugby”. Please tell us more…

A. Jazz chose me! I grew up in a home of jazz lovers and they used to make us dance to jazz songs – so cruel!!

Professional cycling and rugby are what I would do in my next life. I could sit at home the whole day and watch Tour De France or a rugby game – both great sports if you ask me!

Q. How and where will you be spending Christmas this year?

A. I’ll be out in the villages with my family, far away from the buzz of the City of Gold. It's important to recharge for the task that’s lying ahead – there are great possibilities to discover in the New Year!

The Black Management Forum (BMF) stands for the development and empowerment of managerial leadership, primarily amongst black people, and the creation of managerial structures and processes that reflect the demographics, and values of the wider society.

www.bmfonline.co.za