Waitrose Foundation At Work

Women’s Month – Inspirational story

August 2021

We've posted from time to time about our Waitrose Foundation bursary recipients and as we've just celebrated Woman's Day this month, we're specifically focusing on ladies who have been on truly inspiring journeys.

We're introducing you to Pretty Mde. Our first contact with her was through her parents who work on Auldearn farm in Grabouw. Pretty matriculated in 2011 and applied to study nursing at CPUT (Cape Peninsula University of Technology). She visited the Eastern Cape during the December holiday of that year and due to some unforeseen circumstances did not receive notification that she was accepted for the course and had to be on campus by mid-January. By the time the notice reached her, the course numbers were already filled. Instead of waiting for the next opportunity, she enrolled for a Diploma in Public Management and started her studies immediately. In October of 2012 her parents found out about the opportunity to apply for the bursary programme and were assisted by Debi Viljoen from Auldearn. With the bursary Pretty could continue her studies and include another year to successfully complete her degree by the end of 2015.

After her graduation Pretty returned to Auldearn and participated in a temporary project-related internship offered by the Foundation which gave her an introduction to the work environment. She applied for various positions and as an interim option worked in a call centre in the Cape Town CBD for a year. During the course of 2017 she found out about an opportunity to register for a learnership programme through the Department of Labour (funded by African Bank). Her application was successful and she joined African Bank at the end of 2017 where she is still employed today, as Sales Consultant.

In our follow up with Pretty she mentioned that it has been a journey with many unexpected turns and even though her initial intention was to study nursing, a different door opened for her and in the process also the bursary from the Waitrose Foundation, for which she is extremely grateful. We are proud of what she's achieved and know that she will continue to advance in her career. Thank you for being an inspiration!