How I Live My Purpose Through My Day Job – Interview with Lamona

Sharing the stories of working mothers has been an eye-opening experience for me. You may check out the previous interviews here. Each woman’s story I have shared thus far has been unique.

Today I am sharing the working mother story of Lamona.

Lamona and I worked together for a couple of years. Lamona is so wise (like an oracle). A grounded person, with strong values and a innate drive to see equality in this world.

Lamona is a Diversity & Inclusion Lead. Her role is to ensure that people identify their own unconscious bias, and influence the way people perceive each other. She helps others embrace diversity. 

As you all know by now, when it is italics in pink that is me adding my five cents worth!


Related Post: How a Life Changing Surgery Inspired This Working Mother – Interview with Nonka

Tell us about yourself

My name is Lamona Rajah and I am a mum to two teenagers. My son is 18-years-old and my daughter is 14-years-old.

Born and raised in Pietermaritzburg, KZN.

I came to Johannesburg 17 years ago seeking employment and have never looked back! Johannesburg is my home now.

I am a single mum for the past ten years. I prioritized raising my kids during this time of being divorced.


As a 22-year-old graduate, desperately looking for a job with a baby, I had no choice but to take the first available job I found – a teller at a bank.


During the next six years that I worked here, I eagerly tried to move into HR, with no success.

I eventually moved into HR after completion an Honours qualification. I then pursued two more qualifications, a B.Com Industrial & Organizational Psychology and a Diploma in Marketing.


[bctt tweet=”Here is how a working mother lives her purpose through her day job. How many of us can say that? #workingmom #interview” username=”cherralle_”]

How I live out my purpose in my career

Talent Management got me hooked and I grew into different roles within this space. After 11 years of being in the financial services industry, I moved into a global technology and management consulting company.

I landed a role in the Global Inclusion and Diversity Team.  This was where my day job started to connect to me to my life’s purpose. I thrived on working with individuals on how to identify and leverage their strengths to reach their full potential.

Guys, I can attest this, Lamona is referring to the Gallup Strengths Finder.  You can identify your innate strengths and learn how to use them.

Through using the strengths finder  I found that certain aspects of my personality is innate, and I can embrace and leverage that. If you ever have a chance please try to do it. Example, I like to do lists and close on things (Achiever). I have learnt how to use this to my own advantage in team and also also what I need to watch out for (burn out).

My innate strengths became clear and I learnt how to maximize them in my career. I was headhunted by my current organization to lead their Diversity and Inclusion journey in Africa and the Middle East.

Headhunted’, don’t get it twisted. 

My job is to develop strategies to address diversity challenges

working mom interview_lamona travel


  • We live in  a world where there is so much inequality and atrocities due to hate between people.
  • It is a privilege to be a champion for change and show them a better way of mutual respect, trust and human dignity. This is my purpose.
  • I help people reframe their world experiences to embrace and value diversity in others instead of being unconsciously threatened by them.

An important job. I have seen this in action.

All of us carry unconscious bias. Example, we like people who have the same background like us. We hire people who are similar to us. 

Lamona’s job in part is to highlight unconscious bias, and coach people and teams to see the world from a different perspective.


What do you LOVE most about your job?

Living my life’s purpose to change the world.

  • I feel that each interaction I have with people holds a precious opportunity to speak the truth that can change the way they see the world.
  • I like teaching others to reframe what they have always known and seek to embrace diversity and be inclusive in everyday living.
  • How we see and treat others because of assumptions and how we may be missing out on so much because of it.

Share with us your top two tips that help you to manage your work life integration (balance) that would help other working moms?


  • Everyone has a unique story. Don’t beat yourself up, if yours doesn’t look like other successful women around you. Work with what you have and write your own story. One that fits your life circumstances. For example, if you are single or don’t have a supportive partner/spouse, find a way to create success for yourself despite this. Don’t look at those who have support to propel them in their career. You can find that kind of help in extended family, friends and a good nanny.
  • Don’t try to be superwomen.  There are times you need to go outsource activities/tasks. Identify what you can outsource, be it meals, transporting kids etc.
  • Work on your strengths. If you can cook a mean meal but suck at baking, buy ready-made cake mix or buy baked treats and continue preparing great meals.
  • There are times you will need to vent about how much it all is. Do that. Find a trusted friend or family member that you can express your feelings and frustrations with. Then pick yourself up and walk right through.

Looking back share with us advice you would give yourself as a new mother?


  • Don’t feel pressured to conform to an image you grew up to believe is the only way it must be. Write your own story.
  • Don’t feel guilty about needing some time to yourself – leverage all the brooding family around who cannot wait to babysit your child, or help in some way.
  • Don’t be afraid to try something new. Recognize what works for you and your baby and give it a shot.
  • Be mindful. Be in the moment. Don’t miss the everyday moments. Journal them if you must, so you can go back and relive how precious motherhood is.


[bctt tweet=”Don’t feel pressured to conform to an image you grew up to believe is the only way it must be. Write your own story.” username=”cherralle_”]

What do you do to kick back?

Literally doing nothing, just laying on my sofa, and catching up on my thoughts. I also love watching series with my children, when we can chill without me worrying about what to clean next.

Reading an excellent Christian novel is also relaxing for me.

When I can, going out on a hike and being in nature is fabulous to ground me.


Lamona thank you for sharing your story with me!  You hold such an important role in your home (as a mom!) but also in society. Thank you .

Lamona is active on twitter, you may check out her profile here.


Further Reading: The Side Hustle: 6 Things You Need to Start Now

How A Life Changing Surgery Inspired This Working Mother – Interview with Nonka

Welcome to the second installment of our Working Mother Interview Series, if you missed the first one, you can find ithere.

I met Nonka three years ago when we landed up in the same syndicate group for our Post Grad Diploma in Management (with Gibs). By the way we knocked it out the park as we awarded best group (just saying!).

Nonka is a reserved yet smart woman. What struck me about Nonka is that she is absolutely stunning, but so humble. You would never guess her life story.

Nonka currently works in medical devices as a Neurosurgery and Maxillo Facial Products Consultant. A life changing surgery that took place later in her life it inspired her to want to give back to others.

Here is Nonka’s story. Oh, and in pink, that is me, as always chiming in.

Tell us about yourself, your family and what you do.

mother and daughter _ working mother interview

I am Nonkanyiso Mchunu, originally from KZN, Estcourt from the village called Sobabili in Ntabamhlophe. I currently live in East Rand, Fairleads in Benoni.

I have two brothers, six sisters, and one late sister. I’m the firstborn. My dad passed away when he was 45 years old. As a first born, I had to step in to assist my mum.

I have one, eight-year-old daughter name Imana  Zibusiso.

One of my sisters passed away in 2006 a month after I moved to Jhb. During my pregnancy, I dreamed of my sister asking me ‘what is the baby’s name’? I said her name is Zibusiso, I then woke up and wrote it down, when I checked the time it was 3 am. Zibusiso means Blessings.

Imana Zibusiso

Imana means ‘God provides.’ Thembeka Masukum, one of my best friends, named her Imana. I named her Zibusiso.

Imana is a very fun, loving and caring child. She is also very energetic. She is very health conscious just like me. I sometimes take her to the gym with me.

Reading is one of the activities we do thus I have discovered that she has a talent for creative short story writing (imaginary characters)

We can both model and dance. Sounds like an awesome mother daughter duo.

I work for a medical device company as a Neurosurgery and Maxillo Facial Product Consultant. I support surgeons, nurses and patients who use our products.

Tell us about your career journey and how you landed up where you are now?

Yooh it is a long story – my life testimony.  A moving life story.

I started my career in retail, focused on FMCG, Telecoms and Pharmaceutical.

When you Life’s Mission and Career Collide

When I was a baby I had an illness. I had a leaking mitral valve (important valve that ensures blood flow in the heart). Don’t worry guys, I googled it for us, and I added a link where you can read about a mitral valve is.

Unfortunately, my parents were not aware, although signs were there. When I was in standard eight (grade ten), one half of my body went numb, and I was taken to a traditional healer.

[bctt tweet=”When I was in grade ten, half of my body went numb and I was taken to a traditional healer” username=”cherralle_”]

I stayed there for two months without going to school and only came back to visit my family, I then decided I will not go back there any longer because I was missing school.

I continued my schooling until I finished matric and tertiary. My whole life I was tired and short of breathe and I never understood why.

Once I started working, I had medical aid to do all my health checks. I always felt that there was something wrong.

While working in the Pharmaceutical industry in 2009, I had a mitral valve replacement. This took place a few months after Imana’s birth. My surgery went very well, and my health life was never the same. I felt entirely new and refreshedI love this ‘ I felt new’.

I used to have chest pains, shortness of breath and tiredness without doing anything. The surgery changed my life.

The above long story, especially my surgery success, inspired me to look for opportunities in the medical industry.

I wanted to contribute to saving people’s lives. In 2011 I joined one of the multinational medical devices company. I can tell you now, that I love every moment of my job.

What is the one THING YOU LOVE Most about your job?

My contribution to saving people’s lives.

Share with us your top two tips that help you to manage your work life integration (balance) that would help other working moms?

Nonka fitness_working mother interview

  • I love exercising, and I make it a must do because it makes me feel energetic and refreshed. Therefore, I function better.
  • Time management: priorities your time. I have a to-do list daily (flagged in categories, e.g., urgent & important, important but not urgent).

[bctt tweet=”I love exercising – I make it a must do because it makes me feel energetic and refreshed. #workingmomtip” username=”cherralle”]

Looking back share with us to pieces of advice you would give yourself as a new mother?

  • Don’t worry too much; no one is perfect, it is going to be fine
  • Always remember that you and daddy are a team
  • It is OK to ask for help

Great tips for new moms and for the more experienced ones. Thank you.

What do you do to kick back? (relax?)

  • I take some time out, take a holiday (with my daughter and alone)
  • I try to pamper myself at least once a month (pedicure, manicure, facial, wax and sometimes body massage.
  • Some time out with friends and family (siblings)

Thank you Nonka for sharing your story! Such a great example of when one’s personal life story and work collide.  It is truly inspiring how you overcame your illness and embraced a healthy lifestyle.

If you would like to share your story or nominate a mom friend, let me know!

Further Reading:

I Started My Own Business To Create My Own Flexibility – Interview With Lushia

The Side Hustle – 6 Things You Need To Get Your Game On

I started my own business to create my own flexibility – Interview with Lushia

Introducing the first interview series on My Daily Cake! Sharing life and career stories of working mothers like us.  In the interview style blog post, when you see italics in pink, this is me chiming in.

I met Lushia a few years ago when we worked together. Lushia is an energetic and spunky young women and when we met I admired her commitment to a healthy lifestyle. After a while we connected again on LinkedIn.

Lushia is a working mom who owns her own business, recruiting firm Luelle Consulting. Here is what Lushia had to say!

Lushia and son working mother interview series1) Tell us about yourself

I am a 35-year-old coloured female who also happens to be a single mom to a beautiful 7-year-old son.

What I do

I currently run my own recruitment agency in Broadacres with a friend and business partner. In Dec 2015, I registered a company while working in corporate. I had been toying with the idea for about two years.

Feeling isolated in this massive multinational, I knew my voice was too small to be heard. And so I made what I thought was the dumbest decision I had ever made in my entire life. I resigned.

I had some cash to carry me for a few months, and so did my business partner. However, we were not 100% convinced we even knew what a rough ride awaited us. On 15 Dec 2017, my company celebrated its 2nd anniversary and 4 employees later. I can honestly say, this was the hardest thing to do but so worth everything.

Related Post: The Side Hustle - 6 Things You Need To Get Your Game On

Our Routine

I currently live in Johannesburg and commute 12 kilometers to work every day. My son goes to a wonderful private school just 1 km from my office. I get to spend so much more quality time with him now.

I love being fit and healthy. So after my prince gets dropped off at school, I get to hit the gym and waltz into the office at between 9 am and 9:30. Wow, I love that you waltz into work! I also love that you have found your own rhythm that works for you.

Since I can have the office transfer calls to me while I am on the go, I also leave early some days to spend more time with my boy.
I returned to work ten weeks after my son was born, and so I was robbed of bonding time and maternity leave. I am now making up for all that lost time.

2) Tell us about your career journey and how you landed up where you are now?

Starting out in retail sales, I always had a passion for serving and helping people. I ended up in recruitment by accident in 2006. I had applied for a corporate sales position and the next thing you know I was hired. It was corporate sales of people. I had no idea I would be selling people.

In my first year of recruitment, I won the best newcomer of the year award. I took to recruitment as they say ‘like a duck takes to water’. After working in recruitment for over 10 years I now own a recruitment agency. Mic Drop.

I was never book smart so even if my parent had the means to send me to university, I doubt I would have managed to complete a degree in anything. Recruitment is sales. I am good with people, and I am great at selling them. Great example of building upon your strengths, (which are people and sales).

I opted to start my own business because I wanted to be more flexible in my own life. Also, I wanted the flexibility
to tailor make how I add value to a company.

[bctt tweet=”Starting my own business gave me flexibility to tailor make how I add value to a company – says Lushia” username=”cherralle_”]

3) What is the ONE THING you love most about your job?

There are a few, but I love that I know a little bit about almost every career without having to read books or study. I learn through interviewing people. I ask questions and gain a thorough understanding of what his/her role entails. Simply interviewing and talking to people is an important way to learn and gather information. 

So I love that I get to learn something new almost every day just by sitting in an interview with someone. Being in the company of people excites me.

[bctt tweet=”‘I was never book smart’ she says – here is how a young woman started her own recruitment company” username=”cherralle_”]

4) Share with us your two top tips that help you to manage your work life integration (balance) that would help other working moms?

I don’t think I have my work life balance down to a perfect T. Being my own boss helps a lot because I get to decide how hard I am willing to work on any given day. My motto is “Health and family first.” 

Once you are in good health and your family is happy, you are in a better space to perform at your optimum level. Eat well, sleep for 8 hours and work out.

Related Post: 10 Things A Working Mother Needs to Survive

5) Looking back share with us to pieces of advice you would give yourself as a new mother?

Nothing is more precious than time with your baby. Bond and keep a journal of all the special moments.

When you are a new mom in a stressful job, you can sometimes put too much focus on your career and not enough time being a mom. Remember that you may not have all the time in the world to spend with your kids but, use the little time that you do have and ensure that it is quality time. Quality beats quantity hands down. Thank you for these awesome pieces of advice. Its true that time flies by so quickly, and they are only this little once. It is important to focus and be present in each stage they are in.

6) What do you do to kick back? (relax?)

I read thrillers and biographies, and get lost in them completely. I also love sleeping, so I catch up on sleep whenever I can. Yes to reading and yes to sleeping!


Thank you Lushia for sharing your story with us!

To connect further with Lushia, you may found her on LinkedIn, which she uses for networking. Lushia actively shares updates on LinkedIn, you may check her out here!

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