The invitation you’ve been waiting for.
Long before I had the opportunity to work with Seth Godin, have a conversation with Bill Gates, rub shoulders at a private lunch with Christine Lagarde, be recognised and celebrated by the President of South Africa, President Cyril Ramaphosa, the most important conversations which would prepare me for these encounters was with myself.
Let me explain.
I grew up in a South African township called Mogwase, to a mother who is a nurse and a father who is a taxi owner and driver. Through watching my parents bravely face life, I learned from a very young age that it takes ordinary citizens with extraordinary vision, who commit to taking small steps everyday that somehow make a difference in the world. Overtime these small steps become giant leaps of progress.
Mama did this in her way through always speaking about how much life her patients had. Long before I knew the word empathy existed, I had felt and experienced it while in her presence as she served others at the clinic, our church and in our community. Mama’s gift to the world is that she knows how to listen to others in a way that you’d think she’s been eavesdropping on the conversations your soul has been having with God.
Papa did this in his own way through his love for music. Whenever one stepped into his taxi, you were certain that he had a killer playlist that made any road trip feel like you could go further than your destination. Some of the most joyful moments growing up was getting out the taxi on arrival at family gatherings and for us all to sing and dance to Hugh Masekela and Luther Vandross classics blurring out the speakers. Although we always joked that Papa looked like he was doing an aerobics class while dancing, I understood what it really meant to be carefree and have a sense freedom that allowed others in his presence to feel like they too could fully be themselves.
It is in this environment that my parents gave me the gift of fully being myself. With Mama paying attention to what my soul yearned for and Papa encouraging me to be myself whatever that meant, I learned to listen and be led by my Higher sense of Self. I know this because from age 10, while my peers were thinking about the clothes they wanted for Christmas, my desire was to feel challenged at school so that I could grow in my thinking. Which explains how from age 10, all the schools I attended were carefully and independently selected by yours truly. Somehow, I’d get my hands on all the paperwork needed to enroll into my desired school, fill-out the application forms and I’d share with my parents details around the fees and costs surrounding the decision I had already taken. Many have witnessed my “take no hostages” approach in how I share whatever my truth is and executing on whatever it is I intuitively felt was important. Yes this has been my life since I was 10 years old.
So why have I invited you here exactly?
Over the years I have consciously thought about how I could share my journey with other women in meaningful ways that would remind and empower them to know that they too could maximize their potential and be the greatest version of themselves. From a young age I understood one key lesson:
“It is the state of our being that produces the experience of our lives. Not the state of our doing.”
Simply put, everything in your life flows from who are in your soul. This is the miracle behind curating experiences in life that take your breath away. For my parents, brother, my two sisters, our extended family, friends, advisors who have been asked “What’s Thato really like?”, the description, “Thato is special” has become a default. This is usually followed by a laugh, because they can share countless stories of the miracle of life that continues to unfold for me.
I’ve met alot of women who haven’t experienced the miracle of life in a while and have settled and made a home in their dysfunction. It’s not an easy thing for one to even know where to start in confronting how they can work their way out of a life that takes the life out of them. Going with the flow is also not a strategy that will help you evolve, because we repeat what we don’t resolve.
Over the years I’ve learned that in these moments the intangibles are what get us through to the other side. The intangibles that I speak of are feeling like you have people around you that can give you:
Perspective: This empowers you to see things differently and get the clarity of mind on your own about what to do next.
Support: Which is to give you access to resources that help you bear the weight of who you are privately and allow you to show up confidently in public.
This is why I am here and this platform exists. To share my journey and thoughts, encourage women to do the same and hold a space where we can have the important conversations with self and ultimately rise to the occasion that is life.
I believe that’s how each of us will be the answer in a room full of problems. That’s how your presence and purpose will be honoured by New York times best-selling authors, billionaires or Presidents.
I pray you will honour this invitation, invite others and for us to do life together,