The teachable mind and spirit of Philile Mlotshwa

I met with Philile Mlotshwa for my seventh edition of #MindsoftheYouth at FNB’s Bank City offices in Johannesburg. Philile has a very jovial and bubbly personality and her positivity is infectious. See below the conversation that I had with her.

Tell me about your upbringing and where you come from?

I am the first born out of my mother’s children. I was born, out of wedlock, in KwaMncane in Pietermaritzburg, Kwa-Zulu- Natal. In grade four my aunt took me in and I got a chance to study at an Indian school until I finished matric. I was also one of the top students for Mathematics.

One of my key highlights was when I won a fellowship award for Women in Science in 2013; hosted by the Department of Science and Technology for my Honours project.

For people who don’t know you, how would you describe yourself?

I am very pro natural, I believe we are all unique and we are here to contribute in our own unique way.

What do you do at FNB and what is your role in layman’s terms?

I am a quantitative analyst in the credit risk team and my sub team works on provisions analytics. We estimate how many consumers won’t honour their credit obligations by using statistical models.

How old are you this year?

I turned 28 on February 12

What were your plans for this year?

Currently finishing my master’s degree in statistics with a research topic titled: Modelling hepatotoxicity in HIV/TB co-infected patients: Extensions of the Cox Proportional Hazards Model.

Get into property and not rely on one source of income.

What was your favourite thing to do in school and what were your favourite subjects?

Athletics and I represented my school at a regional level.  I also played Tennis in varsity which I enjoyed. I loved guidance classes in high school; it taught me so much about life. My favourite subject was Maths.

What did you study after high school and where?

I did a BSc: Honours in Statistics at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) where I graduated cum laude.

What are your favourite quake books?

The following books influenced my life.

  1. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
  2. Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
  3. The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason
  4. Chaka by Thomas Mofolo
  5. Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl
  6. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson
  7. Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso
  8. 12 Rules for Life by Jordan B. Peterson
  9. Making Money Through Buy-To-Let in South Africa by Francois Janse Van Rensburg
  10. How to win friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie
  11. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
  12. Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari
  13. Awaken The Giant Within by Anthony Robbins

What are you most proud of in your life thus far?

Getting into the habit of reading books, there is so much treasure and wisdom hidden in books.

What’s your personal philosophy?

To add value in other people’s lives

What do you stand for?

I am pro African; we need to create our own businesses and products. I believe we have the necessary tools and skillset. We need to start focusing on the right agenda and actions for our country and the rest of Africa.

What are you currently battling with?

Procrastination, I am working on being more disciplined and learning to focus on the things that matter.

What are you currently reading?

Start With Why by Simon Sinek

As a woman what does imbokodo mean to you?

Indestructible force because we go through so much and we still come out strong and inspire other people to weather their storms.

How does it feel to be a mom?

The feeling of motherhood is unexplainable and it makes my heart to melt!

What’s your favourite quote?

“How long should you try? Until.”- Jim Rohn

“The lack of money is the root of all evil” – Mark Twain

Themba Msimango is a seasoned PR and Communications specialist with years of experience in his field. All articles written by him have been checked and verified to the best of our ability and his opinion pieces are solely his opinions and do not represent the views of After12 Magazine. Should you have any queries or concerns, please don't hesitate to email them to

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