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Q&A with Lucy Pearl Khofi

Updated: Jul 20, 2023

Exclusive Trusted Magazine Q&A with Lucy Pearl Khofi , Chairperson of the Advisory Board for Sexual & Reproductive Justice Coalition (SRJC)

How could you describe your career path in a few words?

Growing up in a small town called Matatiele, I was driven to move out of this small town into Johannesburg for bigger opportunities. When I came to this big city, the main plan was to push education, I started with my degree, and progressed to Honors, master's, and Ph.D. level. I’m currently using my educational background to empower individuals from previously disadvantaged backgrounds as a young female leader. I can describe my career path as fighting through a system that discriminates against women, having to prove yourself that you are capable because of your gender. In this generation is still not a hidden truth that there is still discrimination against the marginalised groups, which include women. As a young woman who faced various challenges when founding two Non-profits Organizations, Women’s Health Ekklesia NPO and Imfundo Enhle Education Trust (currently rebranding into a foundation).

What was your most challenging experience, and it has changed your mindset?

Founding Non-Profits Organizations that rely on Donors, in so many instances I had turned down some donors because they either wanted to hijack the vision or they wanted to use the NGOs for their own benefits. One thing to strive for is integrity, I uphold what I have built so far with so much integrity, and I do not compromise. I started both my Non-profit organization from my pocket. I continue to maintain a good foundation. It is important to have a clear vision and not be desperate to reach the top. If your dealing is above board, you attract pure and good-hearted people. I have been working with amazing people who are giving into these organizations, putting in extra effort, and always being available. Because I wasn’t to make a change in various disadvantaged communities, this vision alone gives me a sleepless night to ensure that I assist as many individuals as possible. I have noticed that one person alone cannot make a huge impact, but collaborations come a long way. I’m now in collaboration with various non-profit organizations for social justice and related issues.

Based on your experience, what’s the key success factor for a female leader/manager?

As a female leader, I do not compromise, I stick to my values. I always affirm myself that I can do it, a rejection is a redirection. I have seen great funding opportunity doors shutting in my face – and I’ve also seen great doors opening for my non-profit organizations. It is important to have a mentor, someone who has gone before you and to you are looking up to them. Having a good support structure, leaders must have a good support structure, at times it gets difficult to the point that you need people around you. Such roles can be emotionally draining, but with a good support system and seeking psychological help – you bounce back. I have seen most young female leaders like me, overwork themselves until they burn out. It is important to take extra care of your entire well-being.

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