2020 was a bizarre, crazy, unexpected rollercoaster ride. Are you prepared for 2021?
Tintswalo Mashele, 24, is.
Three years ago Tintswalo completed her Diploma in Counselling and Communication Skills at SACAP’s Johannesburg campus. Thereafter she graduated with her Bachelor of Applied Social Science majoring in Psychology and Counselling.
This year she has plans to launch her own company, That Forbidden Fruit. “It’s dedicated to positive sexuality, mental wellbeing and youth empowerment,” she explains.
Tintswalo feels her SACAP credentials are integral to her entrepreneurial success. How? Here’s what she has to say…
Rules to rely on
Currently Tintswalo works as a university coordinator at The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG). “I manage peer support groups as well as assist with the university helplines,” she explains.
“My SACAP qualification helps me every day,” she says. “For example, I use what I learned to assist university students who may be feeling overwhelmed and in need of additional support.”
Importantly, Tintswalo credits SACAP for seeding her business dream. “My degree has allowed me to see a gap in our community,” she says. “There’s a real need to talk about mental health and sexuality, which is where my company comes in.”
Benefits to bank
Tintswalo didn’t always want to work in psychology. “I knew that I had to have a positive impact on people’s lives. Growing up I dreamed of becoming a detective or a lawyer,” she recalls.
While searching the internet one day Tintswalo stumbled upon SACAP’s website. The applied pragmatism of the courses on offer impressed her. “I also liked the idea of the small classes. The fact that I could major in psychology enticed me further. It meant I didn’t have to do modules that I wasn’t going to use in the long run.”
Sustained by support
Tintswalo decided to enrol as a fulltime student at SACAP’s Johannesburg campus. She says she thoroughly enjoyed her time there. “It was eye opening and fun!” she exclaims.
“Having an entire campus dedicated to the field you want to go into is massively motivating. Everyone is there to help you grow and you feel so supported.”
What does she value most about her SACAP experience? “Definitely the practicality,” she asserts. “Also, each of my modules had a lecturer that was well suited to that particular module. It was really great!”
Tintswalo’s Bachelor of Applied Social Science has furnished her with the tools required to ace her day job at SADAG. It was instrumental in securing her career path, too, she says. “It equipped me with the skills I needed to be able to volunteer at SADAG initially.”
In fact, Tintswalo stresses, in the face of the coronavirus pandemic she’s all the more grateful for her degree. “In the current situation we have all had to become more adaptable. It’s a skill I managed to hone during my time at SACAP. I also learned the importance of taking the initiative. Where is there a need? Where can I plug in?”
These are important questions. Especially when trying to navigate the tumultuous terrain that the pandemic is leaving in its wake.
On track to the top
Five years from now Tintswalo will almost turn 30. Is she on track to realising her ultimate career objectives? “Yes!” she asserts. “My goal is to be sexologist. I want to help females get to know their bodies especially in terms of their sexuality.”
Furthermore, beyond her immediate ambitions Tintswalo is determined to continue aiming high. “As a black South African female I hope to have a big impact on the world,” she says.
What kind of mark do you hope to make? If helping others has been a long-time theme in your life you should consider pursuing your passion at SACAP. The college provides an inspiring learning environment that nurtures fledgling dreams into full-blown reality.