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Professor Kiveshnie Naidoo says humility and spirituality have helped her rise from librarian to the academic director at MANCOSA!


KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa (19 August 2020) – Success knows no bounds for Professor Kiveshnie Naidoo who worked her way up the academic ladder from librarian to Academic Director at private higher education institution MANCOSA.

Naidoo, 50, who hails from Tongaat, north of Durban, comes from a family of esteemed and successful educators.

“I am married to an educator, and my mother, aunt, and uncle were all educators. Impacting the lives of people through education is the true reward of this profession,” she said.

An avid devotee of Sri Satya Sai Baba, the Indian guru and philanthropist, she lives her life by the guiding principle of humility and the mantra “help ever, hurt never”.

The mother of two believes emotional intelligence and cognitive intelligence in the workplace go hand-in-hand to ensure a healthy and motivated workforce. She balances the feminine leadership values such as empathy, collaborative interaction and mentoring with high success drivers such as innovation, creativity and perseverance. She constantly pushes the boundaries with her team, for individuals to strive to greater heights from an education platform, a facilitation platform as well as in the research space.

Naidoo fulfilled various roles and functions during her more than 16-year career at MANCOSA. She progressed from librarian to media advertising placement and travel co-ordinator before heading the launch of e-varsity, which offered MBA courses with a partner institution in the United Kingdom. All of these opportunities were made possible by the founder of the institution Professor Yusuf Karodia.

She then became involved in Executive Education which dealt with green initiatives and the labour market and thereafter joined the academic department. She earned her stripes as Academic Director at MANCOSA, a portfolio she served for four years and is also the Chair of the Academic Exco and Senate, the highest academic council at MANCOSA.

Coming from an IT, travel and tourism and management background, a MANCOSA MBA offered a different perspective on life – human relations, stress management and leadership development. Her PhD looked at the work performance of educators with studies based on different levels of stress.

Humility and spirituality helped librarian's rise to academic director
Photo Cred: MANCOSA

On helping women to progress, she said she was cognisant of the challenges faced by women in the boardroom and the subtle forms of discrimination which existed. Hence, the programmes in which she is involved are purposefully designed to ensure mentorship, support and opportunities for women to study further and flourish.

“I empathise with the challenges career women face on a daily basis. From not being taken seriously to being second-guessed and undermined, even envied for your achievements, can be rather daunting.” Having faced some of these challenges personally, Naidoo also recognises the support systems and people around her that took the time to mentor and propelled her into the academic space.

“Personally, strength of character, determination and resilience helped me to overcome difficult situations.

“Developing mechanisms to cope with stress, understanding workforce complexities and being empathetic help to put things into perspective.”

A self-confessed bookworm, Naidoo enjoys reading autobiographies of people and getting lost in thought-provoking stories.

So much so that she has read all the books published by Robin Sharma, a renowned Canadian author and motivational speaker, which she presents in discourses and lectures.

“When I retire, I intend to tour the world, interact with people from various diasporas and serve communities which stems from the call for spirituality in my life. I would also like to continue with the leadership programme with learners so that they are able to cope with the challenges and make meaningful contributions to society.

“A world where everyone lives in peace and harmony, appreciated for who they are, regardless of cast, creed and religion, and where love conquers all, is a world I aspire to.”

Her mantra is to do whatever she can on a daily basis to promote mutual inclusivity and mutual respect amongst people.

Her recipe for success in life is to be humble and grounded, and success will follow.

“Believe in yourself, understand the purpose you have to fulfil and commit to achieving the goals you have set for yourself.”

Sources: MANCOSA
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Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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