IIG News

Roots & Wings: Catch Up with our Pairs

This month we touched base with more of the Roots & Wings mentors and mentees. The pairs have let us in on their thoughts and unique experiences the programme has brought into their lives.


Mentor: Kishan Vanmali from SHA

Mentee: Thapelo Sibiya from Discovery Business Insurance


Thapelo had this to say about his journey so far: When my manager told me about the IIG mentorship programme I just said to myself I need to be part of this year’s class, so I requested my manager to help me be part of this program. Ever since the program has started, I am starting to see a change in my life mostly in the way that I think, my mentor has guided me to view life as a gift which I don’t intend on wasting as we never know what hand we going to get to deal with next so I have learnt to take life as it comes to me to make each day count. So far this mentorship program has made me find my purpose and redraw my goals to ensure that they align with my purpose in life/ the world which a 20-year-old Thapelo Sibiya

Would have never thought about so this program is making me think about things that I don’t think I was going to think; I find it very intriguing that the mentorship program has had a huge impact on my life in just two months and not only on my life as I take most of the exercises/ task and pass them to friend and family hoping they will also find their purpose in life and try to be happy as they can.

My mental strength has increased a lot in these 2 months as I rated myself just to see where I am at in life and where did I think I would be, surprisingly I rated myself 1 out of 10 however I looked at the same goals and realized that I can actually rate myself 6 out of 10 in doing that I stopped at looking for the negatives and focused solely on the positives which bring me back to my mental strength it has changed a lot since the beginning of this program and my only expectation out of the program is growth both professionally and personally.


Kishan had this to say about his experience: Engaging in this mentoring journey has brought to light how difficult it is to navigate the world of work. It has highlighted to me the importance of guidance and leadership of our young talent.

My experience thus far with my mentee has been one of mutual discovery. As one of the ‘younger” mentors, I have enjoyed being able to share in the experiences of my mentee and understanding the challenges of modern employee in trying to find the passion that will drive them for the rest of their career.

I look forward to continued learning through this journey as I think the programme allows us to grow with our mentees. I also look forward to assisting our mentees in achieving some of their short and long-term goals as it is these small wins that help us gain momentum in our overall career. 


Mentor: Bernice Van Leeuwen from VCIB

Mentee: Prescious Nkosi from Santam


Prescious shares with us her journey on her piece titledMy experience with my mentor Bernice Van Leeuwen”

“The choices you make now, the people you surround yourself with, they all have the potential to affect your life, even who you are, forever”. – Sarah Dessen

The IIG mentorship programme has been nothing but rewarding, especially with the help from Bernice. She always motivates and inspires me to succeed at my personal and professional level by guiding me on how to handle difficult situations and achieve my goals by being committed and disciplined.

This month we had a meeting with my new manager to discuss what is expected of me in my new role and how I can grow to be an expert within my current role. This was the best conversation and empowered me to succeed and achieve my goal of becoming a leader.

My relationship with Bernice has been a valuable and exciting journey. I am looking forward to a more fruitful journey that lies ahead of us.


Bernice had this to say about her experience: We are now 2 months into our Roots & Wings journey, and I am loving getting to know Prescious. Prescious is incredibly driven and smart and she has a world of opportunity ahead of her! As a single mom myself, I can relate to some of the challenges she finds in balancing work, life, wellbeing, children etc but her resilience and positive mindset inspire! We have set a few goals for this year and I can’t wait to see how those unfold.


This article was curated by Jabulile Mtimkulu. 


The Roots and Wings Programme is sponsored by: