“As a child all I wanted was to work at a mine as I thought it is where they make money,” says Onismus Mamaila a 24-year-old, Limpopo University, Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Geology graduate. “Working at a mine became my ambition even after I learned that they do not make money but extract minerals at the mines and therefore Geology became an obvious choice for me,” he says.
Mamaila joined the Mandela Mining Precinct internship programme fresh from university. He was on the lookout for a learning opportunity and decided to apply for the programme. “Joining the MMP has exposed me to almost all parts of mining and gave me a broad understanding of the mining industry,” he says. Mamaila did not only benefit technically from the programme. “When I joined the MMP, my public speaking skills were very poor as it was my first job after varsity. Currently, I can speak comfortably in public, and my presentation skills have improved,” he adds.
Mamaila specialises in mining geology and would like to see himself in the rock engineering space. He dreams of pursuing his Masters degree and fulfilling his life-long dream of working for a mining company.
One of the greatest lessons he has learned so far in his career is the importance of safety in the mining industry. “If there is anything I can improve in the mining industry, it would be safety. I believe safety is the primary factor to consider before starting with mining operations,” he says.
Mamaila describes himself as persistent. “It doesn’t matter how difficult a task or a goal is, I always ensure I pull through,” he concludes.