Patricia Tshitema

BONO Properties

What does your company do?

Opal Students is a platform aimed at empowering the youth of South Africa to be independent leaders of impact. The platform empowers the youth to reach their full potential through education, mentorship and innovative development programmes designed to enhance their total well-being. Our programs focus mainly on work integrated learning as a tool to prepare our young people for a successful work readiness. We encourage the youth to understand the importance of academic excellence before anything. Our Vision is to provide a platform that makes opportunities accessible for the youth (e.g., mentorship, work opportunities, work integrated learning opportunities, training & development opportunities, property investment learnerships, Opal Students Podcast, etc). Our bold commitment to the youth is a testament that we will continue to serve the needs of the youth and elevating their voices and ideas. In addition, we are committed to building a platform where young people can have a safe place to develop positive relationships with others, find direction for their lives and contribute positively to their communities.  We are mindful of the unemployment challenges facing majority of the youth population of our country, leading to the many identified social ills such as crime, and violence. At OpaL Students Empowerment Foundation, we are committed to bringing impact programs that provides opportunities for growth.  Our Core Values includes accountability, excellence, transformation, integrity, respect and teamwork.

What is your biggest success?

Seeing the company grow a hundred-fold in 36 months is the greatest achievement to date which led to sustainable jobs created, business company assets growing to over R100 million and finally employing graduates in positions of authority.

What has been your biggest hurdle?

Having to develop a clear, progressive, and sustainable business strategy to maximise opportunities in this competitive, male dominated property investment sector was most challenging. Positioning my business as a company of choice as a woman was more challenging. Having the ability to cope with growth that came quickly to ensure sustainability was strenuous and I was not properad for the big changes at the time.