Meet our new Project Assistant, Mmabatho
We’re excited to announce one of our newest team members, Mmabatho Montse, who has joined the CTIN team as project assistant, providing research, organisational, admin and event support to the organisation
Who is Mmabatho
Mmabatho is an entrepreneur, an advocate for women leadership and a social scientist. She describes herself as an empathetic and self-aware leader. Mmabatho is passionate about social justice and all issues that regard women. She holds a certificate in Marketing Management (UNISA), Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration (Regenesys Business School), a Bachelor of Commerce Honours degree in Business Management with UNISA. She is currently researching a Master’s Degree in the field of Governance, specialising in Public Policy. Her research focuses on Feminist leadership influence on women’s social entrepreneurship and how it is a bridge to economic growth and development.
After a month at CTIN, what are your thoughts on the CTIN?
The CTIN is doing fantastic work in bringing together the civic tech community, government institutions and non-government institutions. The organisation is led by brilliant women, who I think I can most certainly learn from. CTIN has a broad network, and much effort has been put in the collection and dissemination of data/information and interacting with the civic tech community. I am really excited to be a part of the team and looking forward to growing my career in this organisation.
What attracted you to CTIN and this position?
I believe understanding the civic tech environment will be very beneficial to me as an entrepreneur looking to be positively impactful in society. The CTIN will allow me the opportunity to understand the sector as the organisation interacts with various organisations across the continent. I would also like to add value to the CTIN and the civic tech community. I believe a lot can be done, particularly in the tech and innovation spaces to amplify women’s voices. I am growing to become a radical feminist, and so a lot of what I do is inspired by wanting to make a difference in women’s and girls’ lives.
Do you think the civic tech community in Africa has a strong impact in African communities?
I do not think enough is done to promote the use of civic tech in Africa. So much more can be done to use technology to empower citizens or make governments more accessible and useful. Africa is a continent that is rich with not only potential but with the resource. Poor governance, rife corruption and lack of significant investment in the necessary infrastructure required to empower citizens and enable more affordable access to technology.
In 2012, Mmabatho established the MM Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation, that aimed to serve as a beacon of hope to many people who live in South Africa under dire conditions such as the environment that she grew up. The foundation aims to work in partnership with NGO’s and civic communities to create sustainable development programmes. The foundation seeks to listen to the voices of all people and to communicate with other NGO’s and the private sector in the field of education, women’s rights and human security. In addition to founding the MM Foundation and commercial enterprises that have a social entrepreneurship element, Mmabatho has served on boards of NGO’s such as Colour Me Africa and JAGuild that both focus on the development of African artists. Under the supervision of Dr Chelete Monyane, an Advocate of the High Court of South Africa, Mmabatho has participated in research and discussions around The Hybrid Human Rights-based Development Evaluation Methodology hosted by the Thabo Mbeki African Leadership Institute.
Mmabatho is a diverse entrepreneur, having founded and successfully run a boutique luxury travel agency for over a year and later sold off to a successful family business. She subsequently became a franchisee of one of the biggest and oldest fast-food restaurants in South Africa, where she continues to successfully manage annual turnovers between 7 and 8 million Rands for over five years now. Mmabatho then established and continued to run Tea Tree &CO, an interior design consulting and homeware retail brand. Tea Tree &CO’s product offering included silk flowers, luxury bed linen, home fragrances, African inspired décor pieces, contemporary artworks and gifts, where the business serviced prominent hotels such as the Da Vinci and Michelangelo hotels. Through Tea Tree &CO she worked with local fine-art artists by assisting them with the sales of their artworks. Tea Tree &CO closed its doors in June 2020 due to the poor economic conditions that were exacerbated by COVID-19.
Mmabatho is looking forward to growing in the civic tech space, where she will hone skills that will enable her to advance her ambition of being a leader in Women’s leadership and social entrepreneurship.
“So, if women must, they will paint blue sky on jail walls. If the skeins are burnt, they will spin more. If the harvest is destroyed, they will sow more immediately. Women will draw doors where there are none and open them and pass through into new ways and new lives. Because the wild nature persists and prevails, Women persist and prevail.” Women Who Run with the Wolves — Clarissa P. Estes