IIG News

Roots & Wings: Meet the mentees of 2018 (Part 2/2)

The #YourIIG marketing team caught up with the Root & Wings 2018 mentees to get their opinions on the programme. The programme provides mentees with a competitive edge and access to experienced and well-travelled professionals within the short-term insurance industry.

Thanks to the support of our passionate sponsors Insure Group Managers and Sasria SOC.


Sufyan Mkwanda – Discovery Insure

Tell us a little more about yourself…
I’ve been in the insurance industry for roughly two years and currently work for Discovery Insure as a Senior Business Analyst. I enjoy my role as it gives me the opportunity to engage with different stakeholders and bring the company’s vision to life. I am very passionate about entrepreneurship and would love to run my own business someday. I am yet to “discover” myself within the industry as I have not found what I am looking for, which makes me uncertain of whether I would like to have a long-term career in insurance. I am however, optimistic about my future and career aspirations which makes me excited about the path that will drive my growth exponentially.

What is the single most important skill you’ve learnt from the programme?
I think the most important thing I’ve learnt thus far is the ability to be self-congruent. I’ve learnt to better identify what I am feeling and connect it with what makes me feel more grounded and in touch with my mind and emotions.


Ntombi  Sibisi – Mirabilis Underwriting Managers

Tell us a little more about yourself…
I’m a 32-year-old mother of 4 with a huge passion for people and teaching. Having started my journey in the insurance industry via a Santam learnership in 2005, I soon realised that there was a huge lack of understanding and knowledge of what short term-insurance is from myself and my community.
I would like to close this gap and teach people in the Townships what short term insurance is and why you need to be insured.  I would also like to show them the different products available in the market.

What is the single most important skill you’ve learnt from the programme?
The biggest lesson I have learned through this programme is that if you want to achieve anything you need to start to have activities that push you closer towards your goals.  I’ve also learnt that it is okay to make mistakes during your journey but always keep moving and never ever quit.


Bongolethu Jacobs – Marsh

Tell us a little more about yourself…
I’ve been working in the insurance industry for almost 5 years and am currently a Client Executive at Marsh that services multinational accounts. My initial aim when entering the industry was to become a Client Executive and I have been fortunate enough to achieve this goal early on in my career. From now on, the sky is the limit; I am moving into new ventures and the future is looking very exciting.

What is the single most important skill you’ve learnt from the programme?
I have learnt about the importance of good communication and my mentor has managed to bring me out of my comfort zone. This has enabled me to be a free thinker, speak my mind and go for what I believe in. She has been an amazing person of influence in my career and life and I thank IIG for setting up such an incredible programme, it has helped me gain direction in my career. Thank you!


Philile Masondo – Old Mutual Insure

Tell us a little more about yourself…
I’m a  quiet person with over 9 years of engineering underwriting expeirence. My ambition is to be the head of the specialty division and not just settle there but move towards starting my own brokerage one day. My passion is to help the physically challenged with assistive devices and  provide a service that they can afford.

What is the single most important skill you’ve learnt from the programme?
I have learned to take initiative towards achieving my goals and ask for help if I need it but never depend on other people for my growth.



Dudzai Chikumbu – Hollard Marine

Tell us a little more about yourself…
I have been in the short term insurance industry for five years and I am currently a Marine Underwriter at Hollard. I am passionate about insurance and my aim is to become a leader and influencer in the insurance industry.

What is the single most important skill you’ve learnt from the programme?
The most important skill that I have learnt from this programme is strategic thinking. My mentor taught me a strategic thinking technique called mind mapping and I have started to use it in my day-to-day work. This thinking method helps me to always “see the bigger picture” and think creatively.


Meshack Rasebopye – Willis Towers Watson

Tell us a little more about yourself…
I was born in Alexandra, North of Johannesburg but raised in a small village called Pankop in Mpumalanga (just outside of Hammanskraal). I started working at AIG in 2006 where I did property claims for a short period, then in 2007 after being employed permanently, I started doing Marine claims. In 2017 I joined Marine Underwriting and later moved to Willis Towers Watson to continue applying my expertise in Marine claims.

I have spent a total of 12 years in the insurance industry gaining experience from insurance companies I spend 10 years with (AIG, Regent & Nautical UM). Currently, I’m working for a brokerage (Willis Towers Watson). The environment is different because you deal with different people (clients instead of brokers). I have a Diploma in Marine Surveying through Maritime Lloyds Academy and I am currently studying BCom General majoring in Insurance through Milpak Education.

My biggest lesson in the past 12 years is that never underestimate your own ability to do things. The insurance industry is occupied by older people and 10 years ago when I started it was difficult to make it anywhere especially the Marine industry. So I had to trust in my own skills and had to learn from different people who had different personalities in order to build my own character.

Where  want to be:
I would like to change lives of young people through insurance especially where I come from. I noticed that most people (young and old) do not have a clue what marine insurance is, all they know is that insurance covers your car and home or that it covers you in case you die. I want to see myself occupying positions that will help me drive this change or influence the market to see the change I want. I would not limit myself to being a CEO or Managing Director, I would rather occupy those positions that will see me drive a change in the near future because I love changing lives.

What is the single most important skill you’ve learnt from the programme?
When I started this programme my goals were set in ways that didn’t aactually allow me to go a different route. The biggest lesson so far was: do not have a goal that is narrow, always look around you and you will always find better ways to achieve you goals and never underestimate the power of reading. Reading always makes you a better person, it does not matter if it is academic reading or otherwise, find time in your day to read. All this will help you achieve your goals.

Side note:
I currently have NPO (None Profit Organization) called YMM (Young Men Movement) where we deal with young boys and try to guide them to be “men of treasure”. We meet every second weekend to discuss the topics and issues that are bothering the community or the world. We are raising Men of Treasure in order to change how the world views men..


Krysty Nathan – Insure Group Managers

Tell us a little more about yourself…
I work for a company called Insure Group Managers and I’m the New Business Administrator. I’ve been at IGM for about 4 years now and I facilitate all the online training and assist new clients with general queries. My aim was to take over the world and promote world peace, but my mentor has already told me I should learn to crawl before I can walk, so my current aim has shifted to broadening my scope in the insurance industry. Because it’s such a broad environment, there are so many avenues you could take with no clue about your final destination. I started the programme wanting guidance and support because I didn’t know where I was going. Now, I don’t mind where I go because I can’t really go wrong.

What is the single most important skill you’ve learnt from the programme?

The single most important skill I’ve learnt thus far –  speak up. There’s no such thing as a stupid question. That phrase never really rung true until I was the one who had to ask the questions. I have always been so afraid of asking for advice or guidance especially from someone in a more senior position because, who am I and what would they gain from giving me an answer when I’m a part of the ‘Google it ‘ generation.  Out of everything my mentor has taught me, the most important advice she gave me was to speak up. As cliché as it sounds, it’s absolutely worth it. People will make time for you because they’ve also gone through “the struggle”. There is no such thing as useless information, but you’ll never know the value of the information someone can give you if you don’t ask the question.