How CA Mbali Mabaso is living a life that matters


Misson-driven Mbali Mabaso unpacks how she found purpose in developing young talent.

The phrase “to live a life that matters” is what inspires Mbali Mabaso CA(SA) to give back to the accounting profession through mentorship.

Coming from Soweto, a Johannesburg township, Mbali is determined to help those struggling to break into the accounting profession to see a breakthrough, through mentorship, and by encouraging, educating, and empowering aspiring accountants to believe in themselves and to never give up on their dreams.

She explains that she found motivation and purpose through meaningful causes that are focused on the development of young talent.

“I am passionate about developing young talent and I believe I am a pioneer of nurturing young talent, so that we can have a pipeline of future leaders,” she said.

Mbali describes herself as mission-driven, and her personal philosophy is “to live a life that matters and own your growth.”

Whether it has been being a motivational speaker for scholars in high schools for career outreaches, motivating young professionals, or mentoring mentees, connecting to a higher purpose is a strong motivator behind Mbali’s personal and professional choices.

Discovering her purpose

After her articles and qualifying as a CA, Mbali was appointed as an audit manager. During her time in the role, she discovered her love for imparting knowledge and experience through mentorship.

Mbali explained that she also found inspiration from her late mother, who mentored her and instilled the spirit of mentorship in her. This birthed the idea of Isikhuthazi, a mentoring initiative which is now mentoring over 100 mentees.

“My mentorship journey has been purposefully orchestrated by God, because wherever I am planted, I am blessed with an opportunity to mentor young professionals, [which is also happening] now in my current role at Nedbank Group as an audit portfolio manager.

She added: “The grace of God, the love and support of my mother, my siblings and my family were crucial in helping me become the accomplished professional that I am today.”

Giving back through mentorship

Mbali explained that through Isikhuthazi, it’s her turn to share the support and love with the mentees that need it to qualify as an accountant, so that they can be enabled to make a positive impact in their families, their societies, their communities and ultimately in our country.

“The core focus of Isikhuthazi is to encourage, educate and empower aspiring chartered accountants to believe in themselves, and never give up on their dreams,” she said.

Since launching in 2021, the initiative has grown exponentially and has enabled her to grow as well personally and professionally.

She explained that after two years of the mentorship launching, the mentoring initiative currently has over 50 professionals who have successfully completed their APC assessments and have registered as chartered accountants, or are eligible to register.

She mentioned that she has recently introduced an alumni community to the mentoring initiative to encourage, educate and empower newly qualified CAs to be intentional about building purposeful and sustainable careers through career planning, hard work and professional networking.

In 2022 she was awarded the Women of ABASA (Association for the Advancement of Black Accountants of Southern Africa) Under 35 Trailblazer of the Year, and she was a finalist in the 2022 SAICA (South African Institute of Chartered Accountants) Top 35 under 35 competition.

She mentioned that the recognitions from both ABASA and SAICA have motivated her to keep on keeping on in her calling of serving through the power of mentorship.

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