Andile Hote’s career path in banking was completely unexpected.

He wanted to work in actuarial science eighteen years ago.

His grandfather strongly advised him to get a job after finishing his Bachelor of Business Science degree because he lived in a house with more than ten other people.

I grew up in a loving and accepting family. “I grew up in a house with 10 to 15 people; those are my brothers and sisters,” he explained. “My parents had also taken in other relatives, my cousins.”

He never knew he was poor because there was always umphokoqo (crumbly pap and amasi) for everyone to eat in the rural Eastern Cape where he grew up.

His grandfather increased the pressure even more in his third year of college.

“He was always loving, but harsh in the sense of ‘enough with schooling now,'” to paraphrase. I needed to get paid so that I could begin assisting others (the family).

“That was good because I would have stayed at university for a longer period of time, and it’s only now that I’m working that I realise there has to be a balance,” she says. “Education is an investment worth making,” Hote argued.

In or around 2005, he went to a First National Bank in the area now known as Gqeberha in search of work and was hired on the spot as a teller thanks to the coursework he had already completed.

“I went directly to a FNB brand looking for a job as a teller,” Hote told Business Insider South Africa.

“I ended up working in retail banking, doing credit checks for customers.”

After FNB recognised his potential and promoted him to portfolio analyst, Investec approached him about a job.

Hote later joined Nedbank’s corporate banking division, where she coordinated BEE transactions among other duties.

He worked at Mercantile Bank before moving on to Absa Barclays and now Sasfin, where he assists high-net-worth clients in finding investment opportunities.

I value the importance our clients place on the work I do on behalf of entrepreneurs, the South African economy, and job creation because I am a product of the same values that drive Sasfin.

When Hote first started working, he assumed he’d stay at the teller level.

My life’s path and the opportunities that have presented themselves to me have exceeded my wildest dreams. The only things he could control were his own work ethic and his ability to spot promising opportunities.

Working as a teller taught me the value of giving back. “Good service cannot be expressed in words,” they say.

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