Miss Mpumi Nobiva is a smart & beautiful 24 year-old motivational speaker who travels across cities to share her story. She is one of the first class graduates of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for girls in South Africa. Mpumi is currently completing her masters in Strategic Communications (PR) on a Graduate Presidential Scholarship at High Point University.
As an AIDS orphan of 15 years, she says “I started a campaign in 2015 called #ShareYourStory – To Inspire Courage, where I traveled out of pocket to different schools sharing stories of hope & encouragement.”
Today, she is working on multiple projects centered around intergrating leadership behaviour & motivating millennials to live their truest dreams. She is the host & producer of a YouTube series, Strategic Personal Growth, which premiered on March 17th, 2017.
Mpumi has stretched an opportunity to mentor college students internationally through a Sunday Mentorship Program that has a growing registry of young professional millennials from South Africa, the U.S., Canada & Italy. On this platform, she host free weekly international online sessions on Growth Mindset in Academia, Public Speaking, Business Acumen, Personal Branding & sharing personal stories. All to model & foster a culture of purpose driven brands amongst millennials.
Mpumi says “I am mentored by Ms. Winfrey, I am part of first class graduate of her Leadership Academy in South Africa. I’ve had the privilege of introducing her at the United States of Women Summit convened by the White House. I’ve also recently reached a milestone in becoming the first OWLAG student to join the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Board of Directors.”
Due to her increasingly extensive travels, Mpumi does most of her work through Mentorship while also traveling & sharing her story. In the past 3-4 years, she also partnered with numerous nonprofits & corporations in raising funds for causes such as education, aboriginal health care programs & aid, girl-child safety etc.
Mpumi has spoken on her biggest platform in Chicago at the AllState Arena (spoke to 18K people) & have Los Angeles coming up in April (16k people) in addition to millions of ABC home viewers.
Engage To Evolve had the opportunity to interview Ms. Mpumi Nobiva about who she is & what she does.
ETE: “How would you describe yourself today, to when you first started at The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy For Girls?”
MN: “ I have evolved, I have grown as woman, my confidence has become a lot more enhanced & I am grateful for it because coming from where I come from, it was very hard to understand that I am worth it in everything that I do. For instance I had to learn that if I have a business or an idea & I would like to achieve it, I will need to develop an attitude & mindset that will enable me to know that I can achieve anything through an attitude of consistency & delivering upon the promise I have made to myself.”
ETE: “What kind of insecurities did you have at OWLAG & how did you overcome the insecurities?”
MN: “Acknowledging & the willingness to understand that I am enough the way God has created me & living up to the standards that make me the smart, educated & the beautiful woman I have dreamt to become. I had insecurities where I would compare myself to others & I would put myself through so many setbacks as a result. So I realised that I needed to stop comparing myself & to no longer seeking validation from people but myself to live a much happier life & to know that I am a work in progress to be successful.”
ETE: “What kept you going & motivated to graduate successfully at OWLAG knowing that you wanted to make yourself proud but to those who you love sincerely?”
MN: “My grandmother kept me going whereas I have a dream to buy her a house. I also want to build my mother a beautiful tombstone & I also have a goal to live a better life which I want to share with my family who are currently in South Africa because those are the aspirations that kept me going & that make me work hard to fulfill them one step at a time.”
ETE: “Did you have a goal to study abroad & did you have to face any challenges before getting accepted to further your studies & what were those challenges?”
MN: “ One of my biggest turning points of my life was when I applied to come to the United States & I allowed myself to be distracted by things that were happening at home & I realised that I was not focused on working hard on my goals because everything that was destined for me I needed to ensure that I needed to have a different mindset head on because I am part of a destiny that is bigger than me & it was really inspiring to learn that which helped me to start delivering great results. So whatever energy that you put into it will be the same outcome that you will receive back.”
ETE: “What kind of self introspection did you have to talk yourself through in order to complete your B.A. Interdisciplinary Honours Studies with a Magna Cum Laude?”
MN: “I had to be very clear with myself that I am on a full scholarship so that I can pursue my dreams even further & knowing that my dreams were valid. It meant that I am smart, it meant that I was legitimate & enough to be where I need to be because I had different people doubt me I had people question my strategies because people can catch shadows to things that don not make sense to them, which became a great lesson, because now I have enough confidence in myself & my creative space.”
ETE: “How important is to be involved in developmental programmes in tertiary as a student & what are the benefits of getting involved & how do these programmes shape you?”
MN: “Well you don’t know what you don’t know, up until if you try & you can only know better when you do better. With the programmes that I was involved with may look like I was just being involved for the sake of being involved but honestly speaking I was involved with my purpose aligning myself with people whose journey & purpose that enhanced my journey & purpose to be where I wanted to be. Which is very important because it gave me confidence & the theories that I could try & test out to experience the results that could either work for me or not so that I could learn how to make better decisions that will allow me to lean into directions that were prosperous & meaningful.”
ETE: “Do you think developmental programmes in South African institutions have the same standardization of equipping South African students & leaders to be on par as much as other universities & colleges around the world.”
MN: “In my perspective, I believe so because I have not been to all the schools to have the exact knowledge about what are the missing links or gaps but I can only speak from my experience while I was still receiving an education in South Africa & all I can say is that I received good quality education & while I was doing work at the University Of Cape Town, while studying abroad, the institution had me wake up really early to deliver on the mandate.
ETE: “Do you think South African institutions, government & businesses still got along way to go to ensure that majority of graduates & leaders get credited & recognised for the passion & drive that needs to be acknowledged fast enough so that South African graduates can also be part of the solution to the balancing of the South African economy?”
MN: “I need to emphasis by saying the world can give you the best of the best but if you are not motivated to try & turn opportunities into progresses that you work through day & night then you will always feel like you are at the with end of an opportunity. No matter where you are, no matter what you have, you can create value as much as you want as long as you know that you do not have to compare yourself to other international things to feel confident. You need to understand that being a young person means that you have to do whatever it takes to build programmes & platforms based from what you have learned overtime so that it can add meaning & value to people.”
ETE: “What would you like to say to a student who is in South Africa studying, facing day to day challenges of being a student & also having to deal with difficulties at home or not having a family?”
NM: “There is never a perfect moment because I still go through that all the time & all I can say is it that our problems should not be our responsibility to always jump to them when it is same problems with the same patterns that does not add any value to our lives but it is our responsibility to ensure that we do our best in our work & know that our destiny is much more bigger than our problems.”
ETE: “To those who have graduated & who are graduating soon, what is your advice to them to keep pushing without having any doubts whether if they will be able to excel in years to come?”
MN: “ You do it or you don’t do it, the beauty of doing it comes with the intuition of knowing that you have moved forward & that you are in a new space & starting from now it is your responsibility to do the homework, learn as much as you can from individuals, start getting involved, support your peers never allow doubters to determine your fate because you have all the power within you to overcome challenges & to pursue a successful career”
ETE: “What do you appreciate more about yourself now?”
MN: “That I am true to myself, I have come to love & respect thats what I love about myself because I am able to have the courage to be the person who I have always dreamed of becoming.”
ETE: “Now that you are an international speaker what has Dr. Nido Qubein taught you about how you should strategically look at education & becoming a successful individual?”
MN: “DR. Qubein is great at modeling my speaking career at this point, hence I have always been a speaker long before I have arrived at High Point University & many people have inspired & taught me to excel within my public speaking career. Having Dr. Qubein coach me in this huge platform of speaking he has taught me on how I should use different strategies & techniques when preparing for speaking engagements so that I can accomplish them successfully.”
ETE: “What will you always appreciate about Ms. Oprah Winfrey?”
MN: “Ms. Oprah Winfrey granted me the tools to my own mind, she has allowed me the exploration of my greatest potential to be where I am today.”
ETE: “Why did you decide to start & head a mentorship Programme?”
MN: “I started this mentorship programme, because I realised that a lot of people were reaching out to me to mentor them & obviously I know that I don’t know everything but in essence I have always wanted to build a platform where I could share & inspire people by creating a curriculum that could expand the teaching realm through the techniques on how to approach incorporate & execute certain goals that different people wish to be successful at & this mentorship programme has also helped me to align all the lessons I have learned over the years to create a curriculum that will add strategies & expertise’s to help people reach their full potential.”
You can follow Ms. Mpumi Nobiva on the following social media platforms.