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Financial Planning

Meet Yolisa Motha: working to thrive, not just to survive

Twenty-three year old Yolisa Motha works as a full-time Creative Copywriter and part-time as a tutor, study-skills presenter and one-on-one coach. Armed with these skills and work experience, someone like Yolisa could be earning a combined salary of approximately R30 000 a month. Which, calculated over her working lifetime, could afford her just over R100 million1.

But with a 96% chance of experiencing a temporary injury or illness during this time2 that may put this future earning potential at risk, there can be little doubt around the importance of being able to protect 100% of both income streams against the risk of injury or illness.

Yolisa comes from humble beginnings. Raised by her mother and grandmother in a Durban township, Yolisa’s academic talent and potential stood out at a young age and she was awarded a scholarship to complete her primary and secondary education at two top Durban schools.

In Grade 12, she applied her natural teaching talents by offering tutoring classes to Grade 11 and 12 learners in the township where she lived. Yolisa tutored throughout her matric year and used her earnings to help support her family and to put one of her younger siblings through school. ​

A straight A-student, Yolisa earned a scholarship to study at Vega after she matriculated. She worked part-time for Elevate Education as a study-skills presenter and one-on-one coach throughout her tertiary studies.

After graduating top of her class and receiving the Vega Leadership award, it didn’t take her long to secure her first full-time job as a Creative Copywriter. She continued to work for Elevate Education part-time. Her part-time work is her passion, but the income it provides also plays a very important role in Yolisa’s life.

For Yolisa, the ability to earn and maintain both sources of income is important. “Although they don’t bring in the same amount of money,” she says, “they are all important because they play different roles in my life. My full-time income pays for the food on the table; it’s the survival. It’s what my family and I live off. And then the part-time income allows me to live my best life, to thrive and to be the person I am.”

Yolisa is not alone. There is a growing trend in South Africa for individuals to take up more than one job. Some do it to follow their passion, but for most, it’s to supplement their main income as they try keep up with the increasing cost of living. These individuals are typically full-time employees working in their primary occupation from 8 to 5 during the week and they use the weekend or evenings to work on their side hustle. Their side hustle may be in a field related to their full-time job, but it’s often in a completely different field. Without that additional income, they wouldn’t be able to meet their total monthly expenses, let alone contribute toward any form of savings.

And because these individuals depend so heavily on each income stream, it’s important for them to be able to protect each one from the risk of not being able to work due to injury or illness.  However, insurers have typically designed their income protection offerings around the assumption that people earn their income from a single source. Where you earn two income streams, and especially if you perform a different occupation as part of your supplementary income , insurers will often struggle to insure 100% of that monthly income. Why is this? Insurers are generally concerned about the consistency of the income a person earns from a side hustle.

Life insurer FMI (a Division of Bidvest Life Ltd) has made it their mission to ensure that all hard working South Africans have access to income protection, no matter how they earn a living, in order to protect multiple sources of income against the risk of injury and illness. We’ve worked tirelessly to achieve this by designing clear rules which determine how significant and consistent the work is, and to offer different solutions that allow individuals to protect that income even where it is inconsistent. 

As Yolisa so aptly says, “The full-time job is for me to survive. The part-time job is for me to thrive. And without it, without that income, there is no thriving.”

To watch Yolisa’s story, go to 

1Calculated at R30 000 a month, 6.5% salary annual salary increase, retiring at 70.

2FMI Risk Stats – 96% chance of being unable to work for longer than 14 days due to illness or injury before the age of 70.




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