Home Competitions COVER SEARCH 2023 WINNERS: Boitumelo Molongoana & Jonica Oosthuizen

COVER SEARCH 2023 WINNERS: Boitumelo Molongoana & Jonica Oosthuizen

Get It Bloemfontein, made beautiful by Kryolan Free State, have searched and they have found: We bring you 2023 Get It Cover Search winners, Boitumelo Molongoana & Jonica Oosthuizen.

Meet Get It Cover Search winner Boitumelo Molongoana

Boitumelo Molongoana is the Head of Pharmaceutical Services and Chief Executive Officer at the Medical Depot of the Department of Health in the Free State. She’ll also be completing a five-year term as Vice President of the South African Pharmacy Council.

Here Get It gets to know her:

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Share with us where you’re from and where you grew up.

Bloemfontein is my home, I grew up here until I was about 11 years old. I left for boarding school to attend my high school in Mahikeng, Mmabatho High School.

Tell us more about your professional career and why you went into this specific field.

I decided to go to Rhodes University to do my Pharmacy degree, unfortunately, I failed my second year twice and was excluded. By then I was pregnant with my firstborn, Thato. I completed my degree in 1997 and completed my internship at Pelonomi Hospital. Two years later I left to formally start Pharmaceutical Services for the Department of Correctional Services, Grootvlei Management Area servicing the Free State, the Northern Cape and some chronic prescriptions for pensioners in North West.

I’ve also worked in Pharmaceutical Warehousing and Distribution and I was appointed Chief Pharmacist at Pharmaceutical Services, at Health, where I was responsible for Rational Medicine Use, Compliance and Community Services. I was appointed in my current position in November 2014. I was nominated by the then MEC of Health to serve on the South African Pharmacy Council for the 2019 – 2023 term. In 2018, I enrolled at the University of Pretoria (Albertina Sisulu Executive Leadership in Public Health) and graduated in 2021 with a Post Graduate Diploma in Public Health Management. I also serve on the National Essential Medicines List Committee.

Tell us more about your family life and how this has shaped your life.

Being raised by a single mother and finding yourself in the same position, you revisit aspects of your life to determine what worked and what didn’t. I was also privileged to have family support from both my family and my in-laws. Because I travelled a lot during the years for work and my kids were growing and reaching milestones, I had to make up for that lost time by spending as much time with them as possible when I was home. My absence taught them some degree of independence but my presence also assured for times and instances when they needed to depend on me.

Share with us what your community service work entails and why you decided to get involved in the way that you do.

My community work started in earnest around 2013 doing outreach for our CRC church project Crèches for Africa. I then also, through hiking, teamed up with Friends of Tierpoort to support that community through a toy drive, with sanitary needs, a nappy walk, and donations for school uniforms and clothing items. I also joined the Maoto Mpepe Ke Tswa Hole Hiking Club, which is big on community service and promoting environmental awareness. The club’s community activities do not only benefit residents in Mangaung but also communities in Botshabelo and beyond. I believe in the saying “If you want to walk fast, walk alone, but if you want to walk far, walk together” hence my preference to team up with like-minded people to give back to society.

As an ambassador for Get It Cover Search and Kryolan Free State, what would you say to motivate those who wish to enter next year?

Considering I was the oldest, divorced and a single mother of three, aspects such as age and marital status should never discourage us from pursuing our dreams and goals. We are our biggest critics and self-sabotage. I have always had a secret wish to be on a cover of a magazine and achieving this dream in my 50th birthday year is the best gift. It confirms the poster with Oprah Winfrey on my university room wall that was a constant reminder that “What God has in mind for us goes far beyond our imagination”. Only His timing is perfect and we are all beautiful. Sometimes it needs just the right makeup/skill to accentuate our beauty for all to see. It was something to behold in preparation for the finalists’ photo shoot and to see how we were transformed into the most beautiful versions of ourselves.

Are there any big plans for the festive season and how do you typically enjoy celebrating?

We usually take turns with my siblings and mom, hosting the family for Christmas. We would especially buy gifts for my kids, nephews and nieces. There are eleven of them between my siblings and I. This year we agreed to do things differently as we have blended families and having to balance which family you go to or where the kids get to spend Christmas, becomes a challenge. So I’m looking forward to an impromptu holiday to some undisclosed destination with both the sea and the mountains … if wishes were horses.

What do you love about working/living in Bloemfontein?

The easy accessibility to different amenities, the good schools I had the privilege of taking my kids to … you can move from the north to the south of town within 30 minutes. I usually struggle with the traffic in other big cities of the country, regardless of whether I’m a passenger or driver.

When you’re not working, where are you or what are you doing?

When not working I’m outdoors hiking either locally or exploring trails in the Free State or other provinces. I enjoy visiting friends for lunch or dinner, attending monthly stokvel with my mom and the older ladies just sucking up their wisdom, dished out with the most hilarious humour. Sunday church is a must unless I’m out of town visiting family or on a weekend away. On other weekends or holidays, I’m comfortable spending time alone at home, watching Netflix, reading a book or recycling my magazines. As an empty nester, I’m comfortable going out for solo restaurant dates.

Meet Get It Cover Search winner Jonica Oosthuizen

Jonica Oosthuizen is a dedicated legal advisor at GWK who finds immense fulfilment in her role, “as it directly aligns with my love and passion for the world of agriculture”. The recent integration with VKB has opened doors to exciting new prospects which allows her to blend her dedication to law with her profound love for farm life.

Here Get It gets to know her:

Share with us where you’re from and where you grew up.

Kimberley, the City of Diamonds, holds the essence of the largest part of my upbringing and a lot of my cherished memories. It is where I spent most of my formative years, surrounded by the rich history and unique energy of this captivating city. Later my educational journey took me to Potchefstroom, where I had the privilege of studying. The experience broadened my horizons, and I got the incredible opportunity to pursue my practical vocational training in the vibrant city of Bloemfontein, which is how I came to live in the city I always dreamt of.

Tell us more about your professional career and why you went into this specific field.

My journey into the legal profession was rooted in a passion for fairness and a deep-seated interest in the complexities of law. I’ve always envisioned myself as an advocate for justice, striving to ensure fairness in every facet of life. The allure of law’s intricacies fascinated me immensely and I believe in the power of the law to shape a fair and just society, which made me dedicated to contributing my skills and knowledge to this cause. Interestingly, I found myself drawn not only to the legal aspects but also captivated by the dynamics of the business world.

Currently, I’m fortunate to be a part of an agricultural company’s legal department. This role brings together everything I am passionate about – law, business, and my profound love for agriculture. While it may sound boring to some, for me, it’s a fulfilling combination that allows me to navigate the intricate legalities within the dynamic landscape of agriculture.

Tell us more about your family life and how this has shaped your life.

My family is the cornerstone of my life, comprising my loving parents and two incredible sisters who have families of their own. We share a deeply close bond and seize every opportunity to spend quality time together. Their presence has been an incredible source of strength and support, shaping me in profound ways.

Additionally, the unwavering support and love from my parents have been fundamental in shaping my values and perspectives. Their guidance, wisdom, and unconditional love have been a guiding light throughout my life’s journey. Together, my entire family has played a pivotal role in shaping me into the woman I am today, nurturing me with their love, guidance, and unwavering support.

Share with us what your community service work entails and why you decided to get involved in the way that you do?

My journey into community service developed with a moment of reflection triggered at the Northridge Mall, when the Get It team sparked a profound realisation within me—I yearned to give back to my community in more meaningful ways. I pondered, ‘How can I make a tangible difference?’ and this thought stayed with me throughout the months that came.

Earlier this year, a former colleague approached me about Sunflower Kids, proposing that I can donate items for them to sell as a fundraiser for the children. Without hesitation, I dove into action, clearing out my belongings and spreading the word among friends and family, as I knew everyone has things in their closet that they don’t use. Though I’ve always extended small acts of kindness to those in need around me and supported various causes through church contributions, I feel a deeper calling to do more. I believe this is a sentiment shared by many—desiring to make a difference but not always knowing where to begin or how to contribute.

As an ambassador for Get It Cover Search and Kryolan, what would you say to motivate those who wish to enter next year?

Focus not on what you can gain from the experience, but rather on what you can give back and what you can learn. Embrace the journey as an opportunity to contribute your unique talents and perspectives to a platform that celebrates diversity, ambition, and empowerment. Participating in this adventure is not merely about winning; it’s about the connections you make, the lessons you learn, and the wonderful women you meet. Each individual brings their own aspirations and personality, creating an enriching and fun-filled experience. It’s a chance to grow, learn, and be inspired by the incredible women who share this exciting journey with you.

Are there any big plans for the festive season and how do you typically enjoy celebrating?

While my festive season might involve work to save up leave for my upcoming honeymoon, I’m looking forward to a heart-warming Christmas spent with my family in Bloemfontein. To me, the essence of the festive season lies not in the location but in the cherished moments spent with the ones I hold dear. Whether it’s sharing laughter, relishing delicious meals, or simply enjoying each other’s company, being surrounded by the people I love makes any celebration truly special.

What do you love about working/living in Bloemfontein?

Working and living in Bloemfontein has been a dream come true for me. As a child, I often expressed my desire to call this city my home one day, recognising it as the perfect fusion—a place both big enough to offer opportunities and yet small enough to retain its sense of community. Little did I know this city would become the backdrop to a beautiful chapter in my personal life, where the love of my life and I started building our lives together. Beyond my personal journey, what truly captivates me about Bloemfontein is its welcoming ambience. The people here exude kindness, always ready to extend a warm welcome to newcomers and old friends alike.

When you’re not working, where are you or what are you doing?

You’ll often find me transitioning between two beloved spaces – our home in Bloemfontein and the serene embrace of my soon-to-be parents-in-law’s farm. Spending ample time outdoors is invigorating and always brings a sense of tranquillity; it truly is my happy place. The farm also holds a special place in my heart, and being there with loved ones amidst nature is where I find pure joy and relaxation. The farm holds a treasured place in our hearts, as it is where my fiancé asked me to be his girlfriend, and later, where he proposed, making it a truly special and cherished location for both of us.

Text: JUSTINE FORTUIN Photography: GYPSEENIA LION

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