Manager: Administration and Operations at Market Photo Workshop
In Today’s edition of the series marking Women’s Month, focusing on women leaders at the Market Theatre Foundation, CITYLIFE/ARTS editor EDWARD TSUMELE (ET) speaks to BUSISIWE SITHOLE (BS)), Manager: Administration and Operations at the Market Photo Workshop
ET: You are currently the Manager: Administration and Operations at the
Market Photo Workshop, Can you tell us briefly what your job entails on a daily basis.
BS: Broadly, I oversee and control the finances of the department. My role includes ensuring the administrative aspect of the Market Photo Workshop. These include but are not limited to student recruitment, enrolment, bursary allocations and including student debtors’ management. I find joy in training new and existing staff. I offer one-on-one coaching to staff members on the issues of policy implementation and compliance.
ET: You have had a long career in different educational institutions, and you seem to love studying and getting qualifications: To what extent did the education environment influence you to advance yourself educationally?
BS: My education has been one of the greatest keys to unlocking my success.
I went from being a typist to a manager because of a deep desire to immerse myself in among scholars.
Higher education and training as a sector, is very encouraging for further studying. I was encouraged by former colleagues to further my studies, especially because my previous employers waivered my fees.
ET:. Given that you have a background as a life coach, do you sometimes put these skills to good use at the MPW even though that is not your main area, especially advising young female student photographers?
BS: I have worked in the education landscape for more than 20 years. Over the years I developed and grew my love for coaching through the interactions I have had with students from diverse backgrounds.
Being at the Market Theatre Foundation offers me an opportunity to coach, mentor and advise students who have great potential and at times just need that one person to say, “Yes, you Can!” That said I believe that being a coach is a journey of becoming, I am still learning a lot about coaching and feel at my element when using the arsenal of tools, it offers one when tackling life.
ET: You are also proficient in a rare skill, Sign language. Can you tell us more about that and how you are using this rare skill currently.
BS: I am a polyglot; I speak almost all eleven South African languages fluently. I was encouraged to enroll for the South African Sign Language when a Deaf Student who was registered for an honours degree, at my previous employer, expressed that she preferred to liaise with only me in the office. At the time I did not know how to sign.
I then decided to enroll for SASL,(South African Sign Language) and I never looked back. After learning SASL I volunteered at St Vincent School for the Deaf in Rosebank to improve the SAS., This led to me building relationships with members of the deaf community and one of the biggest life changing experiences of my life. I take part in Deaf Community activities, walks and runs. I am currently looking at volunteering at the schools near to where I live as I have found that it is in giving that one truly gains.
MPW is looking at exploring recruiting in the Deaf Community but there is a need for recruiting and training facilitators who will be able to deal with the deaf community. I am more than prepared to be part of this journey.