By Confidence Mashego
What do you do Mthobisi?
I speak, that is at the core of what I do. It is either speaking through teaching at Wits, preaching at Church or writing, that is also a form of speaking. In terms of business I am still new in the field but I have started my own publishing company. A lot of people have asked me for help with their books and it is costly hence I started my own publishing company. Many self publishing companies do not offer quality work so I plan to offer quality publishing and I got my first client this year. Speaking has also become a business but I can also do it even if I am not getting paid for it. I started taking it seriously when I realized I could get paid for it. I then changed the manner in which I presented myself on social media. I believe I am a leader, back at home we started an organisation that helps matriculants with life skills and helping them get to university through offering academic guidance. I was also part of the leadership team at CAF and secretary at my church in Hillbrow. Even without occupying any position, I believe I am a leader because of the amount of influence I have.
Please tell us about yourself, how were you in high school and how different you are now?
I am from KZN, Estcourt in a small rural area called Elopskoff. I like talking a lot although I appear introverted. I like teaching but I am also shy except when I am on stage. Very passionate about education hence I am doing my PhD in education, studied Electrical Engineering and changed to Social work. I am a social worker by Profession with a masters degree in Sociology. Author of two books, ‘Incubating excellence’ and ‘Pushed by Passion’. In terms of growth I know more now compared to when I was in high school. I used to be a science student and I am a social scientist now and I love what I doing.
Why do you do the amazing things you are doing, and what led you in this direction?
Passion, that is why I wrote the book ‘Pushed by Passion’. My passion has led me into doing what I love, which was changing from engineering to the social working when I passed and had the potential to succeed in the field. I learned to write from the essays in sociology and psychology. The other thing is the people I am surrounded by which are my friends. They encouraged me to write because of my motivational talks about education. It is not just one person influencing me. CAF also opened my eyes to the leader I am.
How do you keep yourself accountable, motivated, focused and to be able to continue doing things the way you do?
I am not always focused, but I appear to because people always experience me at my highest point. I read a lot and I love T.D Jakes. The most encouraging thing for me is that I am no longer doing things for me but for those looking up to me. If I give up it is going to affect them too.
Do you have a mentor or an advisor?
I do not have a mentor but mentors. I have realised that you cannot get everything from one person. I have met some of my mentors and some I have never met. I have an academic mentor here at Wits, very instrumental and supportive even in my life in general and his name is Nkosiyazi Dube. It is important to have a mentor
but have other people who will help you with other things as well. My academic mentor cannot mentor me spiritually and my spiritual mentor cannot mentor me in business etc. because he is not entrepreneurial. I have other people helping me in those spheres.
What advice or words of encouragement do you have for young people in school and those in University?
Follow your passion, it is the biggest mistake I made. People told me I was smart and therefore should do science when I really loved the social sciences. Having discovered my passion channelled me into becoming the person I am today. Hence I wrote the book Pushed by passion so people can learn from that. Secondly, to know that it will not always be difficult in life. Life was hard for me when I was still in high school because of my family background. I never thought I would be able to go to the places I have been without paying any cent. I have been to the USA twice and everything has been paid for and I just got back from the UK now. Life does get better. Lastly never compare your self with others, hence I did my PhD while others went on to get married and bought cars. That is their path and I have chosen my own. So be comfortable in the path you have chosen regardless of what other people think.
What has been the impact of learning in your life?
Through reading and the conversations I have with other people, I learn a lot from them. We share knowledge and experiences either from books we have read or movies we have watched. Also my work in Social work, when I worked with people who had mental health issues in Pretoria. I learned a lot about life there. I watch YouTube interviews of people I aspire to become such as T.D Jakes and Michael Gladwell, he is the Author I want to become and Vusi Thembekwayo. I also attend events that interest me.
NB: To purchase Mthobisi’s books, ‘Pushed by Passion’ or ‘Incubating Excellence’ please contact him through his Facebook (Ndaba Mthobisi). Always be inspired about unleashing the greatness in you by following his page, Mthobisi Ndaba Motivation. His books are highly recommended for anyone wishing to unleash the greatness in them.