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Staff with Heart

Joseph Mnensa (36) holds a black belt in Taekwon-Do, Akido, Hapkido & Yojindo. He’s represented South Africa in international Taekwondo World Championships held in Russia (2009) and Bulgaria (2015). And later this year he’ll be jetting off to Miami, USA to represent South Africa at the International Sport Kickboxing Association World Championships. Joseph is also an Old Mutual employee and a Staff Community Builder.

Old Mutual employee, community volunteer and international instructor, Joseph Mnensa (centre) coaches Taekwon-Do at Centre Point Dojang, Kensington, Cape Town.

As a company that holds social responsibility integral to it’s core commitments, Old Mutual encourages employee engagement in community upliftment through a number of staff volunteer programmes. The Staff Community Builder programme supports staff who give their personal time towards community development projects, which is why we find ourselves tonight at the Centre Point Dojang in Kensington, Cape Town. Not only is Joseph a hotshot Taekwon-do dude, but he also has a heart for giving back to his community.

Joseph currently teaches Taekwon-do for two hours after work, four days a week, which is about 30 hours a month of community volunteering. The dojang, which Joseph set up in 2014, is located in an under-resourced area of Cape Town where many of the students are orphans, have very little family support, or come from low-income homes and are unable to take part in regular physical activity programmes.

Because of Joseph’s community volunteer work and the Staff Community Builder programme, the Old Mutual Foundation funded the Centre Point Dojang R20 000 (2015) and R15 000 (2016), which was used to purchase practice mats, protective headwear, gloves, footwear and allowed participation for the children in provincial tournaments. It’s great to be here at this evening’s practice session, watching Joseph in action with the kids and seeing firsthand the difference the funding has made.

Joseph is a strict teacher. There’s no talking allowed during the practice and one errant student breaks the rule and is instructed to do ten push-ups on the spot. “This is not just a sport,” Joseph explains, “it’s a discipline. Students must learn respect, integrity, courtesy, manners, humility.”

One of the parents Andelucia Chambers (35) is also watching the evening’s practice session with us. She has two boys who’ve recently started attending the Centre Point Dojang and participated in their first interprovincial tournament. “I’m such a proud mom,” Andelucia says, “both my boys came back with medals!” Later, when I ask if she’s noticed a change in her boys since they’ve started attending, she comments that they’ve become more respectful at home.

The Old Mutual Staff Community Builder programme has been running for over twenty years and is regarded as one of the most successful corporate employee engagement programmes in the country. In 2015, the Old Mutual Foundation invested R6,6 million in 345 grassroots social projects in South Africa, such as Joseph’s, where we support our staff in caring for their communities.


Post index:

And we’re off!
Growing green futures
For the love of reading
Paying it forward
In the heat of the moment
The road to Camdeboo
The light of one small candle
Investing for the future
The building blocks of business
A heart for horses
Mining for talent
My ability is greater than my disability
To be a nurse, you must be love
There’s no such thing as ‘the voiceless’
Mark my words
The place where the sun rises
Welcome to your future
Strengthening families
Dollops of Dreams
The Business of Farming
Staff with Heart
Rekindling Hope

20 Responses to Staff with Heart

  1. Portia Ngqulana says:

    Great work Jo, you are an hero I must say. You are doing a great job, our kids will remember this and do the same to the upcoming generation. I must say you are a blessing, great achievement and God is smiling of your good doings.

    • Colleen Gibson says:

      What an inspiration! An example to our youth and positive energy. This is something that will develop strong, independent and disciplined children! Awesome job Joseph and keep up the brilliant work you are doing with these kids

  2. Cheryl says:

    Well done Joseph! we need more of you in our disadvantage communities.

    Keep on doing good.

  3. Wow, this is amazing!
    Good work Joseph!
    OM thank you for providing these opportunities for your staff members, it shows what an awesome company you are!

    BIG UPS!

  4. This is great!

    Congratulations Joseph!

    You are awesome!!

  5. Derron says:

    Well done on a sterling Job Joseph. You are a true inspiration to us all at Old Mutual.

  6. Lena Croeser says:

    Wow! This Brilliant!

    With so much crime nowadays, self defence is a MUST for all kids and Adults. Well Done Joseph!

  7. Marchelino Fransch says:

    This guy is a true hero. It is great especially to get our youth off the streets as we know the drug and gangsterism problem in our communities.

  8. Siphesihle Mthembu says:

    Well Done to you Joseph! We applaud you for your patience and the time you invest in the youth, as they are the future. You are a true hero and example for others.
    All the best to you for the competition in the USA. Stay blessed.

    • Tania May says:

      WOW Joseph, you have me in tears. What a blessing you are. All the very best with the competition in USA. God bless you all. “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” Ps23:6

  9. kirshni says:

    We are proud of you Joseph-real leadership with love qualities displayed.

    Wish you more success!

  10. Nosipho says:

    Congraulations Joseph all the best. Make us proud. 🙂

  11. Gazelle says:

    Joseph you are a hero…thank you so much for caring. Be blessed always.

  12. Ashleen says:


  13. Mabel says:

    Well done Joe. Such initiatives are needed in our communities. Well done to Old Mutual for continuing to invest in South African communities.

  14. Elna Kalie says:

    Wow what a great story. Coming from the community of Factreton, it was worries me that kids has become so disrespectful in the area. Watching the area go backwards is heartbreaking.

    It warmed my heart reading the story not just because it is happening in my area but because I grew up as an orphan and have my foster parents to thank for who I am today and to make them proud. Josepf has given these kids the opportunity to show the world that your background does not define your future, it is up to you as an individual. It also shows to the community that its not just up to parents to raise a child but the commitment of one person in a community.

    Well done Joseph, you are not just a comunity builder but a true South African Hero

  15. Babalwa says:

    Wow . Thank God for someone like you . May God provde you with more strenght and courage and wisdom for what you are doing for our children and the whole generation . You are actually helping in making them better persons and in making the world a betther place .
    well done .

  16. Bosabum Joseph Mnensa has been a good inspiration and motivator to our children. My daughters joined and the change in them has been significant. He is hard working and dedicated to the community.
    The children who join the dojang show great enthusiasm and willingness to learn because of the leadership shown there.

    Many thanks to Joseph! May the club grow from strength to strength!


  17. Najwah says:

    Well done Jo! Truelly an inspiration to everyone out there. Taking time out of your everyday life to help fulfil kids dreams and also keep them off the streets.

    Such a humble guy. Keep up the good work.


  18. Hi all,

    I am really humbled by the heart touching comments, thanks for all the kind words & great consistent support!

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