H.E. Mosa Ditty Sejosingoe

I believe in the power of dialogue and collaboration

H.E. Ms. Mosa Ditty Sejosingoe, Ambassador of the Republic of South Africa

Text: Martina Hošková and M.Zisso; Photo: Archive

“The Czech Republic is the first country in which I serve as an ambassador”, says H.E. Ms. Mosa Ditty Sejosingoe, Ambassador of the Republic of South Africa. “While I may not have an extensive list of countries under my belt, I bring a wealth of experience from my previous roles in senior management within the public service. I have had the privilege of working closely with international partners, understanding complex issues, and fostering collaboration. Being allowed to serve my country at this level is the greatest honour I gladly accepted.”

Can you tell us a bit about yourself, please?

Thank you for the opportunity. My name is Mosa Sejosingoe, and I am a mother blessed with three children – a daughter and two sons. I grew up in the village of Zingonyameni, in the Eastern Cape Province of the Republic of South Africa (RSA), where I lived with my maternal grandmother. Later, I joined my parents in Thaba ‘Nchu, the town in the Free State Province, where I continued my primary and secondary studies.

In 1985, my quest for knowledge led me to Mahikeng, the capital city of the North West Province of South Africa, where I enrolled with the University of North West (then UNIBO). In 1991, I graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce degree; this was to be a stepping stone towards shaping my destiny. I started working in the public service even before completing my junior degree. I continued to study, and obtained a B.A. Honours in Public Management and Governance (2001), and a Masters (M.A.) in Development and Management (2004).

Have you worked in the public service ever since?

My career of 35 years has been in the public and private sectors, with 30 of those being in the public sector. I have worked as both a career public servant – occupying the ranks of junior, middle, and senior management positions – and as an elected and political representative of the government of the RSA.

In addition to the positions I held in government, I had an opportunity to serve as an Executive Mayor of Mahikeng Local Municipality, the capital city of the North West Province (2006-2010). I became a Special Advisor to the President of the Republic of South Africa, and was later appointed Head of the Presidential Hotline (2010-2012), which is in the Frontline Service Delivery Unit of the Department of Planning, Monitoring, and Evaluation (DPME), in the Presidency. The Presidential Hotline is one of the tools used to monitor service delivery across all nine Provinces of South Africa. I also served as a Commissioner of the Public Service Commission (PSC), which plays an oversight role over the implementation of government policies in all spheres of government of the Republic (2012-2017).

At the beginning of 2022, I was invited to serve as an Ambassador by the President of the Republic of South Africa. Being allowed to serve my country at this level is the greatest honour I gladly accepted.

What does being an ambassador mean to you?

Thank you for asking. Becoming an ambassador is both an honour and a responsibility. I have always been passionate about international relations and diplomacy. The opportunity to foster dialogue, build bridges, and promote understanding between nations is deeply meaningful to me. Serving as an ambassador allows me to represent our country’s values, culture, and interests on the international stage. I believe in the power of dialogue and collaboration to address shared issues such as economic development, climate change, security, etc. As an ambassador, I play a pivotal role in advocating for my country’s policies, as well as negotiating agreements. Being an ambassador provides me with a unique opportunity to engage with people from different backgrounds, learn from their experiences, and promote cultural exchanges. As an ambassador, one of my responsibilities is to build a strong relationship with my counterparts by enhancing mutual trust and cooperation through cultural events, official meetings, and other interactions as a way of fostering goodwill.

Being an ambassador is not just a job; it is a calling, a calling to serve our nation with integrity, professionalism, and a genuine desire to make a positive impact in the lives of our people. It is a privilege that allows me to contribute to a more harmonious and interconnected world.

It has been over a year since you arrived in the Czech Republic. Do you remember your first impressions?

This is an interesting question. I arrived in Prague in November 2022, as autumn was ending and winter was starting. The temperatures were already dropping so much that the officials had to take me shopping for winter coats in the first week of my arrival. As you know, South Africa is warm, with very mild winter temperatures. It has been such a pleasure to wake up in Prague when it is snowing, I love to see that white blanket which Prague wears when it is winter, it simply takes my breath away.

I arrived immediately after the political consultations between the Czech Republic and the Republic of South Africa had taken place, towards the end of October 2022. I spent most of the first year following up on the resolutions flowing from these consultations. I visited most of the Universities in Prague and other regions, met the stakeholders who have invested in South Africa and those interested in doing so, and paid many courtesy visits to my counterparts based in Prague. As a result, I was spending most of the time focusing on office administrative issues.

My initial impressions of the Czech Republic were shaped by its rich history, vibrant culture, and distinctive architectural heritage. The Czech Republic is a captivating blend of history, culture, and architectural splendour. It boasts a fascinating blend of tradition and modernity, and its people love arts and literature. It is a country that values its people and their well-being. It is a country with a high standard of living, a strong social welfare system, and a stable democracy

Which countries did you serve in before?

Thank you for asking. The Czech Republic is the first country in which I serve as an ambassador. While I may not have an extensive list of countries under my belt, I bring a wealth of experience from my previous roles in senior management within the public service. I have not served in multiple countries, but I have had the privilege of working closely with international partners, understanding complex issues, and fostering collaboration.

I am focusing on building meaningful relationships, promoting diplomacy, and representing our nation with integrity. Each posting is a chance to learn, adapt, and contribute positively. I look forward to making a difference in this new chapter of my diplomatic journey.

Does being an ambassador fit into your lifestyle?

The lifestyle of an ambassador is multifaceted, blending professional responsibilities with personal wellbeing. As for me, being an ambassador fits perfectly into my lifestyle because it allows me to bridge cultures, foster diplomatic relations, and represent my country on a global stage. As I represent my country’s values, from formal state functions to cultural exchanges, I find immense fulfilment in contributing to international cooperation and understanding.

On a personal level, I have been to a few regions of the Czech Republic beyond Prague already. I visited some historical sites, and have been to see some natural wonders, for instance, the many thermal springs in the Spa City of Karlovy Vary. I have visited several local markets in a few regions of the Czech Republic. This is a beautiful country, which is a real pleasure to explore.

H.E. Ms. Mosa Ditty Sejosingoe, Ambassador of the Republic of South Africa

What do you consider the hardest part of the ambassadorial role?

Thank you for that question. Being an ambassador is a prestigious honour that a country can bestow on a person, but it comes with its share of challenges. As an ambassador, one is consistently under public scrutiny and subject to media attention. This exposure requires high levels of diplomacy, patience, and resilience because the slightest miscommunication can escalate into a diplomatic issue, straining relationships between countries.

Personally, I find spending significant time away from my family and loved ones to be one of the biggest challenges I must face.

I believe most Czech people have yet to discover the Republic of South Africa as a great holiday destination. How do you promote your country’s beauty here?

Thank you for that question. Indeed, South Africa is a great holiday destination because it offers a treasure trove of unique experiences. Its magic lies not only in its landscapes, but also in the remarkable encounters one can only experience in this vibrant country, ranging from the stargaze at the South African Astronomical Observatory – a celestial wonderland along the Cape of Good Hope, which was established to prevent shipwrecks – to embarking on safari adventures in South Africa’s renowned game reserves or national parks, where one can spot the Big Five: the lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and rhinoceros, in their natural habitat. The South African cuisine is unparalleled too!

We lure Czech tourists to South Africa by participating in the International and Regional World Tourism fairs, usually held in Prague in March. We also participate in other activities, such as the Festival of Embassies, hosted by the Mayor of Prague 6. We visit the regions and partner with South Africans there – for instance, we participate in the Expats Festival in Brno in April, which is hosted by the local municipality. That is where we promote South African wines and cuisines. We also share information about tourist attractions. We embrace any opportunity that is presented to us by Czechia to promote South Africa to the Czech people.

What do you do in your free time?

Prague has breathtaking beautiful parks and tourist attractions. It is always a pleasure to take those leisurely walks in the morning or towards sunset. Sometimes, I just get on a tram or a bus and get lost in the city, taking a different line each time. This allows me to explore the host country, and fall in love with it even more. I also read a lot, and watch documentaries to keep myself informed about global affairs and regional dynamics.

What is the status of Czechia – South Africa relations?

The relations between the Czech Republic and the Republic of South Africa are cordial, and have evolved to a level of maturity. The Bilateral Consultations at the level of Deputy Ministers take place annually in alternative capitals, namely Prague and Pretoria. The last bilateral political consultations were held in Pretoria on 5th March 2024, between Mr Alvin Botes, the Deputy Minister of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of South Africa, and Mr Jiří Kozák, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic. These consultations afford the two countries a platform to engage on bilateral, regional, and multilateral issues.

The Czech Republic regards South Africa as an important role player on the African Continent, and as a gateway to Sub-Saharan Africa, given its world-class legal framework, sophisticated transport and logistics infrastructure, and first-world financial services and banking sector. These contribute to South Africa’s reputation as a leading country in terms of doing business.

The South Africa and the Czech Republic economic relations are mutually beneficial, and have promising opportunities. The Czech Republic companies’ investment in South Africa spans six sectors: Business Services, Communications, Electronic Components, Hotels and Tourism, Software and IT Services, and Textiles. South Africa is ready to attract and retain Foreign Direct Investment, and has various initiatives in place to support the Czech Republic’s investors.

This interview is done on the occasion of your Republic’s national day. Let us conclude with your wishes on this special day.

This day, now known as Freedom Day, is commemorated every year to honour those unsung heroes and heroines who fought for our freedom and paved the way for an equal, representative, and non-racial nation. This year marks the 30th anniversary of South Africa’s first democratic elections. My wish for the South Africans is that they continue to stand tall as a rainbow nation, woven together by resilience, diversity, and shared aspirations. Our democracy is a beacon of hope for the world, reminding us that transformation is possible even in the face of adversity.

This year 2024 is also an election year for the South Africans, and the 29th May 2024 has been declared as the date on which elections will take place. I encourage all South Africans to go and cast their vote and exercise their democratic right.

As we celebrate our freedom, we also extend our gratitude to the Czech Republic for welcoming us with open arms. We thank the Czechs for embracing us. May our friendship and partnership continue to flourish, transcending borders and enriching both our nations.