Momentum’s Social Media Manager, Miliswa Sitshwele, hopes her career journey will inspire the youth from her hometown of Engcobo in the Eastern Cape to know their dreams are attainable.
The versatile Sitshwele is a journalist by profession, but has over the past 10 years worked with top South African brands across communications, digital agencies, magazines, and more recently in the insurance space.
Her impressive resumé comes after years of hard work and determination to pave the way for the young girls to dream big.
She is passionate about changing lives and her projects with Momentum has allowed Sitshwele to work with various campaigns including the #SheOwnsHerSuccess which encourages women to proudly own their achievements.
Sitshwele praises her grandmother for instilling morals and values that have helped her along her journey and hopes to pass her knowledge on to the next generation.
Speaking with Celine Abrahams, Sitshwele reveals the most fulfilling part of working with the Momentum brand and her future aspirations.
Thank you so much for taking time out to speak to us! For the benefit of our readers who aren’t familiar with who Miliswa Sitshwele is, please give us a rundown on what your occupation is.
I am social media manager also known as the one who gets to play on Facebook all day 😊. No jokes, it’s not glamorous, it’s an integral part of any brand to have a social media manager as the eyes and the ears of the brand. I am responsible for a lot of things which include content creation, posting, community management, ideation, live eventing, reporting, and working on new campaigns for the brand. I have recently been made the social media lead for all our CSI projects and I could not be happier. It’s a beautiful thing when work and purpose collide.
“I often marvel at my career journey, and I hope it inspires young girls to dream big, to know that it’s all possible.” – Momentum’s Social Media Manager, Miliswa Sitshwele
Please tell us about your career journey – where it all began and how you got to Momentum?
I am a journalist by profession, even though I have not practiced as a journo, but my heart belongs to writing and reading. When I was a kid, I was an avid reader. My grandfather had a bookshelf filled with everything from Shakespeare to the reader’s digest. I read all his books, so it was no wonder to me that I went into a career of being a writer. I have worked in a lot of different sectors. To name a few -Communications companies, digital agencies, magazines, and more recently in the insurance space. My career spans over 10 years working with South Africa’s top brands. I come from a very small town in the Eastern Cape called Engcobo, I often marvel at my career journey, and I hope it inspires young girls to dream big, to know that it’s all possible.
What has been the most fulfilling part about working with the Momentum brand?
It’s being able to witness my passion and purpose at work collide. Like I mentioned, I am a firm believer in paying it forward, in doing work that changes people’s lives. The projects I am involved in have made it possible for me to see, feel and touch that. Being part of #SheOwnsHerSuccess continues to be a fulfilling part of my journey, it’s a beautiful thing to give women space to own their success and not be apologetic. It is something that we should entrench in women from a very young age.
As you pointed out, the #SheOwnsHerSuccess campaign continues to empower many women. What has it taught you when it comes to your personal journey?
It has taught me that it is ok to clap for your damn self! It has taught me that I am worthy of celebrating, that I do not need to feel bad for shouting at the rooftops about the work that I do. Women deserve a seat at the table. She Owns Her Success invites women to take up space and encourage others to do the same. This campaign has done so much more, more than I could have for myself!
“I draw inspiration from my grandmother. She is now retired but she worked as a cleaner at our local hospital. She has a standard 6 education, but she is the brightest woman I have ever met.” – Sitshwele reveals drawing inspiration from her grandmother.
Who are some of the women that you draw inspiration from?
I draw inspiration from my grandmother. She is now retired but she worked as a cleaner at our local hospital. She has a standard 6 education, but she is the brightest woman I have ever met. She does math calculations without a calculator and literally allowed me and my siblings to dream of a life not confined to current realities. I draw inspiration from her and women who despite the odds stacked upon them, raised children, led households, and still showed that there are no limitations. She tells me to own my space, she believes in me and allows me to keep going. My later mother was also an inspiration. She also told me to walk into a room, smile, own it, and light it up. I am a product of women who were strong yet vulnerable, women who allowed their children to carve their path.
What has it been like working on the Momentum gsport Awards campaign over the past 3 years?
Phenomenal to say the least. I have loved the evolution of gsport, I have loved seeing women in sport getting the recognition they deserve and bringing South Africa along on that journey. gsport seeks to celebrate women who shatter barriers in sport, this is something closely aligned to my heart and the work we do as Momentum. Being part of the team that lays this foundation and builds these two brands is something I do not take for granted.
Are you a sporting fanatic or has working with Momentum influenced you to follow sport?
I am not a big sports fanatic, however working on the brand has made me one. I am now a huge supporter of the women’s cricket team. I enjoy an occasional soccer and rugby game 😊
From your point of view, how important is it to honour women, not only in sport, and the work they do?
It is of paramount importance. Men have been in the sport and getting all the recognition, but it has not been the same for women. Now that we can shine the light on the brilliant women on the field, let’s do so and pave the way for upcoming athletes. Seeing is believing, and if young women in sport from all corners of South Africa start seeing that being a woman in sport pays and receives the same accolade as a man in the sport, they will also give sport their all. We have amazing athletes in South Africa, all they need is an opportunity and the right support.
What is that one quote that picks you up when the going gets tough?
I have lots of quotes that I use to anchor myself but the one that never leaves my spirit is about being rooted in the present moment from one of my favourite books, “Heal your life” by Louise Hay.
“The point of power is always in the present moment. The past has no power over us.”
Where do you hope to see yourself in future in terms of your career?
I see myself being a digital and social media guru. Rooted in purpose, uplifting women, and imparting my knowledge to others. I see myself effecting change, witnessing growth, witnessing prosperity, and eventually with a foundation of my own whose main aim is to assist women with their needs. I want to travel the world, I want to be happy, I want to be comfortable. I want to walk in my purpose and passion. I have no lofty dreams of being the first woman to. I just want to be in spaces that allow women to flourish, win and thrive.
Photo 1 Caption: Momentum’s Social Media Manager, Miliswa Sitshwele, hopes her career journey will inspire the youth from her hometown of Engcobo in the Eastern Cape to know their dreams are attainable. Photo: Supplied