Category: Inspirational Stories

We’re creating an environment powered by genuine inclusion. We want all our people to thrive at work and have the freedom to be their authentic selves. 

Over the years, we set out to draw awareness around the importance of celebrating diversity and fostering inclusivity. 

Our inaugural global campaign ‘Do you see me’ aims to create awareness of day-to-day unconscious biases. Through this campaign, we encourage everyone to take a moment to reflect what it’s like to walk in the shoes of others.  

Watch our ‘Do you see me’ video below:

Building upon the success of our ‘Do you see me’ campaign, we have extended our efforts into a compelling series of #DoBetter campaigns. This ongoing initiative aims to consistently spotlight and address the everyday challenges faced by women and differently-abled communities in the workplace. Explore the impactful videos below that shed light on these crucial issues.

We meet the resilient Walter Maphalala from MTN Eswatini. Walter shares a glimpse into his life, living with Albinism and how we can each play our part in creating an environment that is accepting of all MTNers. Take a look below.

Before you see me, or know about my condition, I’d like to introduce myself and share a bit about who I am…

Y’ello, I’m Walter Maphalala from MTN Eswatini. I have 4 siblings and grew up with my mum and sisters in Hlathikhulu, a rural town in Eswatini. I have worked hard throughout my high school career and later on obtained a Certificate in Accounting and Entrepreneurship from Bellevue College. In 2022, I joined the big Y’ello Family as a Payroll assistant. I am a proud MTNer and thrilled that I get to be part of the MTN team, working together to achieve our goals. I absolutely love listening to music and it’s usually my escape when the world gets too much. I am kind, outgoing, enjoy learning new things, love having fun and when spoken to, I can be quite chatty.

What you may not know by reading this, is that I had quite a difficult upbringing. I’m grateful that the hardships I’ve been through, have made me more resilient and less afraid to make mistakes. Some of these hardships have to do with my condition.

We’ve all heard the English idiom, ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover,’ meaning to not judge the worth of someone based on their outward appearance, which is why I wanted to introduce myself, before telling you more about my condition.

I was born with Albinism, a rare genetic condition caused by a reduced amount of melanin in my skin, hair and eyes, which can affect people all over the world in any gender and regardless of ethnicity. As you can imagine, due to my condition, I am often judged by my ‘cover’, instead of people getting to know me for who I really am.

You see, like all of us, I too look different. But for people living with Albinism, it’s not always so ‘cut and dry’. Yes, I have different colour skin, eyes, hair and abilities, but it doesn’t affect the effort I put into my work, or my hopes and dreams for the future. At times, my ‘differences’ are often met with immense stereotypes and discrimination because of this condition. Growing up, I’d often change who I was, or hide behind a façade, just to fit in.

I am not so different to most people though. Like many, all I truly want in life is to love, and be accepted for who I am. But then again, don’t we all?

In commemoration of International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3 December, I challenge you today to be the change in the world… It’s up to all of us to stand up against stereotypes and the stigma around people who live with different abilities and disabilities.

If at all you bump into me, or anyone else with Albinism or perhaps another disability- don’t shy away. Let’s connect. Just ask, be curious, get to know them for who they are- beyond the ‘cover’ you may see. Take an interest and show care to one another, you could change that person’s entire day and life, for that matter. We all face our challenges and difficulties in life but the bravest thing you can do, is to show kindness. We can all do with a little extra on most days. 

Walter M.”

A story of strength, determination, resilience and love. In our next #InspiredSeries story, we feature MTN ‘pioneer’, Mukamana Xavina, from MTN Rwanda. Read her story below:

My story starts way back… In the 1994 Rwandan genocide, I lost my dad and four siblings. My daughter, Chantal, was also born that year. A much-needed silver lining amid a personal storm. Here I was, a new mum, grieving the loss of my family and to make matters worse, I didn’t have a home I could call my own.

Often, these sorts of stories don’t have fairy-tale endings, but mine does…

The truth is, we only have one shot at life, and I wasn’t going to take these punches laying down. I owed it to myself, my family and my daughter to create a better life for us. After three years in technical school, specialising in tailoring and cooking, I worked for a few companies as a housekeeper. My life officially changed in 1998 when I was headhunted by MTN Rwanda, when they opened their doors for the very first time.

At that point, I knew that there was no slowing down.

MTN in Rwanda grew at such a rapid pace that they eventually outsourced a housekeeping company, but I was not left behind. Throughout my 23 years with MTN, I’ve had leaders who invested in me and gave me the freedom to learn new skills. I can firmly say that MTN has made me who I am today. I moved from being a housekeeper, to a messenger, offering pantry services for my colleagues, and today I also assist with administrator services for Board meetings and other special requests. Recently, I was recognised as an MTN ‘pioneer’ in MTN Rwanda and what an honour that was!

Not only have I developed in my career, but I also met the love of my life, my husband, who worked as a security guard here at MTN. After working together for two years, he declared his love for me, and as they say, the rest is history! We’ve been together for nine years now.

As the years went by, I got married, bought a car, and even became a homeowner… A life I had never envisioned for myself, considering my past. You see, when you come from hardship, that’s all you expect.

I’ve been blessed to work with MTNers who have invested in my growth and continue to treat me with respect. These MTNers aren’t just colleagues, these are friendships that will last a lifetime. It truly doesn’t get any better than this.

I love the working environment and the space to dream big, try new things and achieve the impossible. One day, I hope to save up enough money to invest in a small side business.

My advice to fellow MTNers? The things your heart desires won’t come easy. Life is a journey, a beautiful one at that – even with all its ups and downs. So, love the job you do, embrace a savings spirit and Live Inspired!