Anele Mngwengwe

A financial analyst at multinational financial and insurance corporation AIG, Moshal alum Anele Mngwengwe has embraced the working world. Now she’s using her workplace know-how, as well as the skills she learnt from Moshal, to tackle unemployment in her community.

After completing her Honours in Economics at Rhodes University in 2016, Anele joined the JSE as part of their graduate programme. In 2018, she was hired by AIG as a financial analyst. “Working life was not at all what I expected,” she says. “Here it’s more about how you work, the way you think and how practical you are when faced with different situations. While at AIG, I am applying more of the principles I learnt in economics, it still lacks the structure of university. Work allows you to think and deal with things in the way you see fit, because you’re faced with a lot every day.”

Anele feels that Moshal helped provide the grounding she needed to adapt to some of these changes. “After graduating I realised that one thing Moshal did well was to boost our confidence and change our way of thinking, which is very important in the workplace,” she says. “Our career coordinator at Moshal made sure that no-one rested until they had a plan for the following year. She’d keep track of how many companies we’d applied to and she’d also ensure our CVs and cover letters were on point.” Using the job application training she received from Moshal, Anele is working to empower her community in the Umlazi township in Durban.

Getting job market ready

“Unemployment is a huge thing for me because there are a lot of people back home who are qualified but can’t find jobs,” says Anele. “The way we present ourselves both on paper and when we go for interviews is important. I’ve started offering my help to job applicants because I’ve been through a lot of training on how to write your CV, your cover letter and do interview prep.”

Sharing her resources and skills, Anele edits and reviews CVs and provides feedback. She also conducts mock interviews. “We had a lot of these at Moshal and they really help,” she says. “You help someone structure their answers in line with what interviewers are looking for.”

“My passion lies in developing people, especially women. It makes me sad knowing there are too many people sitting back at home, especially those that are qualified. They went to university and got scholarships or loans and can’t even repay these because they don’t have jobs.”

Big on education

Growing up in Umlazi, life was simple but not always easy for Anele. “I lived with both my parents, and three siblings,” she says. “My youngest brother passed away in 2014 so now there’s my two sisters and me. My mom is a housewife and my dad is self-employed. He has a little business running – he has veggie stalls in different sections of the township where he places different people to sell veggies.” 

“While things were quite difficult financially speaking,” says Anele, “they weren’t bad in the sense that we wouldn’t have to go a day without eating. My dad worked hard and with the little money he got, he made sure we all went to what was known as model C schools. I saw the difference at school when other people’s parents were nurses and teachers, and we couldn’t afford extras like school trips. When you’re back home in the township it’s simple. But the minute you’re exposed to things that are “better”, then you realise that life could be better in a way.”

Yet Anele will forever be grateful to her father for the emphasis he placed on her schooling. “My dad is very big on education. We didn’t have a fancy car or a fancy house, he just made sure that everything went towards us getting a good education. We knew for varsity though; we’d need to hustle for a scholarship though because there was no way.”

Integrity is integral

“In 2013, I applied to Rhodes University and managed to get a NFSAS loan. Going into university, I wasn’t even thinking about honours level, as the loan would be too much to repay.” Within a few months into first year though, Anele was accepted to the Moshal Scholarship Program. From there, everything changed, and anything was possible.

Anele says the Moshal value that she continues to carry with her is integrity. “It’s most important in my job now because I work a lot with money and I’m bound to make mistakes, especially because I’m still starting out,” she says. “They instilled integrity in us at Moshal – always do the right thing even when nobody’s looking. This applies anywhere and is the one value that encompasses all the rest. Doing the right thing may not always affect you but it has a ripple effect that goes very far.”