IIG News

A Grand Time!

As I start to reflect on my journey with the IIG council, my heart is immediately overwhelmed with gratitude. I can only think back on it as the most spectacular time I have ever experienced, and I think how lucky I am to have been a part of this 113-year-old institution.


My journey started in 2018 when I was voted onto council. I remember in that first council meeting after the AGM feeling like I had been hit by a bus. You see, the picture that I had of the IIG before becoming a council member was vastly different from what I was now witnessing in that first meeting.  I had mistakenly expected an all fun, never serious council that just plans the next fun event – boy was I wrong. That year I had been selected to be part of the education portfolio, and all of a sudden, I had to reach deep within and find capabilities that I never thought I had. 3 years later I was elected to be the deputy president and thereafter the president of the IIG in 2021.


The IIG is true to its word. Its motto to connect, engage and grow became my reality in the 6 years that I spent on council.


The “Connect”

Being on the council as a member and later its president pushed me to make connections with industry people locally and globally that I might otherwise not have brushed shoulders with, attorneys, insurers, brokers, re-insurers, consultants, CEO’s and everyone else that makes part of this industry.  I have made life-long friends and acquaintances that add to my breadth of knowledge and my sense of belonging.


The “Engage”

The IIG, through Insights sessions and IIG International allowed me to engage on matters that are critical to the sustainability of the industry. Topics such as robotics or Artificial intelligence, Insurtech the effect climate change is having on the world and the insurance industry, the possible grid failure in South Africa as well as how to think about talent and critical skills for this industry. I have learnt so much about the experiences of other countries and what lessons can be brought home. The IIG manages to bring experts in industry matters who engage with its audience in a thought-provoking manner.


The “Grow”

I attribute a lot of my professional growth to the year that I served as the President of the IIG in 2021 – The year of #BeTheDiff3rence. That period will forever be entrenched in my being. Though 2021 still had Covid 19 restrictions and we could not connect with each other in the way we were used to, through the IIG I could see how tough and resilient we are as South Africans and as an industry. I had never thought of myself as a salesperson and in fact, I have always run from any task that required me to sell anything. Now I consider myself a consummate salesperson after a year spent pitching and selling IIG programmes to industry heavyweights during a time when businesses and economic growth were threatened by the effects of Covid 19.


In that year we also introduced programmes such as UpSqull and the IST graduate programme that aimed to be part of industry solutions, these programmes brought an in-depth understanding of EQ, critical thinking, and non-life insurance to IT professionals within the industry. The partnerships we made to bring the programmes ensured that we had the right lecturers and the right audience from the sector engaging on industry critical skills needs.


Some of my fondest memories also include driving the importance of paying it forward within the council and the Class of 2021 by reaching out to learners and schools in disadvantaged parts of Gauteng. It is important for me that we all understand the challenges that our children and educators in disadvantaged areas of the country face and landing a hand in any way we can to try and bridge the gap. Our children have immense potential, and it is heartbreaking to know that some will not make it due to circumstances that they didn’t create for themselves.  This is an area we should continue to ask ourselves if we can do more – Be the difference!


It can never be goodbye!!!


I sign out as an IIG council member, however, it can never be good bye. The IIG has planted in me a lasting desire to give of my talents and my time to those who come need them and have a burning passion to connect, engage and grow.  The IIG has made it possible for industry members to connect and it is my parting hope to remain being accessible and in touch.  I continue to look forward to making lasting connections and engaging on issues that will take our industry forward!


Article Written by Tshepiso Chocho