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Nedbank Young Professionals is a 9-part podcast published by Life Podcasts and presented by Afripreneur, Vumi Msweli. The podcast features a new breed of young professionals having frank and interesting conversations about their relationships with money. For more insights that money can’t buy, subscribe to the series.

Coming from a disadvantaged background in Vosloorus – after matriculating, Mpho Manyala-Chitapi didn’t have the funding to study law at university. Determined to get in, she focused her attention on obtaining seven distinctions at school, which eventually afforded her an entrance fee scholarship, exempting her from 80 percent of the fees.

She became the first member of her family to attend university, earning a degree in law at the University of the Witwatersrand.

Today, Mpho has managed to obtain a Master of Laws in Information Communications and, was the black female partner at Africa’s largest law firm, ENSafrica before Nedbank appointed her as the Head Legal: Group Technology.

A word of advice to young professionals:

Starting out, it was difficult for Mpho to find a balance between work and her personal life. She was determined to learn as much as she could, putting in the extra hours and, never turning work away in order to set herself apart from the rest. And, as she started becoming more comfortable with her workload, Mpho has learned to stress less and, enjoy life.

Her advice to young professionals attempting to establish themselves in the working world: “Work hard. You need to sort of set yourself apart... be known as someone who’s reliable, someone who’s teachable. Have a keen interest... really try to see how you can embed yourself into that organisation.”

Spending habits: The good, the bad and all the lessons Mpho has learnt about money

Growing up poor, Mpho was forced to be responsible about money from a tender age, mainly due to the burden of "black tax" – a financial burden placed on black professionals to support extended family members. As the only person in her immediate family that is working, Mpho has always had to make her money stretch. She shares tips on how you can create positive financial habits.

Savings are very important. I try as much as I can to be responsible, get in on compound interest. It definitely has been challenging to do that while having other responsibilities.

Mpho Chitapi, Head Legal: Group Technology – Nedbank

For more money stories like this one, visit the Nedbank Young Professionals feature page.

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