We’ve very excited to have 10 volunteer Coach-Mentors taking on an iHub Africa student to walk with them along their learning journey for 2022 as a professional mentor.  This excellent group of seasoned professionals from across Canada and the US are joining with over 20 local South African business professionals to pair up with each iHub student as their training readies them to take on a digital economy job, hopefully by the end of the year once they graduate the program.

Last year we had three Coach-Mentors that signed up with HFI to be part of our remote service Stay&Serve program.  Ian (a member of our HFI board), David (a business executive from Washington, DC), and myself really enjoyed the coaching journey we had with each of the three students we were paired up with: Immaculate, Boss, and Sabelo.

Our Coach-Mentor recruitment started in January as we distributed an e-Brochure widely that described the iHub Africa project and what the Coach-Mentor role entails under HFI’s Stay&Serve initiative.  Then in February I hosted, along with Ian and David, two informational Zooms where we invited interested professionals to learn more about the opportunity as share our experiences as coaches with last year’s iHub cohort.    By the first week in March we had 7 new coaches apply to join the program. Since then all 10 of us have each interviewed two students and selected one to pair up with to start our 2022 coaching journey.

What the commitment entails is a biweekly coaching session with our student for one hour followed by providing feedback that tracks our coach-mentoring journey and helps build an overall portfolio of progress for the student.  As we come together on the last Thursday of each month for a Coaches Connect Zoom where all 30 of us can share our experiences, and leverage learnings from other coaches.

I’m excited to start my first coaching session next week with my new student for 2022: Nyakallo Lebakeng, a 29 year old learner studying at our Gauteng Province hub.  Here’s his photo:

Nyakallo Lebakeng

I look forward to bringing future updates on our coach-mentee journey in the months ahead.

And along with Ian and David, we’ve all continued to connect with our students from last year’s iHub journey who are now fully immersed and thriving in their digital careers:

Immaculate (Ian) who landed a great role as a digital marketer with Group M in Johannesburg:

Immaculate Moyo

And Boss (David) and Sabelo (myself) who both are enjoying their Marketing Operations research roles with the 5-member Cape Town Comarketers team (seen sitting across from each other at the far right end of the table):

Comarketers team room on 29-March-2022

If you’re reading this and thinking about getting involved as an HFI Coach-Mentor to coach a young South African enrolled in the iHub Africa program, please click here for more information.