Zim motivational speaker raises bar

BULAWAYO - Zimbabwe-born medical doctor and motivational speaker, Nothabo Ncube, 28, who is based in Canada, is a woman at the top of her game.

In addition to appearing on Oprah’s Lifeclass — an American primetime television show hosted and produced by the legendary Oprah Winfrey — Ncube has featured on the globally-acclaimed TEDx which brings together  top speakers .

To crown it all, she was included in a list of 100 Canadian black women to watch in 2017 during the Canadian Black Women event held in Toronto on June 17 this year.

Ncube recently jetted into Zimbabwe for a breakfast seminar which was scheduled for yesterday.

Daily News on Sunday’s Letwin Nyambayo spoke to the acclaimed medical doctor and motivational speaker ahead of the highly-anticipated event.

Below are excerpts of the interview:

Q: Who is Nothabo Ncube?

A: Nothabo Ncube is a medical doctor, a motivational speaker and a millennial mentor. Really Nothabo Ncube is centred on empowering women, as well as serving as a reminder, especially to young women, that they are enough and that their dreams matter. The central part of her message is to encourage young women to become the best versions of who they are created to be.

Q: Where were you born?

A: I was born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe at Lady Rodwell Maternity Hospital.

Q: Why and when did you relocate to Canada?

A: I moved to Canada in 2006, just like most Zimbabweans at the time. Things were tough and so my family felt that Canada would be a better place for us to thrive and for us to live out our dreams; so it was in search of greener pastures.

Q: Your story has inspired many because you overcame many hurdles to get where you are now. Can you briefly share with us your journey to the top?

A: Well, I would say the biggest thing that happened to me was when I was 14 years old when my mother died through a tragic car accident. That to me was the biggest hurdle that I have ever experienced and I say this because my mom was my backbone so at that tender age for any girl child not to have a mother, it came with a lot of shock. I didn’t know how I was going to find my way in the world, moving from that place of pain of losing a dear person to now transitioning into the woman that I have always wanted to be. That was the greatest pain and of course life comes with so many challenges and obstacles. Even when we arrived in Canada, living in the high density suburbs, it was there where I was exposed to people living bad lifestyles and all these things which did not tally with my dreams. As a result, I chose to fight despite those circumstances. Transitioning from that place, starting undergraduate studies where I fell into depression and I lost my way in my studies to the point that I was kicked out of my programme and then bouncing back. All these obstacles and challenges have led me into this woman that I am today.

Q: How did you land on Oprah Winfrey’s Lifeclass?

A: I needed $15 000 to fulfil a full academic year. I so happened to be talking to a friend over the phone and she suggested that I go on the Oprah Winfrey website to look for any scholarships and bursaries. As destiny would have it, the first thing that popped up when I went on the Oprah Winfrey website was a pop-up saying tell us your story and become what you believe. So I quickly typed in that at the age of 14 I made a promise to my dear mother to be a doctor and that I had just been accepted to medical school. They (Oprah Winfrey’s assistants) called me three times and my cousin kept on hanging up thinking it was a prank because she couldn’t imagine that Oprah Winfrey would be calling a young girl like me. They called back for the fourth time which actually set as a reminder to me and affirmed that I am called to speak and to empower the people’s lives. I took it as a divine whisper that I had been called to speak and inspire. So I attended the Oprah Winfrey life class and that life class changed the trajectory of my life. It served as a reminder to me that I am not what happened to me, that I am bigger than my circumstances and that I can go out in the world and become a force, which is what I am doing now. Thank you so much to Oprah Winfrey for depositing that seed in me and reigniting that fire to live a life that transcends my circumstances.

Q: What inspired you to take up motivational speaking?

A: What inspired me to start motivational speaking are people like Oprah Winfrey and Tererai Trent (A Zimbabwe-born academic and humanitarian who has repeatedly featured on Oprah Winfrey’s Life Class); women who have a powerful voice especially for this generation. Really I don’t think it is something that I chose; I feel it’s the life that is destined for me. I say this because the unfolding of my journey was filled with so many uphill battles but there was always light despite all those uphill battles that I had to face, so it grew to become the most logical path to take. ..How I was led to Oprah Winfrey, I felt like that was a divine destiny moment in revealing to me that which I am, and so stepping into it now feels right. I am happy to be at this point in my life where I am empowering other people’s lives and making a difference essentially.

Q: How do you balance between a demanding medical career and your passion for motivational speaking?

A: I always say that passion always finds its way; passion is who you are, you are not separate from it. It finds its way and because it’s who you are, it just works itself out somehow. That is why I always encourage people to always stay true to who they are, to follow their passions because your passion will always find its way. Somehow the universe opens up for you to accommodate that thing that you love doing.

Q: You are steadily making an impact in the world. What do you attribute this to?

A: I would attribute it to the women like my mother, women like Oprah Winfrey and Tererai Trent who have consistently reminding me through their talks, through what they stand for that I am enough as a woman; that I am enough to chase my dreams; that I am more than my circumstances; that I have the power to tap into my true potential and turn my struggle into power …turn my struggle into something that is greater than myself. So those are the women who have really impacted my life and inspired me to carry on this journey as a motivational speaker.

Q: Who is your inspiration in Zimbabwe and internationally?

A: Locally it’s Tererai Trent. She is Zimbabwean and is based in Harare right now. Internationally it’s Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama, to mention a few.

Q: What are the challenges that you have faced as a female trying to realise your dreams in a male-dominated world?

A: I think the challenge is often you are told that you are not enough as a woman. They tell you to stop because there tends to be a bar that is set for women. When you want to go beyond that bar, they question you, they question your abilities, so yeah those are the challenges that I have faced thus far.

Q: What advice do you have for women who want to follow in your footsteps?

A: I would advise them that they are enough; that they are possible, that within them lies the power to transcend whatever circumstances that they are facing. More than anything that they must stay true to who they are; they should follow their path and more than anything stay in the lane that God has destined them to be.

Q: What are your future hopes and dreams?

A: To change lives on a global scale and hopefully one day, to have a talk show where I will share stories of courage and hope, to inspire people to tap into their higher selves.

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