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Nomonde Ndwalaza

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Soweto, Naledi.

What were your dreams as a child?

I remember twirling around the house when I was six and telling my mother that I was going to be a ballerina. As I got older, I then decided that I would add singing and teaching to the mix. And  writing  as well.  Today  I sing, I teach, I learn, I write. So it’s all coming together very nicely.

What are you currently doing now (work)?

I am currently doing my honours in Media Management at Rhodes University. After completing my undergraduate studies majoring  in Media Studies and International Relations at Wits University, I felt that a change of scenery and perspective would be good for me. I am also involved with  the Rhodes University Community Engagement Programme (RUCE) as Matric revision tutor. Being able to tutor Matric students in English Home language is a rewarding experience and one of the biggest highlights of my life so far.

How did you get into your line of work (career)?

A love for reading and  writing brought me here. As well as a need to stay relevant about issues that are happening around me.

What have been some of your career highlights?

Getting my Wits degree has been one of my greatest achievements. The support that I received from my parents, peers, tutors and lecturers made it all so much easier for me.

What dreams do you still have for yourself?

I hope that one day (say when I am a toothless, wrinkled eighty year old gogo) I will look at photos of my youthful and hopeful 21 year old self and say:

Yay!!  See this girl right here : I lived her moments, I chased her dreams (fiercely), I overcome her fears (bravely), I the aim was to never disappoint her. The motto was to stay calm and maintain.  The roads travelled, the choices made, the tears shed , the laughs that were had, the songs that were sang. In the final analysis, It was all worth it. And we did it

I often ask people if they are happy with their lives and they tell me that, to a reasonable extent, they are. But that they if they achieved this or were in possession of that they would be happier because they would  have a greater chance at self actualization. Thing is , I think the only way we can be self actualized is to live in the moment, and stop waiting for whatever it is we think is coming. I’m learning that its important to have a dream, but to also enjoy the journey leads to the realization of that dream. I have no idea what life has in store for me, I just know that I am embracing the process and that I am very proud of the woman that I am becoming. So the aim is to be happy, to take life as it comes, and, most importantly, to listen to the music before the song is over.

Who are the people that have influenced you or that you admire?

Nomonde Ndwalaza

My parents, who have been with me from the very start. Their commitment to provide my siblings and I with a colourful existence are the reason I am where I am today. My mother, for she answers my questions and questions my answers. And my father, because he always knows what to say.

What is your dream for today’s youth of South Africa?

I wish we displayed a greater commitment really knowing our past and using that as a basis for moving forward. The general consensus amongst most of my peers is that the past has passed and that we must all deal with that. And although this might be so I feel that this  slightly nonchalant mentality is problematic because it  may possibly result in the creation of an apathetic, desensitized society  that is committed to explaining everything and understanding absolutely nothing. I especially wish that more Black South Africans would interpret the sacrifices that the youth of 1976 made as a an instructive burden that demands that they  work hard and stay in school  and to  aggressively pursue their dreams, whatever they may be.  Instead of being victims of  teenage pregnancy, drug abuse, violence and iniquity

I wish we had more equality. That access to water , food, shelter, education, health care and information communication technologies was something we all enjoyed. Although equality in every sense of the world is practically impossible to achieve I still hope for it as it gives me something to work towards.

What does June 16 mean to you?

A reminder not to take myself lightly historically. A reminder that the opportunities that I have were not easily earned and that I do not have the luxury to waste them.

The one Truth I hold onto is …

One of the final comments in the book  To Kill a Mockingbird is that “people are nice, when you finally see them” and I am constantly reminded that  people are really nice when you finally get to know them when I meet a stranger who restores my faith in the human race, or when I give myself the chance to listen to others, and walk in their shoes and see things the way they do.


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