Banc ABC Regional Manager for the North – Itumeleng Nwako – speaks to The Voice about the balancing act of being a successful career woman, wife and mother of two. With close to 33 years’ experience in banking and 15 years’ experience in Retail Banking, Mma Nwako, BancABC’s Regional Manager for the North, is an inspiration to all – especially to young working mothers.
Originally from Serowe, but married in Palapye, Mma Nwako recently moved back to Francistown from Gaborone.
“I have lived in Francistown before, for ten years – so I know the city well and am happy to call it home” Mma Nwako says, “the north of the country holds so many new and exciting possibilities”.
Mma Nwako has been with BancABC since it introduced its Retail Banking services to Botswana.
“Working in Retail Banking means working with lots of people, each with a different view on life and finances! I love the challenges that this brings – I am a people person”, says Mma Nwako, “and nothing is more rewarding than when someone genuinely thanks you for finding a solution to a difficulty they were facing.”
But it is not only working with the customers that she finds so rewarding.
“As a Regional Manager for BancABC, I work with many teams – I am responsible for both managing and growing the business across the north of the country” explains Mma Nwako.
“Imparting knowledge, guiding, and hopefully even inspiring people, makes me happy. I really enjoy leading a team – I love the sharing of ideas and knowledge and encouraging people to always do better. I give honest feedback, and expect it in return. Honesty is important in all relationships – both at work and at home.” But it is her relationship with her daughters that she is most proud of.
“I am a mother of two – I have a daughter who has recently graduated from university, and a second who is about to start university. Nothing makes me prouder than seeing these two young women flourish.”
But Mma Nwako is the first to admit that being a wife and working mother is a difficult balancing act. However, she does believe that too many women give up at the first hurdle, or make excuses for themselves – she urges these women to remember who they are doing it for.
“I am driven to succeed because I want to be a better person who is able to give my children a better life. I want my children to have more than I had,” explains Mma Nwako.
“Despite getting good marks, I was unable to go on to university when I finished school – I wanted more for my children, so I worked hard to give it to them. I am not saying it is easy – it is not. For 24 years I have juggled dropping children off at school, running a home and working full time. It is exhausting – but also rewarding. To those women doing it now I say, ‘Never give up and keep focused on why you are doing it – you are doing it for your children!’.”
During this time – whilst being a full time worker, mother and wife – Mma Nawako also went on to get her MBA (Masters in Business Administration) from the Management College of South Africa. “It is important to keep your mind active and to constantly engage with new information”.
When asked what advice she has for young people who want to go into Retail Banking she cautions that it is not for the lazy! “It is an interesting industry,” she says, “and there is a lot to learn – especially from the many people that you will get to work with and for. The hours are long and the work is both challenging and rewarding.”
Mma Nwako is relishing being part of a relatively new banking team.
“Working at BancABC has introduced me to many new people and fresh ways of doing things. The team is so energetic and quick to embrace positive changes and challenges. I come into work every day with renewed energy!”
In particular, Mma Nwako has enjoyed the response she is getting from BancABC customers, “I am really enjoying the challenge of working with a relatively new brand in the Botswana banking arena and I truly believe in BancABC and the products that we offer – and it’s great to see that our customers do too!”