Name: Lorraine Sefolo
Designation: GM: IT
What do you do every day? I provide the strategic leadership and management of the IT Business Unit within the SABC. I am responsible for all the provisioning and back-office support of all IT systems for the SABC, from the network internal data runs on, to all the radio and television websites, to how we secure the electronic IP of the SABC as a National Keypoint, to the HR and financial ERP system. I am a very involved GM, so be it a business case or turnaround strategy for the services we offer as IT within the SABC, I’m involved with it.
How did you get into the tech space? While studying Industrial Engineering I bumped into a friend at a Checkers store and she told me she was studying IT and she was going to be a computer programmer. I had no clue what she was talking about, so she showed me the receipt from her purchases and said: “A program was able to create and calculate what’s on this receipt…a programmer wrote this”. I subsequently qualified as a Cobol Programmer, although I spent most of my career in the open server environment as a Certified Unix Solaris Engineer.
What was the best advice anyone ever gave you? My mom, growing up, showed me that if you lean with all your weight on a wall, if anybody removes that wall, you will fall. She taught me that I must have balance enough that if the wall is removed, I can still remain on my feet. It’s the mantra in my life. I always strive to learn, to work for all that I have achieved without waiting for someone to hand it to me. Of cause that’s not to say one is an island. And I’m grateful to those that have offered their help in my career by offering opportunities to work and make a difference, I am very thankful as I don’t believe that anybody owes any of us anything. God gave us talents and abilities to make a positive difference in this world, we must use them. It is this strong belief in God that has helped me discover my unique talents and abilities to charge my career to where it is and where it is headed to.
What advice would you given someone wanting to get into the tech sector? It is definitely the future. With the concept of the “internet of things”, technology is a part of our daily lives and offers so many rewarding aspects for those who are scientists at heart but don’t want to dissect plants and insects or mix up chemicals in the lab. The world has now become that very IT lab.
What motivates you to get out of bed everyday? To be honest, getting out of bed in the morning daily is the least pleasant experience for me, BUT I view my chosen career the way I view user problems – with excitement. I get excited about searching for an answer and watching how technology has, for example, made the world so small and enabled access to people one would have never had access to before via social networks, how it has also changed the way we study etc. I think I am wired that way…I think it’s called “geektisis”…J
Who do you want to be when you grow up? Tina Turner *straight face*