Businesswoman never gave up

Businesswoman Lynne Motloung. / KABELO MOKOENA
Businesswoman Lynne Motloung. / KABELO MOKOENA

After she was raped twice in high school, 18-year-old Lynne Motloung could have given up on life but she didn't.

The experience instead became a strong driving force for Motloung, who is now 30, to make it in life. Now she is juggling motherhood, a 9-to-5 job and growing her company.

"I started working in Grade 9 after my dad lost his job. I worked at a local pub in Meadowlands while living with my grandmother after my mom passed away. I would clean the pub, the toilets, pick up bottles and whatever else that needed to be done.

"My dad, luckily, got a job a year later and I decided to stop working in Grade 10 - that was in 2003 - this was so I could focus on my studies.

"Then an unfortunate thing happened to me (when) I got raped, and later in 2005 I got raped by four guys. I was in matric. I fell pregnant and had to abort the child. There was no way I could keep it (as) I couldn't even say who the father was. After all that I just couldn't carry on (and) I dropped out (of school).

"The next year I forced myself to go back to school because I really wanted to make a success of my life. It was hard, but I did it."

Motloung said she could not pursue a tertiary education because of financial constraints.

Instead of giving up, Motloung started working as a promotions girl.

"I started doing events also, but I worked for about five companies. It was not hard because working gave me peace of mind and I wanted to be an example for my younger sister to see that working hard pays off," said Motloung.

Motloung left her part-time work to start her own events company. "It was in 2013. I had attended a Sowetan event after my cousin had won tickets to a dinner gala. I was so intrigued by how the event (was organised). And (after that) I left my job to start Omphile Matsogo.

"We only had two clients in 2013, Sowetan and South African Breweries."

To diversify their business, Motloung said she later embarked on doing mineral extraction services with her business partner Sharon Sekgobela, who had joined her in the business in 2015.

In mineral extraction, she said the company acts as the intermediary for the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for various clients.

"Let's say someone is looking for land. We first assess the land, depending on what a person's needs are. We assess whether the land is suitable for mineral extraction, development or farming. We get a geologist (to do) the assessment.

"We also negotiate for the securing of land. For instance, we would negotiate with chiefs, etc. If all goes well we assist with filling in of the DTI forms and once the buyer is successful, the DTI takes over."

Omphile Matsoso also tenders for different kinds of businesses.

"We have worked with the military, supplying them with cleaning materials and photo frames ... we also do staffing, where we get waiters, promoters and some admin staff for temporary (occasions)," said Motloung.

On top of it all, Motloung works for an HIV management company, CareWorks, as an administrator. She finished her matric at RW Fick in Johannesburg and has a seven-year-old son.