Team Tuesday – Taaza Banda

Hi, my name is Taaza Banda, and I am the Accounting and Finance Lead at BongoHive.

Before I tell you about my work at BongoHive, here is a little story about my childhood. When I was younger, I spent a lot of my Saturdays as a DJ on live TV. I hope they changed the opening clip of the show.

I never built on that opportunity because that’s a skill I couldn’t perfect. Instead, I took a more backend role to one of the family businesses which we’ve run since I was 12. This role is making sure the setup and sound at events are good.

How do I describe myself? To define yourself is to limit your understanding of yourself. Quotes aside though, I still don’t know how to answer this question. I’m tall and chatty around the right crowd.

Now back to my work as Accounting and Finance Lead. Simply put, my day to day tasks involve financial management, compliance and training SMEs. To do all this, I need to put my soft and hard skills into practice. 

A soft skill that helps me perform my tasks better is empathy. Very often, people in finance roles are expected to be detached because all we’re focused on is data and numbers. However, empathy should never be undervalued in finance. The SMEs I’ve worked with from different programmes, provinces, and organisations often seek financial advice during stressful times. Dealing with someone facing challenges or who needs clarity over certain things requires a different approach. Being empathetic shows that you care which helps build trust and understanding.

My favourite aspect of work at BongoHive is the conversations and knowledge shared with my coworkers. There is a strong environment for professional development, and it is always interesting to learn from them.

Outside of work, I spend my time working out. If I could, I would live in the gym. I have run a few half-marathons and taken part in fitness challenges. I find joy in overcoming challenges placed in front of me. The growth and bonds formed along the way are a few of the reasons I have deeply invested in my fitness lifestyle.

When my head isn’t buried in my school books, I spend time learning how to programme. I picked up HTML and CSS earlier in my professional life, long before I jumped into finance. After joining BongoHive and interacting with many Software Developers, I found myself picking up Python, SQL and getting into the basics of application development.