MEET: Evah Kekana, General Assistant, Department of Institutional Advancement

Posted on May 22, 2020

Evah Kekana, General Assistant in the Department of Institutional Advancement, tells Tukkievaria more about her life and career, and shares advice on improving UP.

Where were you born and raised?

I was born in Ramokgeletsane, ngeKosini, in Mpumalanga, and raised in different villages as our family members reside in various residential areas. I attended early schooling up until matric in Valsfontein, eMthambothini.  

What do you enjoy most about your job and why?

I enjoy the challenges my manager gives me because I am familiar with a broad range of products and tools for various purposes. This reduces the amount of time my manager needs to spend training me, and I ensure that I do not fail to execute my responsibilities properly. I work in a busy department, and love to keep everyone happy by helping them out with whatever they need done.

What is your least favourite part of the job?

Moving and packing documents scattered on desks, and continuously asking colleagues to give us space and open their office so that we can execute our daily duties. Sometimes people portray an attitude of undermining our work.

Do you have any suggestions for making UP an even better place to work?

There is always room for improvement in any given institution. The point of departure is the fact that we should encourage our management to supply us with communication tools so that we can access and receive first-hand information from the Executive. We rely on hear-say, and sometimes we do not receive urgent and relevant information on time. During this COVID-19 pandemic, there are more relevant updates, but we cannot access them.

Which task do you consider your most significant accomplishment in your career so far?

To date there is still a lot ahead that I intend to achieve, hence my age does not restrict me to explore available opportunities within the institution. I would like to be a nurse or social worker, but I lost both of my parents at an early stage. As the first-born, the conditions compelled me to seek employment so that I could play a parental role for my family. I do not feel sad about losing my parents so early, because I believe that in life whenever a tree loses a leaf, a new leaf is ready to take its place.

What attracted you to UP?

When I was a contract worker, I used to mingle with UP full-time staff and explore the institutional culture, because UP was known as an Afrikaans institution for some time. Moreover the surety of benefits persuaded me not to hesitate about being insourced. The institution is diverse, and one has to keep paving the way to increase such diversity. Furthermore, UP offers employees the opportunity to grow in many aspects, hence I believe that in future I will be among the insourced staff given an opportunity to explore existing career growth opportunities.

What do you do in your free time?

Away from work, I relax with my three boys, go shopping, and visit family and friends.

What are your personal likes and dislikes?

I like clothing, cooking, and I love growing flowers. I cannot tolerate systems of gossiping. I am also not a fan of micro-managing.

Is there a piece of advice that you have received that you would like to share with colleagues?

“Life is the most difficult exam. Many people fail because they try to copy others, not realising that everyone has a different question paper.” I do not have much, but I am happy with my life.

Evah’s favourites:

Sport: Netball and football.

Food: Mala and mogodu, pap and beef stew.

Dream destinations: Once COVID-19 is cleared I am going to drive to the lowveld region of Mpumalanga and visit Blyde River Canyon, one of the largest canyons on Earth, with some of the deepest cliffs of any canyon on the planet.

Musician: Ringo Madlingozi, Rebecca Malope and Saaiplaas Boys.

All-time hero: Both of my late parents. My father taught me that I have to test my words before I spit them. My mother instilled the attitude that sometimes silence is a really good answer and a tool to escape unwarranted conflict.  


- Author Jimmy

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