Very few new opportunities or insights can be created if you stay in your comfort zone, says researcher Reitumetse Mpholle. After turning down a few opportunities in the past, she now grabs every chance she can to gain new experiences and exposure to different environments for her personal growth and education.
Mpholle is head of research and development at Kaya FM, and one of the youngest managers ever appointed by the radio station. She’s also working towards a PhD in media studies at the University of the Witwatersrand. She joined Kaya FM in 2016 as a student intern; three months later she was made permanent. That put her at the centre of the business functions and strategic planning. “I have successfully led Kaya FM to receiving accolades, including station of the year awards in 2019 and 2020, through my drive of the research function,” she says.
Mpholle doesn’t come from a privileged background, and juggled three part-time jobs to cover her expenses as a student. “I look back now and realise I have reached these milestones through hard work and dedication, but mainly by setting my own goals and running my own race,” she says.
She’s now using her natural curiosity to improve research focusing on black consumers, especially women and young people, to end the “hopelessly outdated” image the largely white advertising industry has of black consumers.
“As a black person who grew up in an economically constrained family, I have taken it upon myself to contribute towards a better understanding of black consumers,” she says.
“I have made it my personal goal to produce research insights that will inform the development of products and their promotion in a way that more closely meets the requirements of black consumers in their full diversity.”