A Day in the Shoes of A Secretary, 6 September 2017, SA Army Foundation

Article by Captain M.E. Mashiane, Staff Officer 3 External Liaison, SA Army Corporate Communication
Photographs by Staff Sergeant E. Mahuma, SA Army Engineer Formation

On Wednesday the 06 September 2017, the wife of the Chief of the SA Army, Major Rebecca Yam hosted Secretaries day. This day was celebrated in a form of a breakfast treat to secretaries that hold Secretary Position within the Army Command council. The event was held at Army foundation Conference Centre. Different General’s Secretaries attended the event. Major Rebecca Yam was the main functionary for the event on behalf of the Spouses forum. The Executive PA to General Manager SA Army foundation, Anneri Schultz was the Program director.

The program was kept short, however the two speakers for the day had relevantly sealed the day. Staff Sergeant Mamokete Nkitseng, who is the Secretary to the Chief of the SA Army, Lieutenant General Lindelani Yam gave a speech on behalf of all Secretaries. Staff Sergeant Mamokete Nkitseng, expressed her deepest gratitude on the efforts put to make the day a wonderful success. She acknowledged Major Yam for the deepest principle in human nature which she described as “Craving to be appreciated”. She continued to relate general Secretaries experiences and challenges that Secretaries face worldwide .A few of challenges are Social Suspicions, Employment discrimination, Sexual harassment from bosses, Intimidation by male counterparts and the borderline between home duties and office responsibilities.

Staff Sergeant Nkitseng moreover, expressed her appreciation for her work. She said that it is important to establish good working relationships with their bosses and their bosses’ wives. She mentioned trust, mutual respect, mindfulness and open communication as a few characteristics that make up a healthy working relationship.  She alluded that a Secretary has a huge responsibility to play in an organization.  A secretary is an Administrative Professional, therefore they have the power to either build or break their bosses.

Staff Sergeant Nkitseng further motivated fellow secretaries working in different formations, directorates within the SA Army division; to have a responsibility to” keep the offices running smoothly’.  She quoted the great author of all times Maya Angelou to inspire fellow colleagues, she said “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breadth away”.

Major Yam concluded the day by acknowledging all secretaries in relation to the day itself. The day was first proclaimed by US Secretary of Commerce Charles Sawyer as “National Secretaries week” in 1952.The day was established to acknowledge and show appreciation to the Secretaries.   She motivated the Secretaries to further keep up the good work. She mentioned on behalf of the Spouses forum that, the Secretaries help beyond their professional mandate, whereby they act as” walking diaries, selfless people, time keepers, mood checkers, they remind their bosses of their wives birthdays and anniversaries. She further humorously hinted that Secretaries help prevent world war 3”.

Major Yam quoted an unknown author that said “No one is more cherished in this world than someone who lightens the burden of another” and relatively expressed her delight and appreciation to the Secretaries. The day was appreciated by both the Co-coordinators and the Secretaries themselves.

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SA Army Secretary Day 2017 Programme 

Staff Sergeant Nkitseng, Secretary to the Chief of the SA Army

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Major R. Yam, Chief of the SA Army's spouse

Members attending SA Army Secretary Day 2017