Sport Marketing Masters Student Dibuseng Inspired to Power On

My name is Dibuseng Theresa Modise and I love what I do. I hail from Magogoe Tar, a small village situated in the Mahikeng, North West. 

I grew up in a both an independent and pink-collar household: My dad is self-employed and my mom is a professional nurse. 

The number one lesson my dad taught me was to find a way – any way – to become my own boss. He said when you are your own boss, you’re free, and no one can put a cap on what you make. That was stamped into my brain from the time I was a little girl. 

My mom on the other hand said to me that if I found work I loved, everything else in my life would fall into place. Hence, today I hold a B-Tech Degree in Sport Management, and am still in pursuit of my M-Tech Degree, in Sport Marketing. 

“Not only did I study sport but I was an athlete. From my first grade up until my first year in varsity.”

I wish I never stopped… Some of my highlights are winning the Sportswoman of the Year in Grade Seven at the Connie Minchin Primary School, representing North West Province during the 2007 Inter-High Netball Games, being presented the Senior Victrix Ludorum trophy during my Matric year at Milner High School in 2008, and being honoured with a Merit blazer by the school. 

Today I can honestly say I have achieved both: Got to study what I love, and my job as an intern which gets me excited to wake up each morning. I am however still working towards being my own boss!

I am a #gsportTUTMLS intern. Months have passed by, and it continues to be a unique experience that has allowed me to synthesise the abundance of information I have received in the classroom, and see how it is applied in the real world of sport. 

“Interning for gsport has taught me a lot of things, most importantly that no day is the same.”

Each day brings something different whether that it is working on sport foundations, working on presentations, taking photos, promoting athletes on social media, writing sport profiles, researching phenomenal sport stories or planning events. 

I was blessed to have been offered the internship, spanning the entire 2018 season. When I first heard about this opportunity I wasn’t sure if I could do it, since I am a full-time student. 

The management of gsport Kass and Ryk and the rest of the team (other interns) helped me work through my schedule, to make sure all goes well while I intern and study at the same time. 

I am truly able to have the best of both worlds. 

“I never would have gotten this position without Dr Pamela Serra, who is also my research supervisor.” 

It was a pleasure to work at the 2018 gsport awards, there were a lot of ‘gasp’ moments for me on the red carpet, as well as of ‘she looks great’. There is a lot of glitz and glam surrounding the red carpet and the afterparty, but the gsport awards are first and foremost about recognising and celebrating women in sport and excellent work. 

Nobody walks away with the prize by half-working for it. The same goes for all forms of work. Those at the top make it look easy but we often see only the glossy finished product, not all of the sweat and grit that went into making it happen. 

“Something I learned on the night: Did you know that Palesa ‘Deejay’ Manaleng was not born a paraplegic?” 

Palesa Manaleng was involved in a cycling accident in 2014 which changed her life, doctors told her she might never walk again but that did not stop her from chasing her dreams and living every day to the fullest. 

She has cycled 2 200km over 10 days as part of an initiative aimed at raising funds for children with disabilities in the Northern Cape. Deejay is one of the Albertina Sisulu Special Recognition Award recipients. 

If you want to be the among the best of the best in your field, you’ll have to pin in more than a little elbow grease before you make it to the big leagues.

“The experience I’ve gained is invaluable.” 

Showing your humanity, even in a professional setting is the most surefire way to make a real and lasting connection with others. As an intern I used to feel like I am sitting in the back row instead of up front with the real people, people who make things happen. 

But serving alongside Bra Vusi and Kass, having a chance to interact with the likes of Ayanda Mbuli and Philasande Muvevi, meeting great people, women in power, watching people win well deserved awards and meeting great athletes made me pay attention and learn from the amazing people I was around.

“Where do I want to be, who do I aspire to be like, who’s doing it right?”

I found myself learning and adapting. Right there and then, I thought to myself: ‘It’s time to stop with the pity party, it’s time to start taking notes’. 

It dawned on me that success doesn’t happen overnight, but if you start taking small actions to improve your current situation you’ll soon emerge from the shadows and step into your own spotlight. 

We need to do more to support women in sport, because women still remain underrepresented in all sports. Female athletes need more funding, media coverage, sponsorship and opportunities in order to be on an equal footing with their male counterparts. 

“Funding and opportunities are the biggest hurdle that sportswomen face”

This is according to one of the authors of an article which analyses experiences of receiving funding support for elite sport in South Africa. 

Supporting women in sport is not only about Olympic glory or success, but also the lessons that can be learnt through participation in sport-discipline, dedication, determination and team work lessons that the women can translate into other areas of their lives. 

These skills can be applied as female athletes seek success beyond the sports field. More women are needed to be role models in sports for the next generation of sports leaders. 

My advice to the young and upcoming ones: Learn to connect with your supervisors and professors and soak up as much information as possible because they can help you in unimaginable ways. 

The strategic communication tract opens so many opportunities. Combine what you learn in the classroom with your passion, and you’ll end up living your dream. 


Photo 1 caption: Her parent’s advice gave TUT Sport Marketing Masters-level student Dibuseng Theresa Modise an inclination for independence courtesy her dad, and a pursuit of job satisfaction, courtesy her mom, and this former Milner High School Senior Victrix Ludorum is intent on making both count. Photo: Supplied

Photo 2 caption: Albertina Sisulu Centenary Special Recognition Award winner Palesa Manaleng pictured with the first South African woman Minister of Sport, Tokozile Xasa, on stage at the 2018 gsport Awards. Photo: Supplied 

Photo 3 caption: Glitz and glam at the 2018 gsport Awards included SABC Sports anchor Vaylen Kirtley, who was on stage as lead programme director for the 2018 gsport Awards along with U17 national women’s soccer coach, Simphiwe Dludlu. 

Photo 4 caption: Dr Pam Serra, Section Head: TUT Sport and Recreation, with TUT Sports Management student, Dibuseng Modise. Photo: Supplied


With editing by gsport


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