About Thurston

Thurston Sebotsane

 VISION

Helping people lead successful lives.

Our vision captures the essence of who we are. Everything we do flows from our vision. We just don’t happen to be a business; it is what we are all about. Our vision is about meeting needs and making success a reality. We see a world where people lead more enjoyable lives.

Our vision tells the world – our employees, clients and the communities where we sell

our services – what we care about. It captures the importance of wellness and embodies ways we can live better.

MISSION

Our mission is to be the service provider of choice; first in South Africa then the world. We aim to help our clients to realise the value in self-mastery and to help them visualise and live their dreams. 

 ABOUT THURSTON SEBOTSANE

I matriculated in 1991 from Tsogo High School; where I was quite an active student. I was head of and participated in a few clubs over this period (the debate and public speaking club, chess club, I even ran the library and I was also put in charge of the new computer room). My appreciation for computers was nurtured while I was still in school and this love affair had never ended. When in matric I got overwhelmingly voted head-boy and enjoyed the full support of both the students and the teaching staff.

I knew my parents would not be able to afford to send me to University so I got enterprising; I started writing small computer programs that I in turn sold to other students and I also elected to tutor for a fee, this it seems, was my launch to entrepreneurship. That is how it occurred to me to take a more active role, while at school, in computers. I became so hooked that I would continually commute to school (a distance of over fifty kilometres) over weekends just to be in the computer room on my own.

By the time I matriculated I had raised some money that barely bought me enough oxygen for just a year of university exposure. I was subsequently accepted for study at The University of Cape Town (UCT) for a BA degree in Law. Emerging from an all-black school and also having been exposed to some English speaking teachers for the rest of my middle to high school stay and having achieved an A grade in English higher-grade second language; University policy at the time meant that I still had to enrol under the EAP (English For Academic Purposes) program. At the time I found this quite insulting because I commanded the language with such flair that put a lot of counterparts to shame.

During my first year at UCT, Naledi Pandor was one of our lecturers. A black woman, who commanded the language with such prowess, that always left me in awe. She had a manner of speaking that always captured the imagination and had success in delivering the intended message. She addressed our group looking for possible student tutors from within our group to help with basic computer literacy; I applied for the position and got thoroughly tested. Naledi Pandor then called a group of us to her office to make the big announcement. I had passed the tests and had been selected to be head student tutor; however my excitement got short-lived. My lack of financial resources caught up with me, I could not return to UCT to continue my studies in the next year.

In an effort to make something of my life, I decided to turn a hobby into a career. I qualified as a software developer with an International Diploma in Computer Studies from the NCC (UK). I went on to Work for Compuware Corporation SA. Since those early beginnings I have gained great experience in different roles of management and my growth has been remarkable. I have worked in Government, in an Para-statal, in a Not for Profit organisation, in the private sector and I am my own boss; I have also participated on Boards of Management.

I trained as a Life Coach with the SI-Group in Pretoria and now I am currently studying with UNISA toward BCom in Industrial and Organizational Psychology.

 WHERE I HAVE BEEN

My high-schooling and my one year stint at UCT revealed to me the amount of interest I had in computers that on return to my parent’s house I had decided to study IT. I took some odd jobs to be able to support myself, until in 1996 when I enrolled at Choice-1 training for an International Diploma in Computer Studies from the NCC in the UK.

Over this period, I managed to convince management at Compuware Corporation South Africa to sponsor my studies and in so doing I was guaranteed employment. I continued to work for Compuware for a period of two years; part time while I was studying and then full time after I had completed my studies.

In those years preceding the year 2000, I left Compuware to become a consultant for IT readiness. I concentrated mainly on small businesses that required such services to help them be ready for the year 2000. At this point I got a taste of entrepreneurship and got to learn of the demands of managing a business. I grew to love being in management.

I spent one year and a half in consulting before joining The Department of Public Works (Head Office) as Assistant Director for Software Development. I was now officially within the management ranks.

I reported to the Deputy Director for Software Development for only a month before being promoted in an acting capacity to that position. I performed in this role for a period of two years before my resignation. After a successful two year period at The Department of Public Works I was head-hunted for a project management position at Telkom. I performed in my function so well that in a short period at Telkom, I caught the attention of the ITS Managing Executive (an American). He offered me a promotion and an opportunity to work closely with him in his office. This was particularly a very interesting era in my career; I became the Manager for Strategic Initiatives. From here, I had what I would call an umbrella view of the rest of the TELKOM ITS organization.

I worked very closely with the Managing Executive, the executive team that reported to him and also his senior management contingent. The most challenging of my responsibilities was the ITS Metrics; I had the responsibility of making sure that the rest of the executive team performed their duties in certain projects that were key to the performance of the ITS department; and I was tasked with the responsibility of drafting regular reports.

After another period of two years MNR Solutions was looking for a Senior Manager who would be responsible for Government Projects and Accounts. I got interviewed for this position. I worked for MNR Solutions for three years. I was based at the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) during a point of great transition. I was responsible for a project to develop an electronic register for all construction companies in South Africa.

Restructuring at MNR solutions, resulted in my departure to return to business. Over this period, I together with my business partners setup a new company that acquired a sizeable portion of Altech Alcom Matomo. I then became Managing Director of the company now called Platina Venture Holdings (Pty) Ltd. I also served on the board of Altech Alcom Matomo as Director.

HDi, a technology company that holds a gaming solutions patent, has also invited me to be director in their company. This has seen me presenting to different audiences specifically in the LOTTO industry. This patent makes us sole proprietors, to enjoy full benefits and profits from a gaming method. My responsibilities in this company mirror a lot of my other responsibilities in other companies where I am involved; this makes it easy to perform in my functions.

In giving to society and to those less fortunate, I also serve as an Executive on the board of Jo’burg Child Welfare on a pro-bono basis. 

 LOOKING BACK

I have undertaken a solo motorcycle tour around South Africa where I visited some schools and community projects in all provinces.

I learnt a lot on my travels and my biggest worries were further confirmed; learners do not have an idea of why they are at school. They do not plan beyond the current day. Throughout my visits, I was saddened to realise that learners do not know what they will embark on after matriculating. I came across grade 12 students, who were soon to be engaged in their final year exams, who had not planned anything for when they leave school. This lack of interest has become so endemic in South African learners that schools are busy producing unemployable and uninspired matriculants.

These learners need to be taught the importance of discipline and responsibility. They need to be more involved in their communities. The country needs good quality learners to be injected into our institutions of higher learning with a long term view of strengthening our economy. We will not be able to get there if the current state is allowed to go on in perpetuity. Change needs to happen and it is needed desperately. Our levels of unemployment are unacceptable; we need to help Government where we can.

I visited community projects, some of which were launched as far back as 1994 and are still at start-up stage. I noticed that no matter how good an idea one might have, without the proper training, support, inspiration, guidance and vision; these projects will never become successful. The reality is that, without help these projects will fail, further fuelling the unemployment and poverty inferno.

When I embarked on this initiative which I aptly termed: THE POWER OF ONE; I wanted people to witness how, when an individual chooses to make a difference, he will be able to move others to action and how that action will carry a reciprocal and contagious effect. 

 MY EXPERIENCE

I am a capable Inspirational Speaker and Life coach. Over the years I have traveled and learnt a lot. I have met with different people and throughout those encounters I got to understand how experiences and background tend to shape an individual.

We may all be different and yet, all of us are wired for success. What really sets us apart is how we use what we know about ourselves to advance us in life and through our different careers.

Throughout all of this, I have achieved the following:

  • Gained executive management experience
  • I have board of management experience
  • Have helped companies improve employee performance and morale
  • Have worked with executives during their era of great transition in their careers
  • Have worked with community based businesses
  • Have used my skills to reach Learners and Educators at troubled schools to help them realize their potential
  • Have partnered with private sector companies and Department of Basic Education to help improve the Quality of Teaching and Learning in our country
  • Have undertaken tours around the country delivering inspirational talks at schools and also unearthing challenges in the schooling system
  • I work with individuals and groups to sharpen their skills at self-mastery
  • I help form a person who knows who they are and where they are going
  • I employ my skills in Inspiration, Life Coaching and in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) to help people reach their peak performance.