But before she could get to the top, the rug was pulled from under her feet and instead of crawling under the carpet and feeling sorry herself, Karabo Musa, former National Development Bank Marketing and Communications manager turned her misfortune into an opportunity to launch her business acumen on the unsuspecting public.
Today,Musa, 35 stands out as an upcoming entrepreneur in Botswana, focussing on growing her businesses.
The Voice reporter, Daniel Kenosi had a chat with this CEO of her own companies about creating employment and life in general.
Q. Good day. Please introduce yourself.
My name is Karabo Musa. I was born and raised in Lobatse. I am from a family of four.
Q. How was it growing up in Lobatse?
I grew up playing just like any Motswana child.
I used to push car tyres and play with homemade toys.
I have lots of good memories about Bandleng.
It’s a diverse town with a lot of South African influence because most of the residents have links across the border.
I recall that it was a place where many thugs resided.
Q. Talking about thugs, did you ever have any encounter with them?
No. I have never had any encounter with thugs, not even in Peleng despite the fact that people had feared the area.
I grew up in Peleng so the thugs just treated me as their young sister and that protected me in a way because nobody would dare mess with me.
Q. Please share more on your upbringing.
My father is a Morolong from a village called Matsiloje and my mother is Zulu from South Africa.
I was raised in a family with a deep Christian foundation.
My father is a pastor in a Pentecostal church so I grew up under strict disciplinary ways, but I wouldn’t say I missed out on anything.
I know but I think it doesn’t matter what your father does. It’s so unfortunate that when you are being raised by a leader in the community everyone pays attention to everything you do.
What I love about my father is that he raised me to know that I was an individual with my own dreams.
He didn’t put pressure on me but just impressed on me not to embarrass God in whatever I did when socializing.
Q. Do you still attend church?
Yes, but I don’t attend any specific church. If you invite me out to your church I will come.
I believe we pray to the same God and He is everywhere Mr Kenosi.
God balances the spiritual outer being, without God you are incomplete.
Q. Please share your educational background.
I did my early education in Lobatse.
I didn’t have the privilege to attend private schools but it wasn’t because my father couldn’t afford it, he believed that we had to live the same way as those in our community and that we had to work hard to get what we want.
My father used to tutor us and we had computers when most kids didn’t.
I was a straight A student and I was into sciences. From Lobsec I went to Australia where I studied for a degree in psychology.
Q. How was your stay in Australia?
It was exciting because it was the first time I had lived away from home. On the other hand it was a bit rough because I experienced racism.
I remember we went out shopping at night with my friend and on our return we boarded a bus and a white man said we were too dark and that he couldn’t see us which is why he nearly passed the bus stop.
He said offensive words and told us to wear reflectors because we were “too black for his eyes”.
Q. What was your first job when you landed back?
When I got back I started freelancing for The Voice newspaper as a business columnist and I was working for the Gaborone Broadcasting Corporation as a marketing executive at the same time.
Q. How are marketing and media related to psychology?
That’s an interesting question. A lot of people don’t understand what psychology is.
Psychology is the art of understanding behaviour and there are so many sectors of psychology.
There is forensic, clinical and industrial psychology. I studied Industrial Psychology which involves human resources, marketing and sociology.
It looks at influencing behaviour in most buying patterns for consumers, how consumers behave when it comes to what they like.
Q. I understand you were with Standard charted at some point. What were you doing there?
From the media world I then joined Standard Chartered bank where I was working under Excel banking.
I was the first Excel branch manager and I was the youngest they had at the time.
In 2008 I then moved to the National Development Bank (NDB) where I worked until last year as their marketing and communication personnel.
Q. Why did you leave your job?
I left my boss not my job.
I have observed that a lot of people who leave or are told to leave organisations do so mainly because of their bosses.
Most managers fear seeing their juniors excel or coming up with ideas better than theirs.
I am still pursuing a court matter on why I left my job so I will share more on it when the time is right.
Q. As an industrial psychologist what can you say about the state of the employment market currently?
I think some chief executives and managers are misplaced, which is why many organisations are failing.
There are so many people out there who could do better than them.
Nowadays I don’t get excited when I am told that a female CEO has been appointed because I have observed that most of them don’t have their junior staff’s interests at heart.
They are more into being stars and generally forget about their core duties.
Q. What businesses do you manage now?
I am now out on the street hustling. I run my own hair salon called Hair Garage and it employs fifteen.
I also run a pub called Georges in Broadhurst which I co- own with my boyfriend.
I have revamped the pub and we host poetry sessions every Sunday.
Q. So were you ready to embark on these businesses when you decided to resign from NDB?
I did not resign Dan, and just like anyone out there who has a fear of losing their job, I was not ready.
I was told that I was part of a group that was to be retrenched.
But when I look back now, I think it was a blessing because it opened my eyes and I am now doing my own thing.
Q. Are you taken?
Yes. I have a very supportive boyfriend and you will get an invitation to my wedding soon.
We are just a family of two.
Q. Any more business plans?
I am planning to franchise Hair Garage in the next two years.
I have signed contracts with a number of companies.
I will also be doing beauty work for Botswana Television soon.
Q. I give you this small space to now blow your own horn
It’s just to call upon all those who care about their looks to come to Hair Garage.
Like I said, this is the best salon to have come out of this city.
We are still based in the station but we hope that we will soon spread our wings all over Gaborone.
Q. Thank you for your time. What’s up for the weekend?
I will be at Georges Pub and I hope I will meet you there.
It’s always happening on Thursdays so don’t miss out Mr Dan.