Tantaswa Fubu – KPMG
Woman Online interviewed the lovely Tantaswa Fubu, the Director Department of Professional Practice at KPMG.
Please introduce yourself and tell us about the path that led you to where you are today?
My name is Tantaswa Fubu and I am a mother of two beautiful daughters. I have a passion for life, the arts and all that is ‘beautiful’ and I am a poet by night.
I studied a BA Honours Degree at the University of the Western Cape and majored in Industrial Psychology and Public Administration. Following this, I then went on to work for Standard Bank for 2 and half years in Cape Town. I then went on to study at UCT – gaining a B Comm Accountants’ Conversion Course; and a Post Graduate Diploma in Accounting at UKZN – Natal. I did my articles with KPMG in Johannesburg – IAP (was called Industrial in those days). I then decided to leave in 2001 and rejoined Standard Bank in Group Risk – Simmonds Street – as a Credit Risk Manager looking after the credit risk of the bank – South Africa, Africa and London.
Following this, I joined Nkonki Inc in August 2002 as an audit manager and was made partner in August 2003. I decided to leave Nkonki at the end of 2006 as the Head of Audit and rejoined KPMG as a partner in DPP (8 January 2007). While at Nkonki, I served as a board member of SARCC (now PRASA), PetroSA, LoveLife and Matador Refrigeration (Pty) Ltd. As a partner at KPMG, I have served on the following boards: SAICA, IRBA, Soul City, KPMG SA, KPMG Africa. I have also served as the Chairperson of the Audit Committee of uMalusi Council for further Education and Training for the past ten years (recently resigned). Finally, in September 2011, I was asked to head up People for KPMG SA and KPMG Africa.
Tell us about your business?
My team is made up of various units including:
• Graduate recruitment – getting the right mix of graduates to the firm for Audit, Tax and Advisory and bursary management.
• Experienced hires – attracting people at experienced level to join the firm for specific and defined roles, mainly in Tax and Advisory.
• PPC – this team supports the firm with psychometric testing, Hogan tests and the like and interpretation of such results, the Global People Surveys – administration and interpretation, focus groups where required, ensuring that the people that we hire are the right fit for the firm etc,
• Support team – they do all the underlying support from leave system, to Oracle management, Industrial relations, etc
• KPMG Business School – this is our learning and development team
• RPO – this is a team that screens candidates telephonically for the US and UK teams and are proving to be doing quite well (sourcing talent and screening it)
What obstacles did you have to overcome to get where you are today?
Personally – all I had to do was believe in myself and know that I do not have to know it all. It is fine to rely on others, as long as they are empowered. I had to, and still have to, deal with prejudice and sometimes unconscious bias.
Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
I hope to continually change the meaning of people’s lives for the better. Where? I have no clue yet but the Lord shall lead me.
Who would you say has been your greatest role model and why?
Many people, as I have a real concern of putting one person on a pedestal as we all are fallible. Of course I admire my parents tremendously – for being such hard workers, working themselves out of lower middle class and “laughing from the belly”, loving life and helping others along while at it. I am moved every time I hear a story where there is a hint of greatness.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Going to the theatre, being alone and reflecting, meditating, praying; writing and reciting poetry – to the few people close to me singing and dancing and I have also started writing as well – not sure where it is going.
What advice do you have for other aspiring business people?
Do what you love, give it your best, do it consistently and be willing to be misunderstood. Aspire for greatness. Stand up for what you believe in, even when it seems like you are the only one believing in it – for all you know, you may not be the only one. All of nature may be conspiring with you! Ask yourself this question: “what is the rent that I am willing and thus am going to pay to life for the gift of my life?”