Mmabatho Mokiti - Mathematician turned Impact EntrepreneurFeb 11, 2021 08:00AM ● By Boitumelo Masihleho
February 11 marks the 6th International Day of Women and Girls in Science. The theme this year is Beyond the Borders: Equality in Science for Society, with a special focus on the value of the social aspects and cultural dimensions in Science, Technology and Innovation to enhance sustainable development programs.
Globally, there are disparities of women in in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). In South Africa, despite substantial progress in gender equality, many South African women continue to earn significantly less than men and are under-represented in key STEM fields. This deters them from pursuing careers in these fields but there are female leaders and innovators in STEM fields who are leading the way towards equal representation.
Mmabatho Mokiti is a mathematician turned impact entrepreneur and has seven years of experience in the fields of education and youth development. Mokiti holds a BSc (Mathematics and Chemistry) from the University of Johannesburg and gained a Business and Entrepreneurship Certificate from Clark Atlanta University (USA) through Mandela Washington Fellowship YALI. She is currently studying for a BSc (Mathematical Statistics) through University of South Africa (UNISA).
She began her career as a mathematics tutor at 19 years old and currently serves as the Founder and CEO of Mathemaniacs. This is a STEM education consulting company with an aim to increase interest in STEM careers in children and youth in South Africa.
“We bring ‘the FUN’ out of these subjects by using innovative teaching methods and applying maths and science to real-life experiences, thus making the work easier for the learners to understand and remember,” said Mokiti in an interview. We have also started to develop a statistics department, where we help postgraduates with their data analysis for their theses, by helping them to build a regression model and measure the impact of a project.”
As a natural entrepreneur, Mokiti began another business. She is the founding director of Redshift, a local store connector which allows small business to take online orders and the consumer can practice social distancing by using their free online click and collect service. “If you dream of becoming an entrepreneur, go for it! Everyone may not believe in your idea in the beginning, but you need to remain fully committed,” said Mokiti. “Being an entrepreneur is much like being a salesperson because, at the end of the day, you need to convince others to believe in your idea. Nothing makes a business more successful than passion.”
Mokiti is also a founding member of DreamGirls Academy which is a structured mentorship and empowerment program that ensures that teenage girls from disadvantaged and rural communities study further after matric. She has been recognised as one of South Africa's Top 200 by the Mail and Guardian in 2012, as well as a Millennial to watch in Business by Forbes Africa Women in 2017.
In 2016, African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (South Africa), hosted an event to encourage young women to enter the exciting world of STEM and Mokiti served as a speaker on the panel. You can view the discussion in the video below.
Boitumelo Masihleho is a South African digital content creator. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Rhodes University in Journalism and Media Studies and Politics and International Studies.
She's an experienced multimedia journalist who is committed to writing balanced, informative and interesting stories on a number of topics. Boitumelo has her own YouTube channel where she shares her love for affordable beauty and lifestyle content.