Mercy Rebaone Thebe: The inside story
With her larger than life personality, her intelligence, her striking looks and an exquisite sense of style, it is not surprising that Mercy Rebaone Thebe is a corporate PR expert, a brand strategist, an events management specialist and a digital media influencer.
She is pusher, a dreamer and a force!
This highly disciplined, focused and hardworking petite young Motswana woman, who without a doubt, is a LIFESTYLE and a style Icon was born and bred in Francistown.
Asked to explain what it is that drives her, Thebe says, “I am driven by passion for what I do and I consider myself very lucky to make a living from what I truly love. In order for one to excel in this field, you need to run the extra mile 10 times a day when no one is looking because there is a lot of blood, sweat and tears behind the glitz and glamour that is associated with the profession.”
Armed with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication (Film & TV Major and Public Relations Minor) from Curtin University in Australia and a Diploma in Multimedia, Advertising and Broadcasting from Limkokwing University in Malaysia, Thebe took to the filed like a duck in water.
“I was always passionate about Mass Communication in general and was blessed to find a university that provided me with the platform to study for my dream career.”
She notes sadly that although the profession has evolved over the years, locally there is still a skills gap, a need for catching up with international standards.
“Botswana also needs an effective public relations body e.g. Botswana Institute of Public Relations (BIPR) which would advise, provide information and create opportunities for discussions on all aspects of public relations activities, promote the understanding, development and recognition of public relations and establish and prescribe standards of professional and ethical conduct. The body would also ensure the observance of those standards by also encouraging the attainment of professional academic qualifications. I had the privilege of completing a three months internship programme at the Institute of Public Relations Malaysia (IPRM) before my graduation and the amount of experience I gained is invaluable.” She says
A major highlight of Thebe’s career is undoubtedly the rebranding and repositioning of Limkokwing University of Creative Arts and Technology Botswana as a reputable and competitive tertiary institution in the entre region and internationally.
“This happened over many years and of course many challenges since 2009 when I joined and started the institutions Public Relations Department which I currently head as the Regional Director for Corporate & Media Relations.”
She also counts the development & Implementation of the Botswana, Lesotho & Swaziland Media Fraternity Limkokwing Scholarships that resulted in over 30 media practitioners enrolling for up skilling courses at the esteemed University as a great and memorable accomplishment.
“Personally I am proud of establishing my own communications company called BrainFuse Group which focuses on PR Consultancy, Content Creation, Events Management and Branding which bagged Limkokwing University as its first major client and will be officially launched early 2017 with an all female team.”
An avid social media enthusiast, Thebe says social media and public relations go hand in hand.
“This makes the new generation of PR practitioners more interactive and easily accessible. Social media on the other hand plays a very pivotal part, and as a PR Practitioner it is important to keep up to date on social media technologies and frequently measure the effectiveness of digital and traditional tactics to communicate your message by using social tools to proactively be accessible to your audience, and use advanced tools to monitor for user-created social messaging. As one of the most followed digital media influencers, I find social media to be a great development in the PR Profession when used right.”
Although Thebe admits to being a social butterfly she describes her inner circle as “small.”
“I turn to various people for different life situations. If its business related I would call my friends Thapelo Letsholo or Sesupo Wagamang for advise. If it’s family related I will call Gagoope Hule; my cousin and if its personal I will call a few people such as Barbara Gotlop, Lebogang Maruapula, Emang Bokhutlo, Sesame Mosweu or Faith Tuelo. Of her mentors, Thebe says; without a doubt, The Founder, President of Limkokwing University, Professor Emeritus Tan Sri Dato Sri’ Dr. Limkokwing is an exceptional leader that I have been privileged to be groomed by, such a man of honor.
I also look up to my mother, Grace Thebe who embodies every admirable quality that I strive to live up to every single day.
When not building brands, Thebe loves to travel.
“I appreciate learning and appreciating new environments that are culturally enriching. I attend lifestyle and arts events as well as international music concerts, (Usher’s OMG, Mariah Carey’s Sweet Sweet Fantasy & Rihanna’s Diamond tour concerts still stand out as the best concerts I have ever attended.)
I also love hosting events at my house, and just having simple fun with my friends.
My philosophy is that success is not measured by Money, Power or Social Ranking, but rather by your discipline and inner peace.
I also believe that the real measure of your wealth is how much you would be worth if you lost all your money. But then again a woman’s best protection is some money of her own.
This underpins her motto, which she says is ‘living her best life.”
What are five things that people do not know about you?
1. I can rap and my favorite music genre is Hip Hop.
2. I hate driving, when I get rich I will have my own chauffer
3. I have a phobia for snakes, and I am allergic to nuts and watermelon.
4. I was blind for a month due to an eye operation gone wrong during my teens.
5. I cannot ride a bicycle nor swim.