Khomotso Merriam Monyai is undoubtedly a success story, and on Women’s Day and August’s Women’s Month tangibly demonstrates that despite working in a male-dominated industry one can still reach your goals.
Khomotso who currently lives with her parents, was born in Sebokeng Township, Zone10 in the Vaal Area. She matriculated at Residensia Secondary School, in Sebokeng. After passing Grade 12 she found herself stranded. Fortunately, hope was on the horizon when she in 2014 discovered the French Southern African Schneider Electric Education Centre (F’SASEC) following an advertisement in the local newspaper.
The training offered by F’SASEC at the Vaal University of Technology (VUT) peaked Khomotso’s interest and she bravely went to its offices and enrolled. She attended a two-year course at F’SASEC and then continued with her studies at Sedibeng College.
“When I arrived at F’SASEC, some things were a bit challenging for me. I had no background in mathematics as I did Mathematical Literacy in High School. Eventually, I managed to pull through and became one of the best candidates the centre has ever had,” she says.
“I had no knowledge of Electrical Engineering, but I managed to with the help of the wonderful lectures to successfully comprehend the course material.
“I honestly believe that I’m blessed to have stepped into F’SASEC because I started as a student and then became employed by the centre. I am glad they saw my potential and then decided to hire me,” she adds.
Khomotso passed her electrical trade test and worked as an Electrical Lab Assistant at F’SASEC at the VUT where she assisted students with domestic and industrial wiring, focusing on safety when working with electricity.
“I used to perform electrical maintenance on any electrical components that were faulty or needed to be fixed, and ordered the equipment required in the student workshops.”, she explains.
Khomotso is currently working at Schneider Electric as a Field Services graduate intern. Her role involves providing technical field support for company products by servicing sites and/or delivering or installing equipment, resolving maintenance and operational issues in the field, and performing troubleshooting procedures.
“If you wish to become an engineer, but don’t know where to start due to challenges such as funds or below par grades, F’SASEC is the steppingstone for your dream to come true. I too, didn’t know where to start, both my parents were unemployed, and my matric results were average. Despite these challenges I managed to enrol in F’SASEC.
“Engineering especially electrical, is a male dominated field and there were times I almost gave up particularly as an aspiring female electrical engineer. However, my professor, who saw my potential, advised me to hang on and break the status quo by proving that women can also excel in the field of engineering.”
Khomotso has N1 and N2 Electrical Engineering from F’SASEC and an N3 Electrical Engineering qualification from Sedibeng College.