NOZUKO MZAMO IS AN INDEPENDENT CONSULTANT SPECIALISING IN YOUTH DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES, INCLUDING CORPORATE SOCIAL INVESTMENT AND BURSARY/SCHOLARSHIP STRATEGY DEVELOPMENT. SHE’S THE FOUNDER OF THE EDUCUBED FOUNDATION, AN NPO TEACHING STUDENTS SOCIAL AND LIFE SKILLS, AS WELL AS CAREER DEVELOPMENT. SHE’S ALSO A FORMER MRS SA RUNNER-UP
What’s your academic background? I hold a BCom from the University of Pretoria, am a fellow of the US Department of State’s Economic Empowerment Programme and an alumnus of the GIBS Social Entrepreneurship Certificate Programme.
How do you define happiness? Happiness is knowing and living your purpose.
How do you define misery? Misery is giving up on yourself, knowing that you’re in a comfort zone, but doing nothing about it and dwelling in self-pity.
Which three books made the most significant impact on you? Becoming by Michelle Obama (Crown Publishing), Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Anchor) and Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur (Andrews McMeel).
What’s your greatest fear? I can’t even bring myself to say the word: they’re slithery and look like ropes!
Which world figures do you most admire? Former President Nelson Mandela. He taught us that while we all have our weaknesses, flaws and faults, it’s how one rises from them that matters. I also much admire former American First Lady Michelle Obama. She’s a woman who exudes natural intelligence and elegance while remaining humble.
What’s your greatest extravagance? Travel.
What are your greatest strengths? Tenacity and optimism. It’s hard to get me down.
What’s your biggest fault? Procrastination. I have a marathon in a few days and only started training for it about two weeks ago, by running just 15km. I have much a lot of catching up to do!
What traits do you most deplore in others? Indifference and arrogance.
What’s your favourite childhood memory? Playing outside until sunset and coming home dirty, with a big smile on my face.
What would you consider your greatest achievement? Having had the courage to pursue my dreams and take a leap of faith in the world. Seven years later, I’m still standing, stronger than I ever imagined.
Where would you most like to live? There’s no place like home, but if I had to leave SA, I’d choose Switzerland. I’ve always wanted to get involved with the World Economic Forum.
Which qualities do you value most in men? Authenticity and vulnerability.
Who’s your heroine? My mom – she’s Superwoman!
What’s your life’s motto? “Know your self-worth without needing other people to validate you.”
What’s the best advice you ever received? You are your competition. Don’t run other people’s races: you don’t know how they train. Focus on your own.
What are your guiltiest pleasures? Toblerone chocolate and bubbly!
How do you ground yourself when you’re overwhelmed? By switching off and going for a walk, listening to music, or taking a power nap.
Which myths would you most like to debunk? That millennials are lazy and that the older generation is stiff and narrow-minded.
What do you believe to be the most worthwhile investments? Personal relationships. I always choose quality over quantity.
Which experience taught you the biggest life lesson? My divorce. It unleashed the woman I am today: a go-getting risk-taker who celebrates small victories and turns them into bigger ones.
What purchase of R1 000 or less has most positively impacted your life in the past six months? A subscription to a graphic design tool app. It’s transformed my life!