About 10 years ago, in the process of finding students to help me deliver barcoded sales lead services at trade shows, I met Tumelo Matima (3rd Year Mechanical Engineer at the University of the Witwatersrand – WITS). Although it was just a customer support student gig with limited responsibility and minimal technical know-how required, I sought to find only the best to represent Big Inja.
I posted an advert on the notice boards in the Chamber of Mines Building (where only Engineering students hung out – being an Engineer myself I am a little biased like that) that painted the picture of a super technical and challenging job opportunity. I requested a strict set of criteria be met and that the students provide a full CV and proposal just to qualify for an interview.
Only 2 students had the guts to apply to this seemingly impossible student job. Tumi was one of them; he arrived to his interview dressed formally and looking seriously poised to field a barrage of qualifying questions. He walked past me 3 times before he realised that this guy sitting casually in T-shirt and shorts was the “intimidating” interviewer and that the qualifying had already happened. The fact that he was not scared of a challenge, that he was confident enough to apply and that he rocked up on time told me most of what I needed to know.
We had a coffee and I very quickly realised that Tumi was not your run of the mill student and that, at such a young age, had grand visions and amazing thoughts about life. He subsequently helped me out at many many tradeshows and events and did an amazing job of representing Big Inja – clients love him! Over the years Tumi has surprised and inspired me on more occasions than I can recall. He is passionate and patriotic about South Africa and has an ear to the ground, more so than anyone else I have ever met, with respect to what positive things are happening (particularly in the Science space). After moments spent with Tumi I always come away feeling fired up and optimistic about the future.
I encouraged Tumi to start a blog, which he called “Tumi Knows” that enlightens the world, and more specifically South African’s, about the incredible things going on, that for some unfathomable reason, are not highlighted by our mainstream media (I guess negative news sells better). Positiveness breeds more positiveness though and the effect of this positive energy spread can truly transform.
Although Tumi, like most students, moved on to bigger and better things, we always stayed in touch and I am ecstatic to say that 10 years after we first met we are looking to involve Tumi again at Big Inja…obviously at a much higher level where his abilities can have significant impact on the business and our clients. You will get to know Tumi through his “Tumi Knows” column that we are including on the Big Inja Blog and newsletter, and down the line you will hopefully feel the effects of his input on our products.
Take note of this amazing data dog – he will change the way you look at this world!