Waseema Mocke: A Life of Risk and Reward

Waseema Mocke: A Life of Risk and Reward

minutes Read

By Rorisang Rathebe

A professional responsibility to minimise risk, coupled with a natural affinity for taking risks, makes Waseema Mocke one of the most interesting Chartered Accountants you’ll meet. She lives in a world of conquered fears and broken barriers, because when you’re as spirited, free and capable as she is, taking risks can only lead to great reward. From savvy career moves to daredevil physical activities, Waseema lives life exactly as it should be: with passion and purpose. 


From the outside looking in, it’s easy to mistake her for a walking contradiction. As an Internal Audit Manager, she works within a team that manages potential risks and provides assurance to stakeholders that key business processes are operating effectively. Yet, as a human being her efforts are geared towards building a life that is exciting and fulfilling, and that often means embracing uncertainty. These polarised pieces of her life aren’t even close to clashing, though. Instead, they form a woman whose existence is balanced and gratified. 

In fact, she doesn’t see her professional persona as entirely separate from who she is outside of work. A common idea in the modern world of work is that one needs to balance who they are at the office, with who they are outside of it. For Waseema, the balance is effortless (and arguably unnecessary) because there are no real ‘sides’. She has a single identity, made up of the harmony between her roles as a professional, a mother, a daughter, a woman, and a friend. “I don’t have to balance who I am, because I’m always the same person,” she explains. 

Leaving the comfort of an eight-year tenure at the ABSA Group was one of the many leaps of faith that have defined her ambitious personality. Although eight years at a single company seems like the epitome of the comfort zone, Waseema progressed through four roles during her time there. Growing up, she had boundless dreams of what she could become, with options including a pilot, engineer and doctor. She eventually settled on Accounting, but this boundlessness has followed her into adulthood, where life is a constant pursuit of the new and exciting, especially when it comes to work. In May 2021, taking on the role of Internal Audit Manager at the EPPF was an opportunity to step into a new culture and industry. “I’m excited by the unknown, so venturing into new territory has always been appealing to me,” she says. 

At present, her work also has a strong focus on team development and stakeholder engagement. The ‘people’ aspect of her profession is in perfect alignment with her competence at managing relationships. In a division as critical as Governance & Assurance, Waseema’s discipline as a leader is underpinned by a deep regard for her co-workers. “We affect people and their personal lives in such a significant way, so we have a responsibility to care for the ones we lead,” she says. But managing relationships starts with managing oneself. “Caring for others is connected to how I care for myself. If I want to show up as the best version of myself for those around me, I must be intentional about my own wellbeing”. 

Taking care of herself is a holistic routine that prioritises mind, body, and soul. Waseema nurtures her personal interests as much as she does her career. It’s the simple yet impactful things that keep her happy and healthy: good food, energising workouts, meditation and mindfulness. She knows, first-hand, that our quality of life is greatly affected by how we eat, drink, move and think. Consistent exercise and hydration make us more effective; meditation keeps us centred and eating well nourishes our bodies. She’s also an avid reader, with fantasy novels and biographies at the top of her personal library. And she wouldn’t be able to call herself a risk-taker if she didn’t dabble in adrenaline-inducing activities like skydiving occasionally. 

All of these personal endeavours amount to a leader who is present, content and engaging. And when she ponders the makings of a good leader, her response is straightforward: “People over-engineer the leadership thing, it really just boils down to being a good person.”

Turning her gaze towards her future at the EPPF, Waseema has an inspired vision of development within Internal Audit and the Governance & Assurance Department as a whole. She acknowledges that the team’s function is key to ensuring we act in the best interests of our stakeholders. Assurance builds confidence in the Fund’s ability to deliver on its strategy. In her role, she’s working on the delivery of the Fund’s audit plan and, while she continues to take risks as a person, she’s working with her team to build systems that monitor key risk indicators at the Fund. “The business landscape is definitely more complex than it was a few years ago,” Waseema says. “Change is the only constant. We’re operating in an uncertain global economy, and we’re dealing with increasing regulatory pressures. Because of this fast-paced, evolving world, our risk management needs to keep up and our audit plans need to be more dynamic”. 

With a leader as sharp, inquisitive, and proactive as Waseema is, we have no doubt that the Fund’s internal auditing processes are in capable hands. As she enters the new financial year, she is backed by a team that carries the same commitment and aptitude, ready to assure our stakeholders that key business processes are handled with integrity, compliance, and excellence.

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