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From civil engineering to Saiba – Penly Matjila finds her true calling in life


Penly Matjila, a personal portfolio consultant at Saiba, was born and bred in Mokopane (formerly Potgietersrus) outside Polokwane in Limpopo. Being the middle child in a family of five, she was anything but the invisible child you might expect. She readily admits to being the most troublesome of all her siblings.

“I remember I would rob my little brother of lunchbox money because they would give the money to me, I would hide it and buy chocolates and candy and eat alone.”

Penly eventually grew out of her mischief when her older sister married and moved out. She had to step up and take over her older sister’s duties.

After completing high school Penly studied civil engineering at Tshwane College, but dropped out due to pregnancy. She later went back to school and finished her course. After completing her studies, she found herself unable to find a job, but decided she did not want to be a part of the country’s unemployment statistics, so went back to school and enrolled for a nursing diploma.

But difficulties truck again. Her mother fell ill, so Penly again dropped out of college to take care of her.

“I always say that I did nursing for my Mom because she loved nursing, she wanted to become a nurse, but being a mother of five made it difficult for her. With her getting sick, I realised that I was meant to learn how to take care of a sick person. At MediClinic I learnt how to be patient and how to nurture a person back to health and I used that knowledge and experience.”

As a young mother who wanted the best for her child, Penly started job hunting and ended up as a beauty therapist. She then realised that she needed to do more to be the mother that she wanted her child to have. She then found a second job as a receptionist.

“I used to work seven days a week with no rest. During my off days at Skin Care Clinic I was busy with my receptionist job.”

In 2017, she got called by Saiba for an interview. Three months passed, but she eventually got the call to join Saiba as a receptionist.

“I worked for three months and I was asked to assist in the finance department. Because of my hard work, I was moved to admin and my performance was great and now I am a personal portfolio consultant. Wendy was my mentor, and she was pleased with my performance.”

How is working from home?

I am always working. It’s hard for me to take a break and I never leave my desk. It was hard in the beginning but now I have eased into it. I push myself harder and I now I get to interact with members in a comfortable space. I enjoy working from home.

Why do you like working at Saiba?

The greatest thing about working for Saiba is that you grow as an employee, just as our members grow as professionals. There is room for growth and if you ready to learn you can go higher within the Saiba family. I have developed and acquired a lot of skills since I started with Saiba. I am very grateful to be a part of the family.

What are the most difficult members experience you’ve ever had?

When a member does not understand the process they should follow to do something, it becomes a problem. Sometimes members want something done on the spot and they do not understand that they need to follow a procedure and notify us in writing. These things are written in the terms and conditions and they often overlook them.

How can you advise members to better use the services at Saiba?

Members can always do more to improve themselves. I can’t even say the sky is the limit. Saiba always asks how it can assist members. If there are obstacles, there are always alternative solutions. Saiba can guide you to your goals regardless of where you are in life, and we can help you create an identity for you and your business.

Life outside of work

Outside work Penly enjoys cooking more than anything, but also does swimming with her 10-year-old daughter. She constantly invents her own recipes, and she loves being around family and talking.

What are you working on?

Penly says that she plans on continuing to be more persistent and goal-driven. She does not want to fall behind in achieving her goals, her aim to be more than she is now and develop her goals within the Saiba family.